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Ministers to hand over reports before April 24


Finance Minister, Zainab Shamsuna Ahmed

• FEC approves $247.3m foreign loan for electrification projects
• Says no workable formula to remove fuel subsidy

President Muhammadu Buhari has asked for comprehensive “status reports on policies, programmes and projects” from cabinet members on their ministries, departments and agencies as his first term tenure winds down.

Garba Shehu, the president’s Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, disclosed this in a statement in Abuja yesterday.

The statement said the president gave the ministers April 24 as the deadline for the submission of the reports to the Presidential Audit Committee in the office of the vice president.

A circular to this effect issued by Boss Mustapha, the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, also requested members of the Federal Executive Council (FEC) to ensure that all outstanding memoranda they intend to present to the Federal Executive Council are submitted to the Cabinet Affairs Office, Office of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, not later than Tuesday, April 30, 2019.

The circular informed members that the “9th and 10th meetings of the Council have been rescheduled to Thursday, April 25 and Thursday, May 2, 2019 respectively” in view of the Easter break and May Day celebrations.

Meanwhile, FEC yesterday approved a $247.3 million foreign loan facility from the African Development Bank (AfDB) and French Government to facilitate the financing of sundry electricity projects across the country.

Minister of Finance, Hajia Zainab Ahmed, gave the indication while briefing State House correspondents after the council meeting presided over by President Muhammadu Buhari at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.

Council’s decision came even as the International Monetary Fund (IMF) warned about the country rising debt profile.

IMF, which released the new data on global debt on its website, put the total debt in Nigeria at 34 per cent of the nominal GDP of $376 billion as at December 2017, with private debt accounting for 36.6 per cent of the debt.

According to the minister, $150 million of the loan was from the AfDB while $50 million was from the African Grow Together Fund.

Part of the loan is for the Lagos State government to upgrade its transportation facilities in urban areas.

She said: “The project is a nationwide initiative to be implemented by the rural electrification agency. The project aligns with the strategy of Federal Government on electrifying rural communities.

“The project has four components. The first is solar hybrid mini-grid for rural economic development. The second is productive appliances equipment for off-grid communities and the third is energising education. The fourth component is institutional capacity building.

“The impact of the project when fully implemented, about 500,000 people would be able to have access to electricity for about 105,000 households. Eight universities will benefit from this scheme and about 20,000 small, micro, medium enterprises across different communities in the nation.”

The council also approved the North Core Dorsal Regional Transmission Project. According to the minister, the power project aims to connect Nigeria, Niger, Benin Republic, Togo, and Burkina Faso with a high voltage 330 kilowatts transmission line, to facilitate energy trade among participants.

“The project is in the total sum of $640 million, out of which each of the four countries involved has a component. Nigeria has the smallest component in this pact, which is a total loan of $27.3 million IADE facility. It is a concessionary loan. This is a loan that the four countries are taking together. The other four have concluded theirs. So, this is one of the final stages for Nigeria to conclude its process.

“The third loan approval is $20 million for the Lagos State Strategic Transport Master Plan. This facility is from the French Development Agency. The objective of the project is to improve the living conditions of the inhabitants of Lagos urban area.

“The project has two major components. First, to rehabilitate urban roads and the creation of minimum of eight bus corridors and the creation of two multi-model inter-changes at Marina and Mile 2. The second objective is to provide technical support for implementation and management. When completed, the project is expected to impact 1.8 million inhabitants of Lagos State and a cumulative 1.5 million users per day.”

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