Good morning and a happy Sunday to you. There are a lot of public and private projects being initiated, planned, executed and managed in Nigeria. Every weekend, I will share with you those projects that made the headlines for that week in Nigeria.
So, here are some of the project news that made the headlines from 29/11 to 05/12:
1. The newly established Efficiency Unit, E-Unit, in the Ministry of Finance will help set guidelines and standards to benchmark government expenditure for efficiency and reduction in costs and overheads. “The Efficiency Unit would benchmark government expenditures by comparing with similar expenditures in the private sector and see how they have been able to negotiate their prices and costs efficiently,” the Minister of Finance, Kemi Adeosun said. “We are trying to establish guidelines and benchmarks that would make everybody much more cost conscious in how government money is spent,” she said. The work of the unit would form part of the effort of the present administration to create a framework for the country’s economic future, pointing out that it was becoming clear that without a radical intervention to cut costs of governance, no meaningful progress would be made. (A lot of government funds have been illegally siphoned through public projects by corrupt officials awarding over-bloated budgets or costs on a project. The E-Unit is a body that would research, monitor and compare the cost of projects in the public sector as against their counterparts in the private sector. And it has been mentioned that Nigeria awards the highest cost for most of its public sector projects when compared to other African countries. So, let’s watch and see how effective and efficient the E-Unit cost monitoring mechanisms would be.)
2. President Buhari joined other leaders on Friday morning for the Forum on China Africa Cooperation (FOCAC) in South Africa. President Buhari was expected to discuss ways of removing all obstacles in the way of the 3,050 megawatts Mambila Power Station, the coastal railway project stretching for 1402 kilometres linking Lagos in the West with Calabar in the East, and the Lagos-Kano standard gauge modernisation project. (One thing for sure is that the loan agreement would increase Nigeria’s debt burden. Nigeria’s total internal and external debt stock stood at N12.06 trillion ($63.5 billion) as of the beginning of the year. However, the rate at which Chinese firms are winning or being awarded projects in Nigeria is becoming quite alarming! They are posing a big threat to our local construction firms. Nigeria really needs more project entrepreneurs and leaders, and not just project managers.)
3. Nigeria’s agricultural rebirth has received a major boost with the successful trial of inputs that breathe life into depleted soils, shorten the period between breeding and harvest of crops and livestock, as well as resist the incursion of pests. This is part of an ambitious N20 billion worth project launched by the CONTEC Global Agro Limited to develop and deploy bio-fertilisers, bio-stimulants, soil biological conditioners and similar innovations intended to reinvent farming cultures through improved soil fertility and improved production of crops and livestock. (We can’t deny the huge importance of agriculture to the economy. If some Nigerians can’t pay for their internet subscription to read my blog, at least let them have good food to eat! LOL. Maybe my initiative would look to contributing its quota in the agriculture sector.)
4. The FCT Minister, Muhammad Musa Bello, has disclosed that the ongoing Abuja Rail Mass Transit is one of the priority projects of the Present FCT Administration. The Minister made this disclosure on Thursday when he visited the project sites at the Airport, Wupa, Idu and Ring Road II Stations, which forms part of his familiarisation tour of projects and facilities in the Federal Capital Territory. (We need to diversify our transportation system by building more railways across the country.)
5. The Kwara State Governor, Alhaji Abdulfatah Ahmed, has approved the release of N3.2 billion (which is a part of the N10 billion facility recently approved by the State House of Assembly for existing and new infrastructural projects in the State) for the completion of outstanding capital projects in the Education, Energy, Health, Roads, Works and Justice sectors in the state. A statement issued by Senior Special Assistant on Media and Communication, Dr. Muyideen Akorede, quoted Alhaji Abdulfatah Ahmed as saying that the funds were released after the recent verification of the state’s outstanding capital projects, and was based on authenticate and duly certified stage of completion of works on each project. (The project needs to be properly monitored to avoid wastage of the State’s scarce resources.)
6. The Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Pastor Usani Uguru Usani, has said the Federal Government would audit the dualisation of the 362-kilometre East-West road project on which government is spending N560 billion. This he said was to ensure that the contractors executing the project implemented it according to the specifications in its design. He said the auditors, who would be engaged by the Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs, would also ascertain whether the work done on the project so far was commensurate with the N270 billion the Federal Government spent on it. (We can’t wait to read the audited report on the project as the East-West road is a very important road network.)
7. Chief Executive of the Dangote Foundation, Ms Halima Dangote, has said that the ongoing construction of the N7 billion state-of-the-art Operating Theatre and Diagnostic Centre at the Murtala Muhammad Specialist Hospital, Kano, will be completed next year. She said the foundation’s Business School’s Project at the Bayero University Kano has gulped N524 million, even as it injected N500 million into Kano School of Technology. Ms Dangote also revealed that the Foundation was determined to build a 500MW of electricity station in Kano. She described some of the projects as “game changing projects” to be completed in the next two years. (Kudos to the Dangote Foundation and we need more billionaires in the private sector of the country to contribute to the development of our economy.)
Watch out for the project news that would make the headlines next week!
What are your reactions or thoughts on these project news? Are there other project news that was not mentioned here? You can share them in the comment section below.