FEC approves over N10.5bn for ports, Customs equipment

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The Federal Executive Council (FEC) has approved projects in two memoranda worth above N10.5 billion for the Nigerian Customs Service (NCS).

The projects, cargo scanners for the Onne and Port Harcourt ports in Rivers State and Tin Can Island Port in Lagos State, as well as 10 assorted assault and carrier boats, would ease operations duties for the Customs Service.

Disclosing these to State House Correspondents after a long-drawn FEC meeting on Wednesday, the Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Mrs. Zainab Ahmed, said the contract for the three cargo scanners, which had already been awarded at the sum of $18.12 million and N3.255 billion, foreign and local components, was a revision of an earlier approval from 2018.

She also announced the FEC’s approval for the purchase of five assault boats and five patrol boats for the Customs Service.

Minister of Works and Housing, Babatunde Fasola, informed FEC approved a memorandum for a policy on how Nigeria would be sourcing bitumen for local construction projects.

According to him, the memorandum because necessary considering the potentials inherent in locally sourcing bitumen used for roads and other projects in the country, particularly jobs generation and saving the nation’s foreign reserve.

“Essentially, that policy recommendation was approved by the council today to encourage bitumen production locally in Nigeria. This will of course help to further diversify the economy and open another sub-sector of the extractive and hydro-carbon industry for local opportunities. We see a demand of 500,000 metric tonnes of bitumen locally per annum.

“So, we encourage those who can manufacture and produce bitumen locally to tap into this demand.

‘’We see the opportunity for thousands of jobs to be created directly if this is done. And government intends to give encouragement and support to all those who take up this opportunity.

“We expect Kaduna Refinery to also raise its game by participating in this sub-sector of hydro-carbon industry.

‘’We expect that it will improve the quality of bitumen that is produced and goes into our road construction,’’ he said.

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