Published On: Fri, Apr 26th, 2019

Porous borders: FEC approves N52bn for e- solutions

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*Holds valedictory session May 22

By Lawrence Olaoye

The Federal Executive Council (FEC) has approved the sum of N52 billion to fund the contract for the electronic solution to the nation’s porous borders.
The Council chaired by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo yesterday also okayed the sum of N977,801,104 (Nine hundred and seventy seven million, eight hundred and one thousand, one hundred and four Naira) for consultancy and training contracts for the National Social Investment Program (N-SIP) of the government.
Briefing newsmen after the Council meeting, Minister of Interior, Lt. Gen. Abdulrahman Dambazau (rtd.) said “You will recall that when we came, I made the observation that our borders are very porous and diverse and that it is impossible to man these borders physically.
Therefore, there is the need for modern technology to be able to monitor our borders. We also thought of the capacity to respond to emergencies at the borders.
“It is on this note that I presented a memo today for this e-Border solution. This process started in 2012 but we picked it up to move forward when we came in. The project is to be completed within the next two years and it will cost about N52 billion.
“There is a pilot project already which has been very successful, it was installed to monitor two borders.
“This project is going to cover 86 border posts in the country. We will be able to also monitor 1,400 illegal routes that are used for smuggling and all kinds of cross border criminal activities.
“The Nigeria Immigration Service will work very closely with other services. When it comes to response, with the air force and the army units deployed near the borders, with the customs in terms of smuggling. The information will be available real-time 24/7.”
The Budget and National Planning Minister, Udoma Udoma who briefed on the N-SIP, said “Council approved two memos on National Social Investment Programme. The first was for the award of the consultancy service contract for the provision of training services and integrated supply of starter packs for N-Creative Trainees in the Northern states of Nigeria in favour of Messers Patigon services Ltd in the sum of N652,318,104 inclusive of five percent VAT. The training will be held in Abuja for 1,500 beneficiaries with integrated starter packs distributed to the trainees at the end of the training.
The four thematic creative areas and their respective beneficiaries distributions are as follows: script writing – 150, graphic illustration 375, animation – 750 and post-production -225.
Water Resources Minister also told newsmen that the Council augmented some consultancy fees of some projects.
Also yesterday, Minister of Information, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, disclosed that the valedictory session of the Federal Executive Council (FEC) will hold on May 22nd.
This will be about a week to the swearing-in of President Muhammadu Buhari for a second term in office.
It would be recalled that the President had last week requested all the cabinet members to turn-in the reports on policies, programs and projects in their various ministries, departments and agencies not later than Wednesday, 24th if April.
A circular issued by Boss Mustapha, the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, SGF, also requested members of the Federal Executive Council to “ensure that all outstanding memoranda they intend to present to the Federal Executive Council are submitted to the Cabinet Affairs Office, Office of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, not later than Tuesday, 30th April, 2019.”
The circular also informed members that the “9th and 10th meetings of the Council have been rescheduled for yesterday and Thursday, 2nd May, 2019 respectively” in view of the Easter break and May Day celebrations.
Mohammed who spoke to State House reporters after the FEC meeting chaired by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo yesterday said the cabinet is still intact until May 22nd.
He said: “ The cabinet is still intact. We are going to have the valedictory service on 22nd of May. So you will still see more of my face.”
But the Minister in a statement later clarified that he never meant that the cabinet would be dissolved by May 22nd.
According to him, the dissolution of the cabinet is at the prerogative of the President.

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