Kingsley U.N. Chikwendu —
The Nigerian Minister of Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola, at the Federal Executive Council (FEC), revealed that the government has approved N56.3 billion for the completion of the Abaji-Koton Karfe section of the Abuja-Lokoja highway.
Yesterday’s Council meeting was presided over by President Muhammadu Buhari in Abuja, the nation’s capital.
Fashola who said the approval was for the re-award of contract for the 49 kilometre section of the road due to non-performance by the former contractor, also revealed that the council approved over N250 million revised cost for the completion of Aboto Alfa road, linking Kwara and Oyo States.
“The Ministry of Works and Housing submitted two memoranda. The first was for the termination and re-award of the 49 kilometres section of Abaji to Koton karfe, which is part of the Abuja-Lokoja highway, he stated.
“It was awarded for N56.175 billion. Hopefully, this should facilitate the completion of that critical highway, which started in 2006,” he said.
“The second memo was for the revision of the contract for some of the Aboto Alfa -Oyo boundary road in Kwara.
“The revision was by the sum of N251,530,000 which revised the contract sum from N3,060,000,000 to N3,311,000,000 to enable the contractor make provision for drains to replace unsuitable material and to reconstruct damaged shoulders of the road, as well as accommodate some variation in price.
“The memo was also approved,” Fashola added.
The Minister of State for Budget and National Planning, Clement Agba, who also briefed the correspondents that he updated the council on the recent results of the 2021 fourth quarter GDP released by the National Bureau of Statistics.
He said the result showed a great improvement in the Nigerian economy, which grew by 3.98 percent.
“Ours was not to seek approval but to brief the Federal Executive Council on the results recently released by the National Bureau of Statistics, fourth quarter GDP and also some other indicators of the Nigerian economy.
“According to the report, Nigeria GDP grew by 3.98% year on year in real terms in the fourth quarter of 2021.
“This shows a sustained positive growth for the fifth quarter since the recession witnessed in 2020 when output contracted by -6.10% and -3.62% in quarter two and quarter three or 2020 under the COVID 19 pandemic.
“So, this shows an annual growth rate of 3.4% in 2021 compared to -1.92% in 2020, which is the strongest growth so far recorded in seven years since 2015.
“Council was also briefed that the inflation rate declined year on year for eight months, consecutively since April 2021, but they decreased slightly in December 2021, 15.63% was recorded.
“However, headline inflation in Jan. 2022, declined by 15.60%. On a month on month basis prices rose by 1.47 per cent in January, which was lower compared to December 2021 which recorded 1.82% meaning that inflation dropped on a month on month basis,” he said.