By ISMAILA CHAFE
ABUJA- The Federal Executive Council (FEC) has endorsed the completion of the ongoing Enugu-Onitsha expressway by MTN Nigeria PLC, telecommunication company, at the cost of N202.8billion via the Tax Credit Scheme of the Federal Government.
Minister of Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola, revealed this when he along with Minister of Police Affairs, Maigari Dingiyadi as well as the President’s media aide, Malam Garba Shehu, briefed the State House correspondents on the outcome of the Council meeting.
The meeting was presided over by President Muhammadu Buhari at the Council Chamber of the Presidential Villa Abuja on Wednesday.
Fashola said: ”Today, we have two more. So, the first that was approved today was the one by MTN Nigeria PLC, the telecommunication company to take over and complete the ongoing Enugu -Onitsha expressway.
”That road is a 110km, which is being dualized. So, you have 110km times two. The outstanding works aggregate to about 91 point something kilometres on both sides, if you accumulate it for those who use the road.
”You will see that the Enugu bound section has been largely completed but there’s a lot of work to be done on the Onitsha section.
”So this policy is going to allow a steady and sustained stream of funding to completion by MTN and the amount approved is N202,887,436,672,11 billion to complete the outstanding works of an aggregate of 91.9km on both sides.”
The minister also disclosed that the Council approved the reconstruction of Umuchi -Ususu-Umueme GZ Industries Road in Abia by a company known as GZ Industries, at the cost of N4.2billion through similar tax credit scheme.
He said: ”The second memo also was under the Tax Credit Scheme and while the first one was related to the road linking Anambra and Enugu states, this one is with respect to a road in Abia.
”Now the road is called Umuchi -Ususu-Umueme GZ Industries Road in Abia.
”The private sector beneficiary of the approval is a company called GZ Industries.
”GZ Industries manufactures aluminium cans for bottling drinks. They have a factory in Agbara in Ogun and they have another one in Abia in this area. So, it’s a link road to their factory.
”The approval was for N4.205,454,855billion. The road is a 3.7km road. So it’s an access road to their Industry. Council approved both memoranda.”
The Minister of Police Affairs, Maigari Dingyadi also disclosed that the Council approved N4.5billion for the procurement of utility vehicles for the Police Trust Fund.
According to him, the money approved will cover the cost of procuring the vehicles and that of insurance for the vehicles.
”I’m happy to announce that the Federal Executive Council has today approved the award of contract for the Nigeria Police Trust Fund for the supply of vehicles and insurance cover for several other vehicles at a total cost of N4, 541,829.17.
“The vehicles consist of land cruisers, Toyota Prado 2021 model and Toyota Camry. The land cruisers are about eight in number while the Prado are eight in number also, and then the Toyota Camry vehicles are about 44 in number.
“The Vehicles will be supplied at the cost of N1, 200,400,000.24 , The cost of fueling of the vehicles has also been approved at the total cost of about 5,093,770 litres at the cost of N1, 039,169,880 respectively.“
According to him, the affected vehicles are to be used for patrols and tactical operations to tackle security challenges across the country.
“The insurance cover is intended to cover all the vehicles purchased by the police Trust Fund between 2020 and 2022, involving about 450 vehicles, assorted vehicles for that matter, also at the cost of N812, 309,823.93.
”This is what has been approved for the police Trust Fund at the just concluded Federal Executive Council,” he said.
On his part, Shehu disclosed that the Council ratified the International Labour Organization’s convention 181.
According to him, the convention guarantees the rights and dignity of low cadre employees, who serve as house helps.
He said: ”The council ratified the International Labour Organization’s convention 181.
”Essentially, it seeks to permit the operations of private employment agencies in countries. If this is carried through, Nigeria will be the 3rd African Country after Ethiopia and Morocco to approve such.
“This is about the protection of the rights of persons employed by individuals as house helps with some of them being treated as slaves.
”Government is interested in their being treated with decency, respect and dignity,” he said.
Shehu also revealed that the Council approved a second memo for the adoption of the revised National Policy on labour migration.
According to the media aide, this also protects the rights of Nigerians employed in other countries as foreign employees serving in Nigeria.
He said: “The second memo by the Labour Ministry; which has been approved is for the adoption of the revised National Policy on labour migration and its action plan.
“This is also about the protection of the dignity of Nigerians and it is a two-way thing. Nigerian government is interested in protecting migrant workers who are here with us and our people who work out there.
”They shouldn’t be treated as slave or discriminated anyhow in so many respects.
“Certainly the policy seeks to confront the challenges of illegal migration and employment, exploitative tendencies, forced labour, smuggling and human trafficking in our society and entrenching general obligation to respect human rights of human beings.” (NAN)