FEC approves $1bn Chinese loan for Gurara hydropower project [The Nation]

The Federal Executive Council (FEC) on Wednesday approved   $1 billion Chinese loan from Chinese EXIM Bank for the Gurara II Hydropower project.

The project at completion will generate 360 megawatts of electricity.

President Muhammadu Buhari presided over the weekly FEC meeting, which considered eighteen memos.

Minister of Water Resources, Sulieman Adamu, said the approval was part of the four memos the council approved for the ministry.

Only recently, the Debt Management Office disclosed that Nigeria’s total debt profile as of December 31, 2018, now stands at N24.387 trillion.

Council also approved the sum of N5.7 billion revised total estimated cost for the completion of Nkari dam in Akwa Ibom.

It also approved the appointment of a consultant for the resuscitation of the Gari Irrigation Project in Kano/Jigawa States. Council had in 2017 approved for the resumption of the project which was earlier abandoned for 17 years.

The consultant is the same appointed in 1998 when the project first began. Adamu said the contractors are already on site.

Council also approved the revised estimated total cost of N10.4 billion for the completion of Ile Ife Dam in Osun State.

The project, which was started in 2004 and abandoned, has completion period is 24 months.

Also, council approved the sum of N18.4 billion for the ministry of Power, Works and Housing.

Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola said: “My ministry presented two memos, one was for the construction of an inter-change and pedestrian bridge at Abaji in Abuja for N7.197 billion to address the perennial problem of accidents in that place which was approved by council.

“The second memorandum was for the procurement of 200, 2017 meters by Yola Electricity Distribution Company Under the Meter Asset Providers Scheme.

‘’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.”

On the approval granted Ministry of Agriculture, Audu Ogbe, Minister of Agriculture and Natural Resources said FEC granted approval to buy sixty one thousand tons of maize, millet and sogum at the cost of N9. 47billion.

Speaking on the approval Ogbe said: “We have a memo approved in council for purchase of grains to reinforce the grains reserve.

‘’Everywhere in the world Silos are owned by government into which they purchase grains at the end of harvest.

‘’The average is usually between two and three percent of all grains grown.’’

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