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FEC okays N1.7b as consultancy fee for Abuja second runway project

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Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja. Photo: WIKIPEDIA

The Federal Executive Council (FEC) has approved the sum of N1.7 billion as consultancy fee for the construction of a second runway at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport (NAIA), Abuja.

The Minister of Aviation, Hadi Sirika, who disclosed this while briefing State House correspondents at the end of the third virtual meeting of the council presided by President Muhammadu Buhari, said the amount covers consultancy services for the design of the new runway.

Recall that in 2010, a contract to build a second runway at the Abuja airport was awarded at a cost of N64 billion or $165million, which brought the project under heavy criticism and public outrage.

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The contract did not see the light of day as the project was abandoned. The renewed interest in the project by the current administration has raised hopes that the second runway may be built before the end of Buhari’s tenure.

According to Sirika: “Today in council, a memo from the Ministry of Aviation was considered, and it is the consultancy services for the construction of second runway here in Abuja. The contract went to a consortium of consultants for the total contract sum of N1.7 billion.

“This includes 7.5 per cent Value Added Tax (VAT) and also the exchange rate for the dollar component of N360 to one dollar. And this is what caused the seeming increase in the last estimated figure,” he said.

The minister noted that the consultancy part of the project was for 12 months, adding that a lot of work had been done in the procurement of consultancy services.

The Abuja airport currently has one runway, which was closed for six weeks for extensive repair work in March 2017 given rise to the pursuit of a second runway as a contingency.

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