The Federal Executive Council (FEC) yesterday approved the sum of N13 billion for the procurement of 10 integrated rice mills and 6 high quality cassava flour mills to boost the production of the two products in the country.
The Council also approved N920 million for the award of contract for the procurement and construction of an additional transformer for the Maiduguri Substation.
Briefing newsmen after the weekly FEC meeting chaired by President Goodluck Jonathan, the Minister of Agriculture, Akinwumi Adesina, disclosed that the rice mills would be located in 10 states of the federation.
According ti him, each of the mills had a capacity to mill 36,000 metric tones of paddy rice the total 360,000 metric tones of the commodity to be produced across the country.
The rice mills are to be located in Kebbi, Zamfara, Kaduna, Ogun, Bayelsa, Niger, Kogi, Anambra, Benue and Bauchi states while the cassava mills will be located in Ondo, Ogun, Abia, Delta, Cross River, Nassarawa states.
He said the council deliberated extensively on the need for more integrated rice mills across the country as it is currently working at the total blackout of the importation of rice.
He said the mills “will not be owned or run by government. They are going to be owned, managed and operated by the private sector. It’s part of government’s way of making this available at a term of financing that can be afforded by the private sector. The acquisition of this will be done by the Bank of Industry. It will select the private sector people; they will have the down payment; and the plants are going to be constructed and they have a financing facility for them to own it. Government is just doing its job which is to get things to happen, but the private sector will do every single thing about it.”
He added that government will no longer fold its arms and watch the private sector do the job, rather it is taking the lead and doing the right thing. “There are still those who go around trying to get waivers to import rice and throw us into poverty, this will no longer be possible,” he said
The Council also gave approval for the award of contract for the additional construction of 1x60MVA, 132/332KV transformer to the Maiduguri 1x150MVA, NK330/132 Substation, in favour of Merssrs Best Crompton Engineering (Africa) Limited in the sum of $2,250,446.72 ( Two Million, Two Hundred and
fifty thousand, four hundred and forty six US Dollars and seventy two cents) payable at the prevailing exchange rate at the tine of payments plus N208,592,058.01(Two Hundred and a Eight, Five Hundred and Ninety Two Thousand, Fifty Eight Naira, one Kobo) completion period of 12 months.
The projection is one of the key projects designed by the Transmission Company of Nigeria to strengthen the national grid for effective power wheeling and to enhance socio economic development of the state. It is to be financed under the Eurobond of N800,000,000.00 loan while the balance would be provided for in the 2015 budget.
Similarly, following a memo to the Council by the Works Minister, Mike Onolememen, the FEC also approved the ratification of the treaty on the establishment of Abidjan-Lagos corridor among the government’s of the Republics of Benin, Cote D’ivoire, Ghana, Togo and the Federal Republic of Nigeria and directed the Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice to prepare the instrument of ratification to the treaty.
The objective of the Treaty, according to Onolememen, is to facilitate safe and efficient movement of persons and goods, regional and international trade and transport by improving on the road infrastructure and simplifying and harmonising the requirements and controls that govern the movement of goods and persons with a view to reducing transportation costs and transist times.