The federal government has approved the establishment of four new private universities. Minister of education disclosed this to State House correspondents after the federal executive council meeting presided over by President Muhammadu Buhari at the Presidential Villa.
He listed the names of the universities as Greenfield University Kaduna, Kaduna State; Dominion University, Ibadan, Oyo state; Trinity University, Ogun State and Westland University Iwo, Osun state. According to him, the approvals were granted after the four universities met the requirements for operational licence as set by the National Universities Commission (NUC).
“They have submitted their academic briefs, their master plans and evidence of facilities after visitation by the National Universities Commission (NUC); they have satisfied all those requirements and they are being granted licenses,’’ he added.
During his briefing, minister of State aviation, Hadi Sirika said the council approved N1.7 billion for the procurement and installation of Controller-Pilot Data Link Communications (CPDLC) to provide information during flight operations in Kano and its region.
According to him, the device is meant to enhance communication between air traffic controllers and pilots and as well make departures and arrival seamless and faster.
“The total contract sum is $5,403,271 which is equivalent to N1,652,320,271.80, exclusive of five percent VAT. The contract is to Nigeria Airspace Management Agency(NAMA).
“It will improve communication by digital means between the pilot and the controller, improve efficiency, make decision making faster and make departures and arrival seamless and faster, “ he said.
On his part, Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola, said the council approved a National Public Building Maintenance Policy and Framework.
He said the new policy, which institutionalized a maintenance culture in the country, would provide the benefit of that some of making available an inventory of government assets, and job opportunities for hundreds of thousands of Nigerians.
According to him“We have trained artisans at different levels but we haven’t created an economy for them to go and express themselves – Tilers, Bricklayers, Plumbers, landscapers, fitters etc. When they leave training schools what do they do? They go and ride tricycles where there is no training school because there is an economy in tricycles – this is the answer.
“So, we have started with a pilot (scheme) to demonstrate to Council that this will work.
“Some of the things that this will bring include an inventory of all assets that government owns. It gives us an assessment of the conditions and value, then, it gives us a maintenance framework about what needs to be done after assessments and then a maintenance procurement manual.
Fashola also disclosed that the council approved the first contract of over N812.5million, for demarcation of specific area of land to be affected by the actual construction of the Mambilla Hydro Power Project.
He said the contract involved nine land surveying companies, saying that the demarcation would eventually lead to enumeration, resettlement and preparatory to payment of compensation and commencement of main construction of the Power Project.
Fashola added that the council approved N2.6billion for the reconstruction of Sharada – Madubi road in Kano and another N23.8 billion for the reconstruction of New Bussa – Kaiyama road linking Niger and Kwara states.
On his part, the Minister of State, Petroleum, Dr. Ibe Kachikwu, said the council approved N3.7billion for the replacement of damaged petroleum pipelines for the Ministry of Petroleum Resources.
He said the pipelines were affected by corrosion but would be replaced with new technology, flexible pipeline.
He noted “The essence of this was that in 2014, the pipeline with which we were evacuating crude in that area gave way and so production became very marginal.
“We were producing an average of about 20, 000 barrels per day, as opposed to the capacity of between 37,000 and 40, 000 barrels and this contract, is, therefore, to replace that pipeline with a new technology, flexible pipeline, to resist corrosion,”.
He also said the council approved $9 million variations for escravos to Lagos gas pipeline, thus bringing the total cost of the contract to $186 million. According to him, the approval was the fallout of a memorandum of understanding he presented to the council.
“The escravos to Lagos gas pipeline phase one contract was for additional unforeseen works in engineering. Contract had been given in 2008 and it was about 83 percent completed but additional scope has been added to that pipeline and variation of about $9m was approved today (yesterday).
“With the $9 million added today (yesterday), the new contract figure comes to about N5 billion and about $186million. That pipeline is so critical. It is what helps us move stranded gas out of the Escravos of Oghara region back into the Escravos Lagos pipeline. It is a two- month contract,” he said.