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Power: Yar'Adua Summons Special FEC Meeting

Source: http://burningpot.com

By Juliana Taiwo, Abuja
As parts of efforts to ensure that 6,000 megawatts of electricity is generated by the end of the year, President Umaru Musa Yar'Adua has summoned a special Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting to deliberate on the Interim Report of the Presidential Committee on National Integrated Power Projects (NIPPs).

The special meeting which will hold at the council's chamber today, THISDAY gathered, will deliberate on the interim report submitted to the council by the Vice-President Goodluck Jonathan's NIPPs' Committee.

Today's meeting will be the first special FEC meeting that would be held since the inception of the present administration. The weekly FEC meetings are held on Wednesdays. Minister of Agriculture and Water Resources, Sayyadi Abba Ruma, confirmed today's special meeting to THISDAY at the end of yesterday's FEC meeting which lasted seven hours during which approvals were given to various contracts for Agriculture and Water Resources Ministry totalling N64 billion.

The Presidential Steering Committee on the NIPPs had on Monday disclosed that the inability of host communities where power projects were sited to allow work on transmission lines had slowed down the pace of work consequently posing a threat to the achievement of the 6000 megawatts target.

The committee which also said that there is currently over 4,500 megawatts available, however lamented that the problems of inadequate gas supply, pipeline vandalism, inferior quality of gas and security concerns had resulted in the supply of just 2,500 megawatts at the moment. It however announced a 75-per cent average completion level of power projects in the country.

Yesterday's FEC meeting also approved a slight review of existing Nigeria National Water Resources Policy, in which the Federal Government will be responsible for the construction of new dams of 20 million cubic metre capacity and above, and new irrigation schemes of 1000 hectares and above, and to handover all ongoing Federal Government-funded water projects to the states, where they are located.

Giving a breakdown of the Agriculture and Water Resources contracts approved at the meeting, the Minister of Information and Communication, Prof. Dora Akunyili, in company with Ruma, said council gave approval for the implementation of a competitive agricultural research grant scheme to be operated and supervised by the Agricultural Research Council of Nigeria. It also approved the utilisation of the N6 billion of the approved special intervention fund for the implementation of the scheme.

She said council's nod was also given for the implementation framework to enable the Bank of Industry commence implementation and disbursement of Federal Government's 40 per cent credit facility, which amounts to N9.52 billion, to the 10 selected eligible rice processing companies, for the procurement, installation and setting up of model rice processing mills in Adamawa, Benue, Ekiti, Niger, Kano, Taraba, Kebbi, Enugu, Bayelsa, Ebonyi, Ogun and Anambra States.

The council also gave approval for the commencement of the implementation of the category 'C' projects on build, lease and transfer basis with 30 per cent Federal Government funding, 40 per cent concessionary credit support and 30 per cent investor funding as soon as their procurement arrangements are concluded.

It also gave approval for the utilisation of N2,892,190,544.30 being 40 per cent Federal Government grant to six selected private sector organisations as investors to establish export handling, preservation and conditioning centres in six locations across the country. “This is through build, own and operate delivery model of the public private partnership with 52 weeks as completion period – the project locations are Gombe, Kebbi, Enugu, Kaduna, Cross River and Nasarawa States”.

Akunyili also said approval for the award of contract for consultancy services in favour of Messrs GIS Transport Ltd., to supervise phase I of the National Agricultural Land Mapping project in the sum of N301,950,000.00 with 24 months as completion period, was given.

Other approvals include the contract for the construction and rehabilitation of silo complexes across the nation; a N2.42 billion contract for the connection of terminal manholes, missing links and district outfalls to interceptor trunk sewer lines within Abuja, as well as the connection of septic tanks at Karmo district; award of contract for the acquisition of a Dive Support Sea going vessel for the Petroleum Training Institute, Effurum in favour of Messrs Netsach Ltd at N1.117 billion with six months delivery period; and installation of supplementary gas treatment plants on the Escaravos-Lagos gas pipeline system on Build, Own and Operate basis.

The supplementary gas treatment plants contract, she said, involves the installation of supplementary gas treatment plants at Utorou and Oben gas processing facilities in favour of Southfield Petroleum Nig Ltd at no cost to the Federal Government. It has 12 months completion period.

The objective of the project, according to her, is to enhance power generation capacity of Nigeria by ensuring that only bone-dry gas is supplied to power plants at Geregu, Papalanto (2), Omotosho and Egbin all of which receive feed gas from the Escravos-Lagos pipeline system.

C. Thisday

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