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FG approves N2.7bn for water hyacinth clearing equipment …adopts National Policy on Child Labour

By The Citizen
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The Federal Executive Council (FEC), Wednesday approved the procurement of one Water weeds Clearing Multi-purpose Equipment, at the sum of N278,122,527.53, inclusive of all taxes, made up of $1,321,020.89 payment, plus N73,694,544.80 with a completion of 240 days.

Minister of Transport, Sen Idris Umar said the project was part of planned Programme for improving the safety of navigational channel by clearing of water hyacinth/other aquatic weeds along the Nigerian rivers and inland waterways, is also expected to increase economic activities within the riverine areas and prevent boats mishaps.

He said the project will create job opportunities for 15 skilled and nine unskilled Nigerians during its execution.

Council also adopted a draft policy on Child Labour to address the challenges of over six million Nigerian children involved in hazardous child labour.

Minister of Labour and Productivity, Emeka Wogu disclosed this to State House correspondents at the end of the Council meeting presided over by President Goodluck Jonathan.

He said the draft policy was presented to Council by his Ministry to address the prevalence child labour which undermines national development and provides a reservoir of children for easy recruitment into violent act.

According to him the Policy which was adopted for implementation, was developed through a wide consultative process involving all relevant sectors of the economy.

He said the sectors included, governments, labour union, employers' associations, civil society and faith based groups.

“The  National Policy on Child Labour will provide the needed coordinated and comprehensive framework for multi-sectoral action against the worst forms of child labour in Nigeria,'' he said

The Council also approved the ratification of the Constitution and Cooperation Agreement establishing the West African Science Service Centre on Climate Change and Adapted Land Use (WASCAL), presented by former Minister of Environment, Hajia Hadiza Mailafia, before she was relieved of duties as minister.

The Minister of Information, Labaran Maku, said WASCAL is a German Government initiative for pursuit of research on climate change and sustainable land management.

He said the WASCAL works in partnership with local experts and institutions in Africa.

Maku disclosed that the Federal Universities of Technology, Akure and Minna were selected as competent centres to run Ph.d and Ms.c programme respectively under the initiative.

He said WASCAL has entered implementation phase following the signing of the cooperation Agreement and WASCAL constitution by the concerned ministers.

“Because Nigeria stands to benefit scientifically and socio-economically, in the WASCAL programme, Council approves that Nigeria ratifies the cooperation Agreement and the Constitution establishing WASCAL.

“The Council directed that other necessary processes be initiated by the Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice towards the ratification of this Treaty and its domestication,'' Maku said.

Minister of Transport, Umar also said Council approved the establishment of Command Control Communication and Intelligence Centre for Sea Ports at the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA).

He said Council approved the project at the cost of N2,397 billion with a completion period of 14 months.

Umar said the project would help in providing a secure environment for ports operations within the Nigerian territorial waters and in curtailing threat of terrorist activity in the ports.

He said the project will also create a total of 145 job opportunities including 33 professionals and 77 non- professionals during its execution and 35 more job opportunities as the project progressed.