By Bolaji Ogundele, Abuja
The Federal Executive Council (FEC) on Wednesday approved a total of N5.49 billion for revised costing of federal secretariat projects in five states and a dam project in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Abuja.
This was disclosed to State House Correspondents at the close of the week’s FEC meeting, presided over by President Muhammadu Buhari in Abuja Tuesday, by the ministers who presented the memoranda for the variation; Minister of Works and Housing, Mr Babatunde Fashola; Minister for the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Mohammed Bello; and the Minister of Information and Culture Alhaji Lai Mohammed.
Speaking on his Ministry’s presentation, Minister of Works and Housing, Fashola, said he sought an approval for a the revision of contract sum for the completion of federal secretariats in fives states, where federal officials had not been properly accommodated.
According to him, the a revision of up to N3.975 billion was necessitated for the projects, which had been approved since 2011, explaining the costs for execution of the projects had since gone up over the years. He said the revision was approved.
“What we have is a memo on the public housing side of our ministry. We applied to Council to revise the estimates and total cost of files of 16 contracts because the cost of materials had altered significantly since 2011 when these projects started and we want to complete them and these are the federal secretariat projects in Anambra, Bayelsa, Nasarawa, Osun and Zamfara states.
“The variation was for N3.975 billion total for all the five. They are handled by different contractors, but each one wanted a variation and the total sum of variation came to N3.975 billion and we sought Council’s approval and the approval was granted so the old contract price of N13,565,621,307 has now been increased to N17,541,456,168.
“These secretariats are necessary to enable us house federal workers in these states. The problem arose from the creation of new states, in assets sharing some of the old states took the whole secretariats, so our staff in those states, across all federal ministries, are either in rented official premises for their work or squatting in state government premises.
“For example, my ministry has controllers in all the 36 states; Controllers for Works, Controllers for Housing. These are some of the people, apart from other ministries who have staff in those states.
“Council approved this variation and the intention is to enable us complete the projects. You might recall I briefed you some time last year about an approval for the award for the furniture, so all the furniture has been complete, they are in the warehouse, so it’s just for us to complete the buildings now and install them”, he explained.
Also speaking at the briefing, the Minister for FCT, Bello, said the Council approved a sum of N1.510 billion for the rehabilitation of Lower Usuma Dam Water Treatment Plant Phase Two in the FCT.
According to the Minister, the scope of the rehabilitation work would cover the repair and replacement of some critical components of the plant, adding that the rehabilitation work had been long over due, having worked for over 30 years.
“In the meeting of today, the Council approved a very important infrastructure project for the city of Abuja. And that project is the rehabilitation of Lower Usuma Dam Water Treatment Plant Phase Two at the sum of N1,510,206,066. And the contract was awarded to a company calls Cupero Nigeria Ltd with a completion period of 12 months.
“The contract was originally awarded at N1,017,979,566, the additional sum of N1,510,206,066 approved by FEC, brings the total contract sum to
“The scope of work entails general rehabilitation, repairs of and replacement of electro-mechanical components and laboratory restoration, rehabilitation of chemical and chlorine buildings, and general civil engineering work.
“As you know, water treatment plant is a very important infrastructure project. The contract is to rehabilitate that treatment plant, which has been in operation for about 30 years and it fills into Mr President’s agenda of providing needed infrastructure and rehabilitating already existing infrastructure.
“By the time it is done, the Water Treatment Plant will continue to provide service to residents of Federal Capital city of Abuja for may be another 30 years to come,” he said.