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FEC approves N39.7bn for road maintenance, erosion control

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The Federal Executive Council Wednesday approved  N39.7 billion for road maintenance and award of contract for erosion/flood and pollution control accelerated intervention projects.

This was disclosed at the end of the virtual FEC meeting presided over by President Muhammadu Buhari at the Council Chamber, Presidential Villa, Abuja.

While N20.925 billion is for road repairs and maintenance, N17.75 billion is for erosion/flood and pollution control projects.

Minister of Works and Housing, Mr. Babatunde Fashola, who briefed state house correspondents, said, “The memorandum we presented today was on behalf of FERMA (Federal Emergency Road Management Agency). FERMA is the parastatal of the Ministry of Works and Housing responsible for maintenance of federal roads.

“During the meetings of the Economic Sustainability Committee set up to manage the impact of COVID-19, one of the responsibilities of FERMA is to execute extensive labour works on road repairs and the budget of 2020 was then amended to deal with COVID impact.

“As a result of that, FERMA then had a total of 191 road repairs, road rehabilitation, road intervention projects nationwide. Ninety-two of those projects have been awarded by FERMA at its threshold level. 89 of them have been approved by the ministry at the ministerial tenders board threshold level.

“So, all of those projects are now being issued letters of award, mobilization, and others. Now, there are 10 that require to come to Federal Executive Council because of their financial threshold level. “Out of those 10 projects, three were presented today. So, those three presented and approved by council today was for Gasamu-Hamshi-Gogoram road in Yobe State for N14.528billion to MotherCat, the link road connecting Uneme-Tusamu-Odoga to Okpekpe in Etsako East Local Government Area of Edo State for N991.851million, and Mamabu Donga Local Government Area road in Taraba South Local Government Area of Taraba State to Wishchina Engineering Limited for N6.397 billion.

“These are the late third quarter, early fourth quarter interventions to respond to the Covid-19 impact on the economy. This will tell you some of the things the Minister of Finance was saying that the Economic Sustainability Plan implementation is what will take us out of recession.

“So, you see efforts to do that and so many other departments doing different things. This is our responsibility.”

Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Chief Femi Adesina, said, “FEC gave approval for the award of contracts for emergency procurement of first and second quarters 2020 soil erosion/flood and pollution control accelerated intervention projects in favour of various contractors in the sum of N17.754,717,234.41 inclusive of 7.5 per cent VAT with various completion/delivery periods.

The contracts are the gully erosion and control contract along Ndam/Agbor road, Nnobi and Alor towns in Idemili/South Local Government Area, Phase two, Anambra State (to Telesis Limited) N.495,878,764 with the completion date of 18 months The erosion and flood menace beside Yem Kem House along Oye-Ifaki road, Oye Local Government Area of Ekiti State awarded to Strabic Construction Ltd at the cost of N792,311,211.11) with completion of nine months The Somolu/Bariga Local Government Area, Akoka/Ilaje community, Akoka-Lagos flood, and erosion control project, Lagos State was awarded to Partibon Services Ltd at the cost of N1.786,146,630.98 and 10 months completion.

Others are “gully erosion control at Egbo-Ideh community, Ugheli South LGA, Delta State (Harris & Dome Nigeria Ltd.) N1,328,306,924.00 – 24 months “Gully erosion control and road improvement work in Darazo LGA, Bauchi State (Powerhill Construction Ltd.) N3,897,577,627.79 – 24 months “Gully erosion control works at Ladanal community, Nasarawa LGA, Kano State (U.Y.K. Nigeria Ltd.) N1,337,681,584.69 – eight-month.

“Devastating effect of gully erosion in Gboko township, Benue State (Gaffar Worldwide Resources Ltd.) N1.503,970.714.83 – 12 months “Erosion and flood control works in Wase and Bashar towns, Wase LGA, Plateau State (Global Legend Integrated Concept Ltd.) N1,687,162,328.95 – 14 months.

“Gully erosion control and road improvement work along Plot 1398, off Kainji Crescent and Katampe Extension, FCT, Abuja (IMB Corporate Synergy Ltd.) N555,569,610.76 – six months.

“Soil erosion, River channelisation and slope protection within Maitama District (Phase II, FCT, Abuja (Masarki Nigeria Ltd.) N1,887,495,486.63 – 12 months “Supply and installation of 12 on site flameless/smell-less incinerator (50kg) for the national blood transfusion centres in some federal medical centres and teaching hospitals (Black Wheel Multi-Links Ltd.) N823.677,900.00 – six months.”

Adesina said that a contract for the supply and installation of six containerised incinerators (250kg) for the National Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) one in each geo-political zone was awarded. It is a six-month project costing N658,938,450.00.

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NAJA opens nomination for Nigeria’s car of the year

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As business activities get reactivated after the devastating effects of COVID-19, the race for Nigeria’s car-of-the-year event has commenced, the Nigeria Auto Journalists Association has said.

NAJA has announced that this year’s edition of the NAJA Awards will hold on Thursday December 9, 2021 at the Eko Hotels and Towers, Victoria Island, Lagos.

According to a statement by the Chairman, 2021 NAJA Awards Planning Committee, Theodore Opara, like the previous editions, the 2021 edition will celebrate and reward excellence in the Nigerian automotive industry in the outgoing year.

He said like the previous editions, the highpoints of the 2021 awards ceremony would be the car-of-the-year category.

Apart from the car of the year, he said, “Other segments of the awards are luxury car of the year, heavy duty truck of the year, auto plant of the year, CEO of the year, auto personality of the year, CSR company of the year, pick-up of the year, showroom of the year and many others.”

Opara said his committee comprising highly respected individuals in the motoring journalism had drawn out all the categories in the awards, and presently compiling nominations in the various categories.

“Industry experts are expected to decide the nominees based through a scoring system that will test vehicles’ strength, weaknesses and popularity against other contenders in same category,” he said.

Opara also said members of the committee would pay close attention to worldwide competition trends and take advice from industry experts in arriving at nominations and decoding eventual winners.

He said, “In this year’s edition, there’ll also be a special honour for Chief Michael Ade-Ojo, Chairman of Toyota Nigeria Limited and some other industry giants for their immense contributions to the development of Nigeria’s auto industry.”

Chairman of NAJA, Mike Ochonma, said the 2021 edition would provide an avenue to recognise corporate stakeholder organisations and other automotive products and ancillary products such as tyre brands and individuals that had made exceptional contributions to the country’s auto industry within the year.

According to him, NAJA uses its members’ combined influence to inform the automotive public of new products, market developments, and technology and road safety.

“We’re committed to remaining a valued, professional body for the motor content creators of today and the future of mobility multi-media tomorrow,” he stated.

 

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Eco Bus, Power Gas set to provide CNG stations in Nigeria

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Eco Bus maker and Power Gas have opened discussions on the plan to provide sufficient auto gas filling stations in Nigerian cities where compressed natural gas-powered vehicles can be re-fueled, and will be put to good use.

This is sequel to a recent introduction of the eco-friendly vehicles into the Nigerian market by Austrian Technologies Nigeria, an initiative expected to significantly reduce carbon emissions from vehicles with its attendant hazards to human health.

Director, Sales and Strategy at Powergas Nigeria, Sumeet Singh, said the firm was already talking with Austrian Technologies Nigeria on the auto-gas issue and how to ensure easy access of the CNG by the operators of the Natural Gas-powered Vehicles (NGVs).

According to him, there is the option of entering into an arrangement with managements and operators of the existing filling stations in the country currently dispensing petrol and other petroleum products to provide standard spaces for installation of the CNG facility.

He said, “Getting the auto-gas stations in a ready state could be achieved within six-nine months (or earlier, if not for the Global Supply-Chain challenges), which is about the same period it will take to deliver the Eco-Green Buses by automaker after getting firm orders from the stakeholders.”

Singh, who said his firm had about 50 gas-powered trucks currently operating in Nigeria, added that they would be willing to build and partner for provision of the CNG stations.

According to him, the CNG as an auto fuel is 50 per cent cheaper than alternate fuels (such as diesel), and with the current global price volatility of the liquid fuels, domestic Nigerian natural gas is one of the best tools for Nigeria to combat inflation and rising prices.”

Chief Executive Officer of Austrian Technologies Nigeria Limited, Mr Johann Rieger, had while announcing the introduction of the eco-friendly vehicles said the buses were built with European Standards for critical climate and infrastructure, while being considerate towards price sensitivity of developing nations like Nigeria.

Last week, Director General of the National Automotive Design and Development Council, Jelani Aliyu, also said Nigeria would leverage natural gas resources to drive the nation’s automotive wheels.

Aliyu, who spoke at a national awareness campaign/workshop on safety and benefits of gas-powered vehicles in Nigeria, stressed the need to embrace the eco-friendly automotive initiative, noting that Nigeria could not afford to be left out in the viable global auto gas initiative.

He described the global automotive industry as “a horse race that is technically advanced that only countries with adequate utilization of natural and human resources can fully participate and have a head start in the race.”

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Automakers begin lobby for Presidency’s N1.6bn new vehicles

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Automakers and dealers have commenced a high level of lobby for juicy contracts of vehicle supply to the Presidency and other agencies of government in the 2022 fiscal year.

Already, President Muhammadu Buhari has presented the next year budget to the National Assembly put at N16.39tn.

Part of the budget breakdown by Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Zainab Ahmed, shows that the presidency would spend N1.6 billion on purchase of vehicles and spares.

Newstrends investigation shows that interested automakers/dealers are already lobbying influential politicians and top government officials to get sizeable chunks of the vehicle supply/parts supply.

Although the Federal Government had said it would lead in the patronage of locally assembled vehicles to encourage more local content utilization and job generation, dealers of imported brands are said to be in the lead of the lobby for government vehicles demand.

Currently, foreign brands dominate the fleet of vehicles being used by many chief executive officers of government agencies, governors, ministers and even the presidency.

Latest statistics show that the ongoing phased replacement of vehicles and spares at the presidency will cost N1.6bn compared to the N436m set aside for a similar purpose in the 2021 proposal.

Other details show that about N180,089,000 is provided for purchase of tyres for bulletproof vehicles, plain cars, CCU vehicles, platform trucks, jeeps, ambulances and other utility and operational vehicles.

A total of N116,194,297 was set aside for a similar purpose last year.

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