The sum of N5.4 billion has been approved for the development of oil and gas parks and indoor shooting range for aviation security. This approval was granted by the Federal Executive Council (FEC) yesterday.
This disclosure was made by the Minister of State for Petroleum, Chief Timipre Sylva, and the Minister of Aviation, Hadi Sirika.
The Details: The Ministry of Petroleum Resources would get N3 billion for the oil and gas project while the Ministry of Aviation would receive N2.4 billion for the construction of indoor shooting range for aviation security.
Highlighting the importance of the oil and gas parks to the Niger Delta region, Minister of State for Petroleum, Chief Timipre Sylva, said the project would create more jobs and enhance the security of the region.
“Today at the council, the Ministry of Petroleum presented two memos for the establishment of oil and gas parks. Two oil and gas parks were approved; one in Akwa Ibom, and the other in Bayelsa State.
“These parks are to support the development and manufacturing of oil and gas tools. As some of you know, in some countries, service sector of the oil industry is sometimes even bigger than the oil industry itself,” he said.
On his own part, Sirika noted that the N2.4 billion would be used to build an indoor shooting range for aviation security. The essence of this movement is to ensure greater level of security at the nation’s airports.
“Today in council, two memoranda were considered for aviation. The first is the construction of indoor shooting range for aviation security. Recall some time ago, President Buhari, in conformity with the Act that established the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria, had approved that aviation security personnel should carry arms for improved security and you also recall that these aviation personnel were trained and are still receiving training and profiling and all things that will make them efficient.
“And adding to that, they need tools and equipment to play the role they ought to play to keep us safe and secure. So, a contract was awarded to Messrs Donteck. It is a Nigerian firm (working) in an association with another company called Action Targets of the United States. The total contract sum is two billion, four hundred and thirteen million, nine hundred and sixty-three thousand thirty-five naira and seventy-five kobo (N2,213,963,035.75).”
Giving a timeline for the project, Sirika said it would take two months and added that the construction was in tandem with the UN counterterrorism unit and the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) which has now gotten approval by the FEC.
Recent Developments: A total of N311.8 billion was approved by the Federal Executive Council (FEC) for the construction and rehabilitation of two link roads connecting the Second Niger Bridge in the South East and several other projects being executed.
The roads meant to be covered according to the Minister of Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola, are the Ibadan-Ilesa-Ife road, the Second Niger Bridge to Asaba and Onitsha and phase II of the Kano-Katsina highway. Apart from the money approved for the construction of roads, additional N1.833 billion was been approved by the FEC under the Tertiary Education Trust Fund (TETFUND) for programmes in the Ministry of Education.
FG discusses nation’s carrier, Nigeria Air with US Ambassador
The FG has held a discussion with the US government over the establishment of a national carrier for Nigeria.
The federal government has held a discussion with the government of the United States of America over the establishment of a national carrier for Nigeria.
This was disclosed by the Minister of Aviation, Hadi Sirika via his Twitter handle after he held a discussion with the Ambassador at the United States Embassy in Abuja.
He tweeted, “We took the opportunity to discuss investments and opportunities in the aviation sector, including national carrier. The partnership looks promising. USA is the only country we have open skies with. Thanks, Ambassador Mary and the team.”
What you should know
In July 2018, the Federal Government unveiled the branding and livery for the new airline, Nigeria Air, and stated that the carrier would be inaugurated at the end of that year.
Sirika unveiled the carrier at a press conference during the Farnborough Air Show in London that year.
“I am very pleased to tell you that we are finally on track to launching a new national flag carrier for our country, Nigeria Air. We are all fully committed to fulfilling the campaign promise made by our President, Muhammadu Buhari, in 2015. We are aiming to launch Nigeria Air by the end of this year,” the minister had said.
He also stated that the government had obtained the Certificate of Compliance from the Nigerian Infrastructure Concession Regulatory Commission and would go into investor search.
SERAP asks Buhari to probe N39.5 billion duplicated, mysterious projects
SERAP has asked President Muhammadu Buhari to probe the reported N39.5 billion duplicated and mysterious projects inserted in the 2021 budget.
Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) has asked President Muhammadu Buhari to probe the reported N39.5 billion duplicated and mysterious projects inserted in the 2021 budget.
This is to know if public funds have been diverted in the guise of implementing the projects and prosecute those allegedly involved including those from the executive and the National Assembly.
The request from SERAP follows a report from BudgiT last week, where they alleged that there are 316 duplicated capital projects worth N139.5 billion in the 2021 budget.
This disclosure is contained in a public statement issued by SERAP on Sunday, May 9, 2021, and can be seen on its website.
SERAP said that the investigation of the alleged duplicated and mysterious projects, which are part of the 2021 appropriation bill of N13.588 trillion, should establish whether public funds have been mismanaged, diverted or stolen in the guise of implementing these projects.
What SERAP is saying in its letter
In the letter dated 8th May 2021 and signed by SERAP, Deputy Director, Kolawole Oluwadare said: “The misallocation of public funds for duplicated and mysterious projects has seriously undermined the ability of the indicted MDAs, and the government to ensure respect for Nigerians’ human rights through developing and implementing well-thought-out policies, plans, and budgets.”
The letter from SERAP partly reads, “BudgIT had in a report last week stated that there are 316 duplicated capital projects worth N39.5 billion in the 2021 budget. The duplicated and mysterious projects are contained in the 2021 appropriation bill of N13.588 trillion signed into law in December 2020.”
These damning revelations suggest a grave violation of the public trust, and Nigerians’ rights to education, health, water, sanitation, and clean and satisfactory environment because the indicted MDAs have misallocated public funds at the expense of the people’s access to basic public services, and enjoyment of rights.”
SERAP urges you to ask the heads of the MDAs involved to explain why they allegedly failed to ensure strict compliance with constitutional and international standards of transparency and accountability in the preparation, processes and decisions on their budgets, and to return any misallocated public funds to the public treasury.”
Investigating and prosecuting any allegations of mismanagement, diversion and stealing of public funds budgeted for the 316 duplicated and mysterious projects would allow your government to use the budget to effectively promote Nigerians’ access to essential public goods and services.”
Publishing the ‘implementation status’ of the duplicated and mysterious projects would allow Nigerians to hold their government to account in the spending of public funds. This is particularly true for marginalized and excluded groups, such as people living in poverty, women, children, and persons with disabilities, as the budget has a disproportionate impact on their welfare.”
We would be grateful if the recommended measures are taken within 14 days of the receipt and/or publication of this letter. If we have not heard from you by then, the Incorporated Trustees of SERAP shall take all appropriate legal actions to compel your government to comply with our request in the public interest.”
SERAP also urges you to direct Mrs Zainab Ahmed, Minister of Finance Budget and National Planning to publish full details of current ‘implementation status’ of the duplicated and mysterious projects, and any spending on the projects to date, including the 115 projects inserted in the budget of the Ministry of Health; the 23 projects inserted in the budget of the Ministry of Education, and 10 projects inserted in the budget of the Ministry of Water Resources.
The following ministries are reportedly involved in the duplicated and mysterious projects: Ministry of Health with 115 projects; Ministry of Information and Culture with 40 projects; Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development with 25 projects; Ministry of Education with 23 projects; Ministry of Transportation with 17 projects; and Ministry of Science and Technology with 17 projects.”
Others are the Ministry of Environment with 13 projects; Ministry of Power with 11 projects; Ministry of Labour and Employment with 11 projects, and Ministry of Water Resources with 10 projects.”
The letter was copied to Mr Malami; Professor Bolaji Owasanoye, Chairman Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC); Mr Abdulrasheed Bawa, Chairman, Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC); and Mrs Ahmed, the Finance Minister.
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