The Federal Government on Wednesday approved the sum of $18.12 million and N3.255 billion for the revision of a contract that was previously approved by the council in 2018 for the supply and installation of three numbers Rapiscan mobile cargo scanners.
The Minister of Finance, Budget, and National Planning, Mrs. Zainab Ahmed disclosed this while briefing State House Correspondents at the end of the 9th virtual Federal Executive Council, FEC, meeting presided over by President Muhammadu Buhari at the Council Chamber, Presidential Villa, Abuja.
According to her, “Today at council we presented two memos, the first memo was for seeking council’s approval for the revision of a contract that was previously approved by council in 2018 for the supply and installation of three numbers Rapiscan mobile cargo scanner.
“These are large size cargo scanners that will be placed in Onne port, Port Harcourt port, and Tin Can port. They are scanners that can actually drive containers through.
” That will fasten inspection and… the need for the Customs to open containers and do the physical inspection as they are doing now that is causing us a lot of time as well as the loss of revenue.
“This contract is awarded to a company that is named Messrs Airwave limited and the contract is in the sum of $18.12 million of foreign component, there is also a local component of N3. 255 billion inclusive of five percent VAT.
“The review became necessary in order to accommodate VAT which was not included in the initial contract and also due to dispute that we had arising from exchange rate differential. So we have now a resolution and an understanding and FEC approval for this contract to go on.
“The scanners are designed to aid effective revenue collection, the features that will screen for narcotics, weapons and undeclared items, they can also dictate arms and ammunition, legal importation and possession of arms and Light Weapons in Nigeria.
” The presence of these scanners will obviate the need for physical examination of goods and fast track the trade business report. This contract is for the Nigeria Customs Service.
” The second memo we presented to council today is also the Nigerian Customs Service. It is for the design, construction, and supply of five numbers of fast ballistic reverie assault boats and five numbers patrol boats with all associated accessories in favour of Messre CY West African limited in the sum of N280, 992, 888,75 inclusive of 7.5 VAT.
“The Nigerian Customs Service needs these boats to enhance its operational efficiency and combat smuggling activities on our waterways. This will also significantly boost revenue collection and other core duties of the maritime unit of the Nigerian Customs Service.”
Also, briefing, the Minister of Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola, said,” The Ministry of Works and Housing presented a memorandum on the initiative of the President as to our source of bitumen which is used in road construction and its cost.
“It was a policy memorandum which revealed that a significant amount of bitumen we used in road construction in Nigeria is imported, therefore creating jobs abroad and recommended to council to approve a directive to the Ministry of Petroleum Resources and the Ministry of Mines and Steel to develop strategies to enhance, stimulate, and encourage local production of bitumen.
“Essentially, that policy recommendation was approved by the council today to encourage bitumen production locally in Nigeria. This will of course help to further diversify the economy and open another sub-sector of the extractive and hydro-carbon industry for local opportunities.
“We see a demand of 500,000 metric tonnes of bitumen locally per annum. So, we encourage those who can manufacture and produce bitumen locally to tap into this demand. We see the opportunity for thousands of jobs to be created directly if this is done.
“And the government intends to give encouragement and support to all those who take up this opportunity. We expect Kaduna Refinery to also raise its game by participating in this sub-sector of the hydro-carbon industry.
“We expect that it will improve the quality of bitumen that is produced and goes into our road construction. Just as we are now able to control the quality of cement that goes into local construction.
” We are also promoting the use of more cement, stones, and rocks in road construction. Our ministry is now developing a design manual rock and stone in road construction in the country. These are the framework of policy documentations that we presented to the council today and they were approved.
“So, we expect the Nigerian entrepreneurial community to now respond to all of the existing government policies for setting up businesses and embracing this policy as part of ways to develop our made-in-Nigeria capacity.”