By Lawrence Olaoye
The Federal Executive Council (FEC) has approved a contract of N318 million for engagement of lead consultant for the forensic audit of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC).
Briefing newsmen after the weekly Council meeting chaired by the Vice President, Yemi Osinbajo, Wednesday, the Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Godswill Akpabio, disclosed that the lead consultant for the NDDC audit as Olumuyiwa Bashir and Co. Ltd.
Akpabio recalled that the audit was ordered by President Muhammadu Buhari following the complaints to him by nine governors of the Niger Delta States in October 2019.
He stated that the interim management of the NDDC would collaborate with the lead consultant, which is expected to divide audit into nine lots, one per state, and hire nine forensic auditors to check the books of the Commission.
The Minister was enthusiastic that the Federal Government would recover huge amounts of money, in local and foreign currencies, at the end of the exercise.
He said the audit will cover the operations of the NDDC from inception till 2019.
Minister of state for Transport, Gbemisola Saraki, also told journalists that the Council also awarded a contract of N1.48billion for purchase of equipments for ship berthing safety at the ports.
Other contracts totalling N556million for the extension of consultancy services in respect of rehabilitation of Tin Can Island Port in Lagos were also approved.
Minister of Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola, announced yet another approval for the engineering design for the Abuja-Kano road at a cost of N872m.
Meanwhile, Minister of Health, Osagie Ehanire, told journalists that the Federal Government has acquired the necessary testing reagents and laboratories in Abuja, Lagos and Irrua in Edo State to check the possible spread of the deadly Coronavirus disease in Nigeria.
Apart from the laboratories, the preparedness of Nigeria against the disease, which originated in China last December, has been boosted with passive temperature cameras at the major airports in the country.
He explained that Nigeria and Africa have been lucky not to have recorded any Coronavirus cases, which has also been aided by China’s own exit screening to check spread of those potentially leaving the country with the disease.
Ehanire also informed the Council that the death rate of Lassa Fever has dropped by 50 percent, following efforts of the government and health institutions in the country.