THE issuance of a sovereign guarantee to the tune of 85 per cent of the Engineering Procurement and Construction (EPC) contract for the Ajaokuta-Kaduna-Kano gas project has been approved, Finance, Budget and National Planning Minister Mrs. Zainab Ahmed, said yesterday
Mrs. Ahmed told reporters at the State House that the contract was approved by the Federal Executive Council (FEC) at its weekly meeting.
She said: “This is not a new contract; it was previously approved by council in 2017 in the sum of $2.89 billion. The memo of today (yesterday) is at a revised cost of $2.571 billion, equivalent to a 10 per cent discount of the original sum.
“The previous contract was a contractor financing model, the contract that has been approved today is an EPC lump sum contract with the NNPC required to pay 15 per cent of the contract amount while the 85 per cent will be provided by Cynosure of China in the form of loan facility with a sovereign guarantee.
According to the minister, the facility has an interest of 3.7 per cent with a 12-year repayment period and three years moratorium period.
“We have done an extensive review of this project and we are satisfied that the cash flows from the Ajaokuta-Kaduna-Kano gas pipeline project is sufficient to pay the facility itself.
“This project is one of the cardinal policies of this administration and it is very strategic to national development.”
Ahmed explained that the project has a lot of positive impact on the nation economy, saying it would spur industrialisation and industrial growth as gas-based industries and power generating companies would be the key beneficiaries.
She also expressed the hope that the project would create employment opportunities, increase government revenue, encourage export and enhance the nation’s foreign reserves by reducing dependencies on import.
The minister said: “It will be environmentally friendly as it will eliminate gas flaring; it will also improve the health of the communities of the oil producing areas where gas flaring currently takes place.
“It will also reduce the carbon footprint and comply with the climate control treaties that Nigeria has committed to.’’
The FEC also approved N538.1 million for the procurement of Birds Deterrent System for three Nigerian airports.
Aviation Minister Hadi Sirika listed the airports to benefit from the system as Kano, Port Harcourt and Enugu.
Senator Sirika said: “Today (yesterday) in council, we have one memo from aviation and it is for the procurement of Birds Deterrent System, the airport wireless MACH4 version of it.
“It is for the following airports; Kano, Port Harcourt and Enugu. Earlier than now we procured for Abuja and Lagos.”
On his part, the Minister of State for Works and Housing, Abubakar Aliyu, said that the council approved the sum of N6.6 billion for rehabilitation of Koton Karfe Bridge in Kogi State.
The minister said: “We presented a memo to the council which the council approved. The memo was on the rehabilitation of Murtala Mohammed Bridge, at Koton karfe, in Kogi State. The contract sum is N6.61 billion with a completion period of 24 months.
”The bridge is 1.76km and the scope of work is to rehabilitate the dual carriage ways between the bridge embankment, repair bridge protection work and repair of bridge furniture works.”
Science and Technology Minister Ogbonnaya Onu, told the Council that a Solar-powered Voting Solution that will bring about seamless elections in Nigeria was underway.