Thursday, July 19, 2012

Nigerian government signs $1.49 billion construction deal with China

The Federal Government yesterday disclosed that it had signed a $1.49 billion contract with China for the construction of the Lagos-Ibadan Standard Gauge Rail Double Track.

The rail line with Double Formation under Addendum No. 2 (2nd segment) is for the modernisation of the Lagos-Kano railway project.

It also approved other contracts covering the transport, power and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).

Briefing journalists in company of his colleagues after the Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting in Abuja, the Minister of the Federal Capital Territory, Bala Mohammed, Trade and Investment, Olusegun Aganga, Transport, Idris Umar, Power, Bart Nnaji, and Urban and Housing Development, Ama Pepple, the Minister of Information, Labaran Maku, said council approved contracts including the implementation of Addendum No. 2 (2nd segment: Lagos-Ibadan to the main contract for the railway modernisation project (Phase 1; Lagos-Kano).

Messrs China Civil Engineering Construction Company Nig Ltd which clinched the job, is expected to complete the project in 36 months.

The variation of the scope of work for the contract for design and construction of Abuja Rail Mass Transit Project (Lots 1&3) from the initial work span of 60.67km to 45.245km (Lots 1A &3) upped the amount payable from $841,645,898.00 to $823,540,545.87 payable at the prevailing exchange rate inclusive of 5 per cent VAT and 5 per cent variation on prices.

"The contract is in favour of Messrs China Civil Engineering and Construction Corporation (CCECC), with a completion period of 36 months", Maku said.

On power: Council, in line with accepted best practices in the operation and maintenance of hydropower plants, approved the supply and installation of parts for the 2 x 140MW units 411G3 Generators at Shiroro Hydroelectric Plc, in favour of Messrs AsNDRITZ Hydro GmbH, in the sum of €2,075,754.00.

This is in addition to the N13,326340.68 to be retained by Shiroro Hydroelectric Plc to cover one per cent CISS fees and two per cent Port and Handling charges, with a completion period of eight months.

Council also approved the restoration of four Plant units and balance of plant at Omotosho Power Plc in favour of China Machinery and Engineering Corporation in the sum of USD 10,092,771.15 payable at the prevailing exchange rate at the time of payment, plus N78,753,893.30 for 5 per cent VAT with a completion period of 6 months.

On investment, Aganga said Nigeria has improved in the FDI attraction index to 23rd position making it a first quarter country for FDI attractiveness.

Nigeria is ranked first in the top five host economies for FDI in Africa at $8.91 billion in 2011 in comparision to $6.09billion in 2010, followed by South Africa with $5.9 billion in 2011 and Ghana with $3.2 billion.

Nigeria accounted for over one-sixth of flows into Africa as a whole. Only Nigeria, South Africa and Ghana attracted FDI inflows above $3 billion in 2011.

Meanwhile, Nigeria makes the final list of Common Wealth Association of Public Admnistration and Management (CAPAM). It is the first time Nigeria is partiparting in the international innovations award.

The Ministry of Health made a summation on their midwives services scheme. The scheme is meant to address one of the goals of the MDGs that has to do with the reduction of maternal and infant mortality.

It is a federal government programme by the ministry of health that employs qualified midwives, some of them retired and newly qualified ones.

"So far they have employed 4000 midwives and they are meant to work only in the primary health care centers. They are deployed to states and federal government pays their salaries while the states provide accommodation and transportation to enable them do their work. So far the 4000 midwives have been sent to 1000 primary healthcare centers across the country. Ministry of health submitted this scheme for the innovation award, there were 111 submissions from nine countries, we made it to the semi final of 40 submissions and now the scheme is among the twelve finalists who will make a presentation at his yeas biannual in India.

"The Minister of Health has assured that they will work hard to ensure that they win the award. It is the first time we tried and we are among the finalists", says Pepple who has been representing Nigeria on the board of CAPAM since her days as the Head of Service of the Federation.

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