ABUJA (State House Report) – The Federal Executive Council at its fortnightly meeting held at the Presidential Villa, Abuja on Wednesday October 17, 2014 has granted approval to the 2015 – 2017 Medium Term Fiscal Framework and the Fiscal Strategy Paper.
While briefing the media after the meeting, the Minister of Information, Labaran Maku informed that the Council approved the 2015 – 2017 Medium Term Fiscal Framework and the Fiscal Strategy Paper following a memorandum presented by the Minister of Finance, Okonjo Iweala.
He also stated that the measure will improve on oil and non-oil revenue through curtailing of oil theft and pipeline vandalism, advance the collection of internally generated revenue, streamline the fiscal policy on rice importation as well as step up duty collection and plugging tax loopholes. He further noted that the Council resolved that decline in revenue could be overcome by stimulating the growth of the private sector through the Agricultural Transformation Agenda (ATA), the Growth Enhancement Support Scheme (GES) and the National Automotive Policy as well as the Sugar Masterplan, National Integrated Power Project (NIPP) and the promotion of peace and security in the country.
Labaran Maku further told State House Correspondents that the memorandum presented by the Minister of Works for the award of contracts for the execution of Phase II Dualisation of the Lokoja-Benin Road Sections I, II, III and IV in Kogi and Edo States were approved to different competent contractors. He added that the Council commended the quality of work done by the contractors in the execution of Phase I of the project.
“The Council considered and approved the Federal Government’s 1st set of 10,000 Mortgage Housing Scheme being implemented through the Ministry of Finance in collaboration with the Ministry of Lands, Housing and Urban Development following the launch of the Nigerian Mortgage Refinancing Company earlier in the year,” he said. “66,000 applications were received during the rollout and 95% of the applicants were employed while 90% of them indicated interests in owning houses in Lagos and the FCT.”
In another development, the Executive Council Memo published by the State House Press on October 15, 2014 noted that the memorandum presented by the Minister of Labour and Productivity on the Draft National Policy on Labour Migration was approved by the Council. It also revealed that the objective of the policy is primarily on the assistance to be rendered to persons in the labour force that move across international frontiers in search of better employment opportunities and living conditions.
The memo further stated that the policy has the potential to serve as an engine of growth and development for all parties involved (migrant workers, members of migrant families’ country of origin and country of destination) as well as strengthen diplomatic relationships and build new ones between countries. “After deliberations, the Council approved the Draft National Policy on Labour Migration,” it reported.
On the memo presented by the Minister of the Federal Capital Territory Administration for the award of contract for the restructuring of existing roads and remedial works on bridges in Wuse I and Garki I Districts, the Minister of Information inferred that the Council approved the award of contract for the Phase II of the ongoing contract in the sum of N2,579,711,395.80 (Two Billion, Five Hundred and Seventy-Nine Million, Seven Hundred and Eleven Thousand, Three Hundred and Ninety-Five Naira, Eighty Kobo only) with a completion period of 12 months.
The Information Minister also told reporters that there was budgetary provision of N1, 100,000,000.00 (One Billion, One Hundred Million Naira Only) in the 2014 Statutory FCT Budget for the commencement of the project while the balance will be provided in the 2015 Budget. “The project is expected to generate employment opportunities for about 159 local Nigerian employees made up of different categories of workers,” he observed.
Speaking on the request tabled by the Minister of Special Duties and Inter-Governmental Affairs on the same date, the State House Press publication stated that approval was granted for the award of contract for the manufacture and supply of branded sporting equipment for implementation of the National Lottery Trust Fund’s 2014 Good Cause Intervention Programme. It added that the request indicated that the manufacture and supply would be from off-shore equipment suppliers in China and Turkey.
“The objective of the intervention programme is to promote and expand the nation’s talent-base by securing the interest and involvement of the children of primary school age in sporting activities. The programme is expected to improve our future performance in sports at all levels by harnessing the potentials of young talents and nurturing their transition to world-class athletes and sportsmen and women. There is a commitment to procure high quality equipment from reputable international manufacturers to save cost, time, get value for money, avoid middlemen, and control attendant costs among others,” it explained.
“The Council approved the award of contracts in favour of Messrs China Sport International Co. Limited in the sum of USD2,788386.76 (Two Million, Seven Hundred and Eighty-Eight Thousand, Three Hundred and Eighty-Six Dollars, Seventy-Six Cents only) payable at the prevailing exchange rate at the time of payment, with a delivery period of three months and to Messrs CAAN Sports Organisations Limited in the sum of USD914,967.10 (Nine Hundred and Fourteen Thousand, Nine Hundred and Sixty-Seven Dollars, Ten Cents only) payable at the prevailing exchange rate at the time of payment with a delivery period of two months.”
The Federal Executive Council report informed that the Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment demanded for approval of the policy measures to reposition the Nigerian cotton, textile and garment sector in accordance to the Nigerian Industrial Revolution Plan. Adding, the objective of the plan is to diversify the Nigerian economy, create jobs, increase exports and broaden government revenue.
Another memo tabled by the Minister of Science and Technology for the re-enactment of an Act to dissolve the Nigerian Building and Road Research Institute established under the Research Institutes (Establishment Act) Order, LN 54 of 1977 and to establish the Nigerian Building and Road Research Institute (NBRRI) Act was assented to by the Council after deliberations. The Council noted however, that no provision was made in the Scheme of Service and other establishment matters for the staff and clear composition and functions of the Governing Board Act was not indicated. It continued that these defects and shortcomings have greatly limited the operations of the Institute since its establishment, saying its dissolution will accelerate the rate of evolution of indigenous construction and building operations in Nigeria as well as address other issues involved.
Also reflecting on the Federal Executive Council Meeting held earlier on October 8, 2014, the State House Press memo disclosed that the Council deliberated and granted approval to the contract for the Design, Manufacture and Commissioning of 2No. Diesel/Electric Locomotive and Built-in-Power Cars for standard gauge (1435 mm) track ex-works for the Nigerian Railway Corporation (NRC) towards ensuring the provision of easy and quick service to more passengers at low operational costs.