FEC approves N1.3bn for Abuja Cultural Zone infrastructure


The Federal Executive Council (FEC) on Wednesday approved N1.3 billion for the provision of infrastructure in the Abuja Cultural Zone.

The Federal Capital Territory (FCT) Minister, Mohammed Bello, disclosed this at the end of the FEC meeting presided by President Muhammadu Buhari at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.

According to Bello, the Cultural Zone of Abuja comprises the area where Yar’Adua Centre is located, the road that leads through the Petroleum Technology Development Fund (PTDF) building, the African Development Bank (AFDB) and the Silver Bird Galleria.

“The approval of award of contract for the provision of infrastructure to the Cultural Zone of Abuja is at the contract sum of N1.3 billion with a completion period of nine months.

“If you notice, it is just one entry; one exit; the Master plan actually allows for a network of roads within that area.

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“The whole idea is to make is easy for residents to move around into the Cultural Zone and out of the Cultural Zone; and it is a very important part of the city especially for the cultural aspect.’’

Bello said that contract was also awarded for the rehabilitation of 12.6 kilometres of road from the junction at Gwagwalada on the Abuja-Lokoja A1 Expressway.

He said the contract for the road, which would pass through Gwagwalada Specialist Hospital, was for N1.3 billion with completion period of eight months.

The minister said that the third contract was for the reconstruction of access road leading to Lower Usuma Dam in the sum of N1.26 billion.

“The Lower Usuma Dam is the Dam that provides portable water to the residents of Abuja and surrounding satellite towns.

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“The first contract is at Gwagwalada and this one is at Usuma –all key in with the administration’s policy of twin development— developing the city centre itself and then the surrounding satellite towns so as to replicate good quality infrastructure in the satellite towns.

“The contract is at the sum of N1.26 billion with a completion period of six months. Just for the purpose of context, that particular road was constructed way back in 1986,’’ he said.

On his part, the Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi, said that there was a memo for approval for an amendment to earlier approval.

He said that there was an initial approval for 8.7 billion dollars for Ibadan to Kano railway beginning from Ibadan to Oshogbo; Oshogbo to Minna; Minna to Abuja; Minna to Kaduna; Kaduna to Kano.

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“What we sought was a variation because the financing authority wanted to fund just 5.7 billion dollars and we needed approval to now re-negotiate the remainder as commercial loan and that approval was given.

He said that the president also approved that Oshogbo to Ekiti railway should be part of the project.

“You know it was not there earlier; even though we had promised to do it.

“So, the approval was given today in the cabinet for that to be done; that will cost us a total of 500 million dollars,’’ he said.

Amaechi said that N474.4 million was also approved for the purchase of 23 optional vehicles for Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA); two Toyota Hiace buses and 21 Toyota Hilux pickups.

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