Nigeria’s Federal Executive Council (FEC) presided over by Acting President Yemi Osinbajo on Wednesday, February 15, 2017 approved the award of 12 road contracts to “open up the country”.
The minister of power, works and housing, Babatunde Fashola, announced this while briefing State House Press Corps at the end of the meeting.
He said the roads would be in Kano, Bauchi, Adamawa, Borno , Kwara, Gombe, Enugu and Kaduna States as well as bridges on Bauchi – Gombe road.
“The headline figures are in the region of about N126 billion. But I think that is not the story, the story really is what the contracts do to the economy.
“They restore confidence back to the construction industry.
“Contractors who have been owed for two or three years before Mr President was elected are back in various states.
“They recalled back their workers, they are purchasing quarry, gravel, cement, iron rods; the economy is on its way back to a mend.
“Every place in all of those states, once we mobilise the contractors the money is kept in those states.
“Most of the workers who drive the trucks, who fix the roads that you see add to the use of the roads.
“And so, they aggregate to the total output from each of those states to the national productivity and our national recovery.
“What you then would see is improved journey time which was what we promised you.’’
The Minister said that as the ministry completed more roads Nigerians would travel more efficiently and thereby improve the economy.
According to him commuters will travel more efficiently, burn less fuel and reach their destinations quicker.
Also the Minister of Budget and National Planning, Sen. Udoma Udoma, added that FEC had extensive discussion on the economic growth plan.
He said that final consultations are being made before the president would launch it.
Udoma said that the plan being approved would drive economic recovery and lay the foundation for longer term growth.
He said it would address the country’s poor competitiveness, improve the business environment and attract investment in infrastructure, especially power, roads, rail and ports.
He said that jobs and social inclusion “are also key focus areas in the plan’’.
The minister said that immediate execution priorities included agriculture and food security as well as energy particularly power and petroleum products sufficiency.
He also mentioned industrialization with focus on medium and small enterprises, transportation as well as sufficiency and stabilization of the micro economy.
Udoma said that FEC also dwelt on implementation of the plan’s implementation with the creation of a delivery unit in the presidency.
According to him the key principles of the plan were to include tackling the constraints to growth and leveraging the power of the private sector, promoting national cohesion and social inclusion. (NAN)a