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The Federal Government, on Wednesday, in Abuja, approved a total sum of N52.97bn for various projects in the ministries of Education, Works and Housing and Aviation.

The respective ministers revealed this to State House Correspondents after this week’s Federal Executive Council Meeting presided over by the president, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), at the Council Chambers of the Aso Rock Villa, Abuja.

They include the completion of Phase 2 of the 2.6km-long Uto Bridge in Ikenke, Delta State, the National Library of Nigeria headquarters building complex in Abuja and the procurement and installation of radar signaling equipment in nine airports nationwide.

The Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohamed, who spoke on behalf of his counterpart in the Ministry of Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola, said, “The first memo presented today was a memo seeking approval for a revised estimated total cost of a contract for the completion of Phase 2 of Uto Bridge, 2.6-kilometer stretch in Ikenke, Delta State

“The project was awarded in 2006, but we are committed to completing it. So today, the FEC approved the sum of N1.398bn to revise the contract from N4.44bn to N5.84bn, inclusive of 7.5 per cent VAT, to ensure that we’re able to complete this project before we leave.

“Also, the Minister of Works brought approval for the ongoing bypass along the Lagos-Ibadan expressway, but the good thing about this project is that we can very confidently and proudly announce that the Kano-Zaria 137 kilometer and the Zaria-Kaduna, 73 kilometers, will be handed over to us on May 15.”

Mohammed said the Second Niger Bridge and the 116km Lagos-Ibadan expressway with toll gates will be handed over on April 30.

Meanwhile, the Minister of State for Education, Goodluck Opiah, said the Council approved a memo for the revised estimated contract cost to complete the construction of the National Library of Nigeria headquarters building complex in Abuja.

“The revised estimated cost is N32.4bn. This contract was originally awarded in 2006 to Reynolds Construction Company Limited and has undergone further revisions until 2017 when the company presented a request for variation amounting to N78bn, which was considered quite unacceptable by the Federal Ministry of Education.

“Therefore, an ad hoc committee of technical stakeholders was set up to review the variation. After exhaustive review, the cost was brought down to N49.6bn which was acceptable to the contractor. Before then, previous certificates amounting to about N11.9bn had already been earned,” he said

The scope of work for the project includes the construction of a concrete structure consisting of 11 floors, two basement floors and eight upper floors for housing a bookstore, locker rooms, bindery, printing press, restaurants, clinic, changing rooms, exhibition halls, auditorium, cataloguing, general reference areas, legal deposits, office for the administration book stacks, amongst others.

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