…Okays N1.4bn for airports radio equipment
By Lawrence Olaoye
The federal government has approved the sum of N6,972,986,898 billion for the procurement of security equipment and associated infrastructure for the United Nation (UN)’s building currently under construction in Abuja.
The government also approved the total sum N1.147,506,398.98 for the procurement and installation of very high frequency radio equipment with completion period set at 20 months.
These were disclosed yesterday by the Minister of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Mohammed Bello, and the Minister of State for Aviation, Hadi Sirika, while briefing State House Correspondents after the weekly Federal Executive Council meeting chaired by President Muhammadu Buhari.
According to the FCT minister, the contract included furniture for the building and the completion period of 12 months.
He said “The UN building was bombed in August 2011 by terrorists that almost destroyed the entire building as well as led to the loss of lives.
“At that time, as part of Nigeria’s commitment to the ideals of UN and the support and also as reciprocation of what the UN has done for this country over the years, the government decided to reconstruct the UN building. I’m very happy to say that the construction is almost completed. But in order to secure the building properly against future attacks of the type that occurred in 2011, the UN at the highest level contacted the government of Nigeria and requested that some very critical security infrastructure needed to be put up in that building to enable the approximately 18 agencies of the UN that are presently housed in many buildings across abuja, so that they can relocate to the building.
“The contract was awarded to the main contractor that constructed the building, that is Messers Julius Berger PLC at N6,972,986,898.
“The scope of the contract is to provide the latest level of security perimeter fencing that is capable of withstanding bomb blast as well as fortifying gates to the highest international standards and the creation of three police posts including the installations of body scanners, baggage scanners as well as the installation of close circuit television across the internal and external portions of the building.
So all these will be done within a period of 13 months, hopefully by which time the UN will move to its office and they will be able to operate from one location under fortified security that is up to the standard that the UN is used to.”
Sirika in his briefing told newsmen that “Council approved a contract for the procurement and installation of very high frequency radio equipment in Kano, Lagos, Abuja, Port Harcourt and 10 other airports. Those 10 other airports are Enugu, Calabar, Benin, Jos, Kaduna, Maiduguri, Sokoto, Ilorin
“And this we will significantly improve the radio communication and ensure that the whole country is covered by this radio.
“This radio is needed for communication between pilots and towers and it is an important tool for safety. This is will of course deal with the issue of inadequate radio equipment that we have had in the country earlier than now. It is a very big relief for the country.
The total sum of the contract N1.147,506,398.98 and the completion period is 20 months.”