By Ismaila Chafe
Abuja – The Federal Executive Council (FEC) on Wednesday consented to the setting up of an Inter-Ministerial Committee to investigate last week’s earth tremors that hit parts of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).
Specifically, vibrations were felt in Mpape, Maitama, Katampe, Jahi, Gwarinpa, and Kubwa areas of the territory from Sept. 5 to Sept. 8.
The Minister of the FCT, Malam Musa Bello, disclosed this when he briefed State House correspondents alongside the Minister of Budget and National Planning, Udo Udoma as well as the Attorney General of the Federation, Justice Abubakar Malami.
According to Bello, members of the committee are drawn from the federal ministries of Science; Power, Works, and Housing; FCT; as well as Mines and Steel Development.
“From our discussion it’s realized that there is tremendous amount of local capacity in various government agencies where we have experts who would be able to study this.
“Accordingly, Council has decided to set up a small ministerial committee with membership from the Ministry of Science and Technology because one or two of their agencies have had expertise with respect to this kind of phenomenon, and then the Ministry of Power, Works and Housing ; Ministry of Mines and Steel Development and of course the FCT.
“I want to use this opportunity to reassure that there is no course for concern and as a matter of fact within the vicinity of the Mpape area the Federal Ministry of Power, Works and Housing would send in their experts to just do some structural assessment of the properties around there.’’
The Minister of Budget and National Planning, Udo Udoma , told the correspondents that he briefed the Council on the current state of the nation’s economy.
The minister, however, noted that the non-oil sector of the economy grew by 2.05 per cent in the second quarters while the Council expressed concern over agricultural and crude oil productions.
“But what is encouraging to council is that non-oil has continued to grow.
“The non-oil sector grew by 2.05 percent and we are very encouraged by this.
“In fact this is consistent with the economic recovery and growth plan objectives.
“However council was a bit concerned about agriculture as well as crude oil and so we intend to intensify efforts in agriculture which has been affected by some of the insecurities in some parts of the country and some of the clashes which are now been contained.
“So we expect agriculture to pick up again. We expect agriculture to go back to the 3 per cent which we have been experiencing before.
“Then in terms of crude oil production, we are going to intensify work to get oil production back to over two million barrels a day.”
On his part, the Minister of Justice and Attorney General, Abubakar Malami, disclosed that the Council approved three draft bills that would soon be forwarded to the National Assembly for passage into law.
He said the bills included review of the Constitution Alteration Bill, 2018, Electoral Act amendment Bill 2018 and the Electoral offenses Commission Bill, 2018.
According to the Minister, the electoral bills when passed into law will enhance the Independence of nation’s electoral body, INEC, and the commission will not be subjected to the directives or control of any authority.