The Federal Executive Council (FEC) has approved N5.7 billion for the execution of two Water Supply projects in Yobe and the purchase of seeds for various crops to boost food production in the country.
Mr. Suleiman Adamu, the Minister of Water Resources [The Nation]
The Minister of Water Resources, Suleiman Adamu, and the Minister of State for Agriculture, Mustapha Shehuri, made these known when they briefed State House correspondents at the end of the Council meeting.
The virtual meeting was presided over by President Muhammadu Buhari in the Presidential Villa, Abuja, on Wednesday.
The minister of water resources said: “Council today approved a memo for the execution of two contracts for Gashua Water Supply Project Phase II in Yobe State.
“Lot ‘A’ was in the sum of N1.27 billion and Lot ‘B’ in the sum of N2.24 billion. Essentially, one lot is for extension of water supply service to Zango and Sabon Garin Lamido, consisting of boreholes, solar panels and so on.
“The other contract is for the upgrading of the existing water works, which also includes the rehabilitation of some renovated tanks and provision of portable water treatment plants, as well as a host of other ancillary facilities,” he stated.
According to Adamu, the water supply contract is for a period of 18 months, adding that it was awarded to meet the water needs of residents of Gashua, which falls within the Sahel region.
He also said that due to a recent prevalence of kidney disease in the area, government had to intervene quickly, to save lives.
On his part, the Minister of State for Agriculture, Mustapha Shehuri disclosed that Council approved N2.4 billion for the procurement of seeds for various crops to boost agricultural production in the country.
He said: “The Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural development presented two memos.
“First was a memo seeking approval for the award of contracts to agricultural institutes and research agencies for the production and distribution of seeds and seedling to farmers.
“This is at the cost of N2,164,702,006.78. The approval given will now help our research institutes to produce seeds for farmers, to aid next year’s farming season.”
The Minister also disclosed that the council approved over N1 billion for the purchase of soil test kits.
“The second memo is for an approval for the award of contract for the purchase of 1,014 soil test kits and soil laboratory analytical equipment for the National Institute of Soil Science at the coat of N278,008,581.63, and council approved,” he stated.
He expressed the hope that the two approvals would go a long way to enhance agricultural activities across the country.
Also speaking on the unveiling of the 2021-2025 National Development Plan, the Minister of State, Budget and National Planning, Clement Agba, said: “The difference with this plan is that it provides a mechanism to engage, empower, and employ our teeming energetic youth.
“The plan puts opportunities for inclusiveness for young people, women, people with special needs, and the vulnerable ones, mainstreaming women gender into all aspects of our social, economic, and political activities.
“This plan also has a financing plan to increase revenue to 15 percent of GDP. Currently, revenue to GDP is 7 percent. This plan also separates sports from youth and takes sports as a business.
“For the first time in our planning history, we have three volumes of the plan. In the past, we have always had one volume, which is the plan itself. But this time, we have three volumes. Volume One is the main plan, and that’s what will be accessible to the public.
“Volume Two is the prioritized and sequential list of programmes and projects that will be fed into the annual budgets. While Volume Three are the legislative imperatives.”
According to him, what Volume Three really seeks to cover are those laws or policies that impede the private sector from being the main driver of the economy.
“So, laws have been identified that need to be reviewed or changed. Policies have also been identified that need to be worked upon. So, Volumes Two and Three are not for the public. They are essential for government to see what it needs to do.
“Another difference between this plan and the previous plan is the issue of Integrated Rural Development. This plan takes rural development away from agriculture.
“It looks at how to bring in different levels of infrastructure to the rural areas with a view to discouraging rural-urban migration and ensuring that broadband technology gets to the rural areas, and that power supply, even if it’s an upgrade, it’s within the rural areas. And we begin to open up our rural areas,” he said.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the Council observed a minute silence in honor of former minister of Labour and Productivity, Hussain Akwanga, who passed on Dec. 17 at 77.
The Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Boss Mustapha, informed the council members of his demise shortly before the commencement of the weekly meeting and urged that a minute silence be observed in his honor.
The late Akwanga served as minister in 2003 during the administration of former President Olusegun Obasanjo.