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FG approves handover of N15.3b ecological projects to communities


Femi Adesina

• No controversy over status of Nigeria SEZ Investment Company, says presidency
The Federal Executive Council (FEC) has approved the handover of N15.3billion worth of ecological projects to benefitting communities in nine states of the federation.

The Special Adviser to President Buhari on Media and Publicity, Mr. Femi Adesina, stated this at the end of the meeting of the council, which was presided over by President Muhammadu Buhari, at the Presidential Villa, Abuja, yesterday.

“In the life of this administration, 166 projects have been awarded under the ecological fund project. So far, 93 have been completed and handed over to the different communities and 20 are ready as we speak now. Most of the projects are erosion and flood control works. The total sum of the ecological projects was N15.3 billion,” he said.

The Minister of State for Mines and Steel Development, Alhaji Abubakar Bwari, told reporters that the council approved N486.9 million for the purchase of coal drilling rig for the National Steel Raw Materials Exploration Agency, Kaduna, Kaduna State. He said the equipment would be used for the exploration of solid minerals in rural areas across the country.

The Minister of Finance, Hajiya Zainab Ahmed, also disclosed that the council approved N689.96 million for the appointment of Transaction Parties for the Promissory Note Programme and Bond Issuance for the settlement of inherited local debts and contractual obligations of the Federal Government. She said the seven transaction parties included KPMG Professional Services (N164,657,195.67); Joint Financial Advisers: Zenith Bank Plc & Zenith Capital (N14,294,331.50); Coronation & Access Bank Plc (N14,294,331.50) and UBA & United Capital (N14,294,331.50)

Others are the Joint Legal Advisers, which included SimmonsCooper Partners (N53,703,771.80); D. D. Dodo and Partners (N53,703,771.80) and Perchstone & Graeys (N53,703,771.80).The minister disclosed that the programme would provide stimulus to the economy and unlock investment across a number of sectors currently having liquidity issues.

The council at its meeting of July 12, 2017, had approved the establishment of a Promissory Note Programme for the settlement of Inherited Local Debts and Contractual Obligations of the Federal Government (the Programme) estimated at N3.4trillion.The breakdown of the creditors is as follows: pension liabilities N400 billion; unpaid salaries and third party deductions N24.95 billion; staff claims N270 billion; part of contractors claims N45.36 billion; fuel supply accrued interest and foreign exchange differentials N514.29 billion; part of state governments claims N487.85 billion; Ministry of Health outsourced liabilities N9.04 billion; major contractors N596.51 billion; Export Expansion Grant (EEG) Scheme N350.12 billion; judgment debt N112.96 billion; DISCOS N26.71 billion; and GENCOS N495.67 billion.

The presidency meanwhile has said there is no controversy whatsoever about the status of Nigeria SEZ Investment Company Limited (NSEZCO), also known as Nigeria Special Economic Zones Company Limited as being speculated in some quarters. Adesina disclosed this in a statement in Abuja yesterday

Reacting to reports in sections of the media about the status of NSEZCO, he said the company was designed as a special purpose vehicle to deliver Project MINE (Made in Nigeria for Exports), which is a presidential initiative.“We wish to confirm that NZESCO was incorporated as a special purpose vehicle to deliver Project MINE (Made in Nigeria for Exports), which is a presidential initiative. The Federal Government’s Economic Recovery & Growth Plan (ERGP) identified the development of Special Economic Zones (SEZs) as a major strategic tool to accelerate the implementation of the Nigeria Industrial Revolution Plan (NIRP),” he said.

He added that the Project MINE was envisioned by the Federal Ministry of Industry Trade and Investment (MITI) to develop SEZs to world-class standards and position Nigeria as the pre-eminent manufacturing hub in sub-Saharan Africa and a major exporter of made in Nigeria goods and services regionally and globally.

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