The Federal Executive Council (FEC), on Wednesday approved a N1.47 billion (470 million US Dollars) contract for the expansion of water supply programme in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).
The FCT Minister, Mr Mohammed Bello, who announced this to State House correspondents, said that another N186 million was approved for the purchase of 1,000 tons of Alum by the FCT Water Board.
According to Bello, FEC also approved a memo from the FCT for the extension by 24 months of the maintenance contract for the Wupa water treatment plant including training of workers.
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“The first one is the approval for the award of contract for the construction of the Greater Abuja Water Supply Project at a total cost of 470 million dollars.
“This is a very important project for the residents of the city because it aims to provide portable water supply to a greater part of the city and it tends to leverage on the existing facilities that we have in the city.
“That is the Lower Usman Dam as well as the water treatment plant for the city which is reputed to be one of the largest in the African continent.
“As you know, water supply to the city based on the master plan has not been able to extend to other phases of the city.
“And the intention of this project, which is being funded by the China Export Import (EXIM) Bank, is to provide water to what we call loops 1, 2, 5 and 6.
“The overall master plan for the city has 10 loops, already loops 3 and 4 are currently operational providing water to Garki, Wuse, Maitama, Asokoro and the Central Business District.’’
Mohammed said that the alum contract was given to an indigenous manufacturer to support local content.
The minister said that the Wupa plant programme was to prepare for an exit plan to enable Nigerian professionals to take over the maintenance of the project from foreign contractors.
Also the Minister of Budget and National Planning, Mr Udoma Udo Udoma, said he informed FEC of the recently released country’s economic performance report by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS).
Udoma said the report that covered the fourth quarter of 2016 and also the entire 2016 showed improvement in economic recovery.
He said that he also briefed FEC on the release of the Economic Recovery and Growth Plan. According to him, the result of the NBC report is better than what many people, including the IMF, projected.
“We are not yet out of the woods but our plan is to get out of recession by the end of this year,’’ he said.
The minister said that the administration was expecting the quick passage of the 2017 budget to fast track economic recovery.
He said government is funding `agriculture, solid minerals and infrastructure development to return growth, invest in the people and build competitiveness of the economy.
“We are determined by the end of the (economic) plan to move from the negative growth that we experienced in 2016 to a growth rate of seven per cent by 2020,’’ Udoma said.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that FEC members also marked Osinbajo’s 60th birthday with Agriculture Minister Audu Ogbeh describing the celebrant as a hardworking and transparent leader.