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Nigeria Approves Construction of Costal Roads From Lagos To Calabar, Trans-Sahara Route From Enugu To Cameroun

The Federal Executive Council also okayed N2.1trn supplementary budget for 2023.

Nigeria’s Federal Executive Council (FEC) rose from its weekly meeting presided over by President Bola Tinubu at the State House, Abuja, with an approval to construct coastal roads from Lagos to Calabar, as well as roads on trans-sahara route from Enugu to Cameroun.

Speaking after deliberations on Monday, Minister of Works, David Umahi disclosed that he presented a memo to the council for approval, on the coastal roads running from Lagos to Port Harcourt to Cross River.

He also stated that the harvest roads to the Trans-Sahara route, which he said runs from Enugu – Abakaliki – Ogoja down to Cameroon, another road project under Phase 2 as well as the Badagry to Sokoto were all approved for financing.

“So, it was approved to be into finance in a model of EPC + F that’s engineering, procurement, construction and then Financing, and so counsel deliberated and approved and then directed the Minister of Finance to expedite action on its own part”, Umahi further said

The council also approved the sum of N2, 176,, 791,286, 033 as 2023 supplementary budget proposal for Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) of government.

Addressing newsmen after the FEC meeting, Minister of Budget and Economic Planning, Atiku Bagudu, said the supplementary budget estimates  to be sent to the National Assembly for passage made provisions for defence ministry, cash transfer to Nigerians and wage awards to civil servants, among others.

According to him: “The council considered a request for supplementary appropriation which is a second for 2023 and guide graciously approve the sum of N2,176,791,286,033 as supplementary budget and this supplementary budget is to fund urgent issues including 

N605 billion for national defense and security. This is to sustain the gains made in security and to accelerate and these are funds that are needed by the security agencies before the year runs out. 

“Equally a sum of N300 billion  was provided to repair bridges including Eko and Third Mainland bridges as well as construction, rehabilitation and maintenance of many roads nationwide before the return of the rainy season. 

“Equally, the sum of N200bn was provisioned for seed, agricultural input, supplies and agricultural implements and infrastructure in order to support expansion of production. 

“Equally the sum of N210 billion is provided for the payment of Wage Awards. In negotiation with the Nigeria Labour Congress, the federal government agreed to pay N35,000 each to about 1.5 million employees of the federal government and that amounts from September, October, November and December 2023. And that amounts to about N210 billion which has been approved and also N400 billion as Cash Transfer payments. 

“You may recall that the federal government secured $800 million loan from the World Bank to pay Cash Transfers of N25,000 to 15 million households. The $800 million is for two months, October and November. The President graciously approved that an additional month should be funded by the federal government and that is what this N100 billion is for. 

“Equally, N100 billion has been provided for the Federal Capital Territory in order to support them in urgent and immediate capital expenditure works that can enhance the infrastructure in the city. 

“Equally N18 billion was provided for the Independent National Electoral Commission to support them in the conduct in the Bayelsa, Kogi and Imo elections.

“The sum N5.5billion naira was provided for the funding of the takeover of the Student Loans Board as well as N8billion for the take-off grant of new ministries. Equally a sum of N200billion was provided as capital supplementation to deal with urgent requests that have been made to Mr. President from various parts of the country.”

FEC also approved N5.9 billion for the construction of access roads for the Abuja light rail system.

Minister of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Nyesom Wike, told reporters that the President has set a timeline for the completion of the Abuja light rail project, emphasizing the importance of addressing the roads that connect to the railway.

He said: “Today, council approved the ward of contract the construction of access roads for the Abuja light rail. We are aware that Mr. President has given a directive that very soon he would want to ride on the right rail. Now that would not be possible if there are no access roads for commuters in communities around. 

“Last week, council approved for a lot 3 but this was has to do with Lot 4. Lot 4 has to do with communities around the airport. If we don’t create access road it will be difficult. And so approved to Messers CCPCC at the cost of N5.5 billion”.

The federal government also received a total application of over 550,000 from across the country for the first batch of its three million technical talent pool program.

Minister of Communication and Digital Economy, Dr Bosun Tijani, who disclosed this at post-FEC briefing also said  the federal government is collaborating with states such as Cross River, Kwara and Ogun States , seeking ways to explore the possibility of sharing infrastructure to facilitate the delivery of the training program to the applicants.

He applauded the broad distribution of applications saying it is a significant reason for government’s enthusiasm about the program.

The Minister further explained that in President Tinubu’s administration, technology has become a significant component in the way the country fulfills its responsibilities and transforms public services., however, the effective utilization of technology requires a skilled workforce to drive it.

He added that to harness technology’s full potential for Nigeria, the country needs a highly capable workforce that can support its aspirations.

According to him: “As part of that agenda, if you’ve been following you will notice we’ve started a new project that we call the three million technical talent. This is a programme where we aim over the next four years to train three million technical talents but also find sustainable ways to put them into jobs. This programme was announced two weeks ago. 

“We’re happy to announce that while we were targeting just 30,000 for the first batch, we’ve actually received an application of over 550,000 applications from across the country. I think the spread in the application is also why we’re extremely excited about this programme”.

Tijani further noted that the global trend is increasingly embracing technology, and there is a worldwide shortage of talent in the field.

His words: “We all know that technology under this government is becoming a major part of how we do things, how we reposition public services, but you can’t really leverage technology if you don’t have the talents to drive it. So for technology to truly work for Nigeria we need a very deep workforce that can power our ambition, but the beauty also is that the world generally is adopting technology and there’s shortage of people and talent globally for this.

“So we’ve been in deep conversations with state governors and different partner organizations. An announcement was made last week where IHS one of the local infrastructure companies committed N1 billion towards the programme. 

“We’ve been to states like Cross River State, we’ve been engaging states like Kwara state, Ogun state, where we’re looking to share some of the infrastructure in the process of being able to deliver this training programme to this applicant. I think one thing that is important to note with why we’re doing this is not just another training.

“So we’re looking at this programme as not only providing an opportunity for us to build our workforce locally, but to also become a net exporter of talent, we would like our young people who are technologically savvy to be able to work remotely for companies all over the world. And this is why we believe that this programme is going to become a key game changer in the coming years. The Minister added.


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