FG approves N32bn for FADAMA III project, N200m for comprehensive test on 3rd mainland bridge

By The Citizen

The Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting presided over by President Goodluck Jonathan, today approved an International Development Association (IDA), credit facility in the sum of $200 million (N32 billion) as additional financing for the Third National Fadama Development project.

The loan which is to support the development of the value chain of the products will reach about  317,000 farmers with 50 per cent of it focused on women and youths.

The Minister of Information Labaran  Maku, in accompany of the Minister of Agriculture, Akinwunmi Adeshina and Minister of State for Finance, Yerima Ngama, said the loan given at an interest rate of 0.75 per cent is consistent with the ongoing Fadama 111 project which is to increase the incomes for users of rural lands and water resources within the Fadama areas in a sustainable manner.

The request which was made by the Coordinating Minister of the Economy and Minister of Finance, Ngozi Okonjo- Iweala also said the proposed additional financing will scale up the project’s achievements and strengthen the development effectiveness of the highly performing Fadama 111 by aligning it more closely with the Agricultural Transformation Agenda (ATA), of the present administration.

The  Coordinating Minister of the Economy and Minister of Finance, is to  execute the financing agreement. The Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice is expected to issue the legal opinion required to render the loan effective.

“We are excited about the facility because it will lead to the actualisation of FADAMA land. Crops to be focused on under the arrangement are rice, cassava, sorghum and horticulture. The states to benefit for rice are Lagos, Niger, Anambra, Enugu and Kano. Kano state will benefit in Horticulture while Kogi State, will benefit from Cassava”, he said.

The Agriculture Minister also said that for the first time in 20 years since it was said up, the  Nigeria Economic Summit Group holding from September 5-9, will pick a sector to focus on which is agriculture because “the nation needs to diversify. We shall showcase the achievements under transformation agenda”.

Also today council approved  the comprehensive underwater inspection, assessment of pilings, river bed bathymetric survey, profiling and echometric test on Third Mainland Bridge at the cost of N290, 745, 000.00.

Maku said the memo which was tabled by the Minister of Works, Mike Onolememem stated that the bridge was a vital artery on the Federal Highways network connecting Lagos mainland to the island.

According to Maku, “Following reports of oscillation and excessive vibrations of the bridge under traffic load, investigations and tests were carried out by experts on the bridge in 2008 and the reports indicated that the bridge was structurally sound but required the replacement of damaged expansion joints and bearings.

“The ministry decided that Advanced Integrity Assessment including echometric (sonic pulse) tests on piles was inevitable in order to authenticate the findings of the Nigerian Submarine Divers Limited (NSD).

“In order to save the bridge from extensive deteriorating condition, council approved the award of contract for the consultancy services for the comprehensive underwater inspection, assessment of pilings, river bed bathymetric survey, profiling and echometric test on Third Mailand Bridge in Lagos State in favour of Messrs ICECON (Nigeria) Limited in the sum of N290, 745, 000.00 only with a completion period of two months”.