By Lawrence Olaoye.
The Federal Executive Council yesterday approved N22bn for the construction of four Niger-Delta roads across Cross-River, Akwa Ibom, Abia and Imo states.
The council, at its meeting presided over by Vice-President Namadi Sambo, also okayed three foreign loans totaling $945million, meant to improve irrigation system, prevent flooding in Ibadan, Oyo state and provide water for Bauchi, Ekiti and Rivers states.
President Goodluck Jonathan was at the time in Burkina Faso on a peace mission, alongside two other African leaders.
Ministers who briefed State House correspondents at the end of the meeting were Tanimu Turaki (Special Duties); Bashir Yuguda (State, Finance); Sarah Ochekpe (Water Resources); Akinwunmi Adesina (Agriculture and Rural Development); and Stephen Oru (Niger Delta Affairs).
Yuguda said the first of the five memoranda presented to the Council by his ministry for approval was the one on the International Development Association (IDA)’s credit of $495 million for proposed irrigation management.
He said the idea behind the facility was to up-scale what the Federal Government was doing in improving the irrigation system to ensure a year in-year out farming season in the country.
The minister said the facility, which enjoys five years grace period, has a repayment period of 20 years and attracts a service charge of 0.75 percent.
He added that the loan also attracts an interest rate of 1.25 percent per annum and a commitment fee of 0.5 percent per annum.
Yuguda also said the Council approved $200 million loan to arrest the frequent flooding being witnessed in Ibadan, Oyo state.
About one million Nigerians are to benefit from the project in the three states.
He explained that the Federal Government would take the facility and then lend it to Bauchi, Ekiti and Rivers states.