Executive council approves process to start tolling highways

… Approves N9,686,556,583 refunds to Plateau, Borno states, N5.882bn contracts

The Federal Executive Council (FEC) on Wednesday, approved the procurement process for the take off of a central clearing house for the operations of toll plaza concessionaires, across nine federal highways in the country.

Minister of Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola, disclosed this on Wednesday while briefing journalists, after the Federal Executive Council meeting presided over by President Mohammadu Buhari, at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.

Fashola who recalled that the previous administrations had canceled the operation of toll plazas on grounds of lack of transparency, amongst other reasons, said the current administration has resorted to the restoration of tolling.

“So we’ve approved a National Tolling Policy, today.

Two weeks ago, FEC had approved the full business case for the concessioning of nine federal roads, which will include the concessionaires completion of those roads and also tolling operations, ambulance services, vehicle recovery services, amongst others

“Now, this process we sought and obtained approval to start, is to get a private sector operator to work with us to build a central clearing house at its own expense, operate it, recover and then ultimately transfer back to government.

Read also: FEC approves N10bn for Hadejia airstrip, Enugu control tower

Fashola said the central clearing house will synchronise between different toll systems that will be used by different concessionaires when they commence their tolls and also provide a one-stop accounting system and a single payment recovery system where everybody is paid at the end of the operations and also provide visibility for government to see what is going on in the operations of each concessionaire.

“So this process will now start by the publication of a request for qualification, followed by a request for proposals, all of which will be subsequently evaluated by the Infrastructure Concession and Regulatory Council (ICRC), the statutory body of government responsible for regulating concessions,” he said.

“Thereafter, we will come back to council with a full business case and possibly thereafter, it preferred bidder after a competitive bidding process. So essentially, we got approval to commence this process.”

The Council also approved refund of funds to state governments for previous interventions on federal government roads, subject to the July 26, 2016 cutoff, after which reforms would no longer be eligible.

According to the minister, “ two states who had outstandings with respect to eligible roads were Plateau and Borno states and Council approved the refund of N6,601,769,470. 99, in favour of Plateau State, and the sum of N3,084,787,113. 34 for Borno State. (N9,686,556,583)”.

The Minister of Education, Adamu Adamu, also disclosed that FEC approved the construction of the Senate Building in Osun State University, in Osogbo, at the cost of N2,134,686,307.88, with the completion period of 76 weeks and the contractor is WAZLAF Engineering Limited.

“The second one is another Senate Building. This one is at the Federal University, Lokoja and it is at the cost of N1,607,471,754.77, with the completion period of 50 weeks and the contractor for the project is Amber Bliss Nigeria Limited.

“The third one is a contract for the erection of radio antenna for the National Commission for Nomadic Education. It is 50 kilowatt AM radio and the contractor is ECALPEMOS Technologies Limited and the contract sum is N336,745,631.70. The completion period is 14 weeks.

He stated that FEC also approved the takeover of David Umahi University of Medical Sciences, Ebonyi State, by the federal government.
“What we brought in the memo is for Council to ratify the agreement that has been entered between the Ebonyi State government and the federal government and then to approve the renaming of the university from David Umahi University of Medical Sciences to David Umahi Federal University of Health Sciences and to approve a draft bill, which has been written, and then to approve the transmittal of this bill to the National Assembly for enactment into an Act.

Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Niyi Adebayo, revealed that FEC also approved request by the Oil and Gas Free Zones Authority, for the award of contract for the construction of a package sewage system for the authorities head office within the Liberty Free Zone in Akwa Ibom State.

“The contract was approved at the sum of N1,803,556,537.95, inclusive of 7.5% VAT, with the completion period of 10 months, without variation.”

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