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‘FEC’ – Approved N718m contracts to private firms to secure Abuja rail tracks, stations

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‘FEC’ – Approved N718m contracts to private firms to secure Abuja rail tracks, stations

The federal executive council (FEC) has approved N718.19 million to two security outfits to protect the 45-kilometre Abuja rail tracks and stations.

Mohammed Bello, minister of the FCT, said this on Wednesday while speaking with journalists at the end of the FEC meeting.

In March, the Nigerian Railway Corporation (NRC) suspended its Abuja-Kaduna train operations after some gunmen planted explosives on the rail track and attacked passengers.

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Bello said the security services are majorly to protect key infrastructures on the rail tracks, the signalling and communication equipment as well as the electrical system.
He added that the security agencies are Messers Al-Ahali Security Guards Limited and Messers Seaguard Security and Protective Company Limited.

“I presented a memo at the Federal Executive Council meeting of today, and the council approved a contract for the provision of security services for the Abuja Light Rail Mass Transit System,” he said.

“These companies are going to provide security to the entire 45 kilometres of track including 12 stations.“Al-Ahali security guard Limited is going to secure 27.4 kilometres of the track, covering eight stations at the cost of N407,214,000 over two years, while Seaguard Securities and Protective Company Limited are going to secure 18 kilometres of the rail tracks including four railway stations and that is at a cost of N310,979,250.”

FG TO REFUND KEBBI, TARABA FOR FIXING FEDERAL ROADS

On his part, Babatunde Fashola, minister of works and housing, said the council approved two memoranda presented by the ministry.

“The first was a contract for the reconstruction of the Mushin-NNPC-Apapa-Oshodi road, that is the road that goes through Isolo to Ajigbo, at the sum of N11,166,270,197.85 to Strabic construction company, with a completion period of 20 months,” Fashola said.
He also said the council approved the demands by state governments for refunds on an intervention made previously before the current administration on federal roads and before the directive that there should be no more intervention by states on federal roads.

“But there were some that had been done before the life of this administration. So there were three states, Kebbi, Yobe and Taraba. I think on the 22nd of June, I reported that the claims for Yobe for N18.663 billion were approved. That left those of Kebbi and Taraba states.

“So today, the council approved N6.706 billion for Kebbi state and N2.470 billion for Taraba states. The Council also approved that the road under construction by Taraba states for which this reimbursement is being made that that contract by the state government should be terminated. That is a section between Bali and Seti.

“This is because you will recall last year that council had approved the full reconstruction of Bali- Seti to Gembu under the NNPC tax credit scheme.
“This is a better-designed road than the one that has a laterite base currently being constructed by the Taraba state government. But because there was an existing approval given before the life of this administration, we will refund up to this last refund. But we will not refund anymore, we’re going to reconstruct the road. So I just thought it was important to make that clarification. We have a full construction now, instead of part construction that the Taraba state was undertaking.”

He explained that the refund relates to debts and obligations incurred by the previous administration before the life of this administration.
“So this is also part of the national debt. So the process of payment requires the Ministry of Finance subsequent to this approval, to go to the National Assembly, to get approval to raise debt to secure payment to the States. I think it’s important to note that when we’re having a conversation about the national debt, these are some of the components that were inherited debts that this government is also paying for infrastructure,” he added.

Fashola recalled that 24 states including Akwa Ibom, Rivers, Cross River, and Osun have received their refunds in the first tranche of about N700 billion. He said another set of five states received over N120 billion.
He said the three states of Yobe, Kebbi and Taraba have received refunds of N18.6, N6.706 and N2.470 respectively, adding that rough estimates showed that the federal government has refunded almost a trillion to states as part of the public debt.

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