In a bid to improve power supply, the federal government yesterday approved $1 billion Chinese loan from Chinese EXIM Bank for the Gurara II Hydropower project which has the capacity to generate 360 megawatts electricity.
Minister of Water Resources, Suleiman Adamu disclosed this to State House correspondents after the federal executive meeting (FEC) presided over by President Muhammadu Buhari at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.
According to him, the council also approved N5.7 billion revised total estimated cost for the completion of Nkari dam in Akwa Ibom.
He further explained that council also approved the appointment of consultants to resuscitate the Gari Irrigation Project in Kano/Jigawa states.
Adamu, who said council had in 2017 approved for the resumption of the project which was earlier abandoned for 17 years, added that the consultant is the same appointed in 1998.
He also added that council also approved the revised estimated total cost of N10.4 billion for the completion of Ile Ife Dam in Osun State. The project was started in 2004 and abandoned.
The completion period is 24 months. During his briefing, Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Babtunde Raji Fashola said the council approved N7.197 billion for the construction of an inter-change and pedestrian bridge at Abaji in Abuja to address the perennial problem of accidents.
He also added that N11.208 billion was approved for the procurement of 200,2017 meters by Yola Electricity Distribution Company Under the Meter Asset Providers Scheme.
He said “as you might know,Yola Electricity Distribution Company is the DISCO that was surrendered to by the original holder. So it’s under the Federal Government’s management.
So they are buying 200,217 meters for consumers under their franchise which covers Adamawa, Borno, Taraba and Yobe states. “The cost of those meters is N11.208 billion. It is to be funded from the judgement sum that I previously briefed you about two years ago that council approved a compromise from an old meter’s supply dispute since 2003.
So that money is in a bank, it has been there, so that is where these meters would be funded from and as consumers pay back the meters as they are supplied, the money goes back into that account,” Fashola said.
On his part, minister of Agriculture , Audu Ogbe disclosed that N9. 47 billion was approved for the purchase of grains to reinforce the grains reserve.
According to him, everywhere in the world Silos are owned by government into which they purchase grains at the end of harvest noting that the average is usually between two and three percent of all grains grown.
He explained, “In this case we have got approval to buy sixty one thousand tons of maize, millet and Sogum and the purchasing will begin shortly. “We also informed council of the problem we have with Nigeria grains especially maize, sesiny and groundnut.
An infestation called aflatoxin which the Minister of Health confirmed is a very big threat to the liver and the kidney of most consumers.
“Luckily, IITA has found a product which they produce in large quantities which they now send to Africa for treating the farms, the Silos and the sacks in which we put the grains to eliminate aflatoxin. “The product which they produce is called afflasafe.
e buy the grains, treat the Silos and store the grains in Silos so that if there is emergency anywhere in the country, or there is a shortage, a flood and there is no food, we can draw from what we have in the Silos and distribute to the needy areas in the country. The cost is N9. 47 billion.
“We are purchasing grains grown in the last season. First of all at the time of harvest usually around November, December, January. Most of the grains we have in this country are not dry enough.
If you buy and put them in poly bags or dump them in Silos, it begins to gather moles and moles are source of cancer.
“We have pressure from some companies which operate in this country that we should allow them to import maize on the grounds that our maize are not of good quality and we said no you must buy local maize, because we are dealing with the challenge of afterthought.
“Because there is still the tendency to prefer to import what we produce and the policy of this government is let’s use what we produce and save our foreign exchange which is why in the last three and half years we have saved $21 billion on import,” he stated.