The Federal Executive Council (FEC), presided over by President Muhammadu Buhari, on Wednesday approved N133 million for the purchase of infrastructure and pieces of equipment for the Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board (JAMB).
The infrastructure and pieces of equipment are to help check examination malpractice.
Malam Garba Shehu, the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, disclosed this when he briefed State House correspondents on the outcome of the Council’s meeting in Abuja.
Shehu briefed the correspondents alongside the Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Mr Okechukwu Enelamah; Minister of State, Aviation, Sen. Hadi Sirika, and the Minister of State for Works, Power and Housing, Alhaji Mustapha Shehuri.
He said the purchase of the Computer Based Test facilities would enable JAMB to take total control of its examination processes to avoid leakages that had hitherto characterised the conduct of examinations by the board.
“”JAMB had ran their tests for people who seek admissions to universities using computer based testing agencies and this has been attended by leakages over time and in order to stop all of that JAMB has begun to set up their own infrastructure for conducting those examinations.
“While they have realized that they had not sufficiently covered the ground they have requested, as they did today, for government to buy-up one of the CBT organization for N133 million.
“They bought over the infrastructure, equipment and the building
“So, the effort is that JAMB will want to take total control of all these examination processes in order to avoid leakages that had in the past attended their own examinations.”
The Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Okechukwu Enelamah, disclosed that his ministry sought the council’s approval for effective implementation of Projects Made in Nigeria Exports, tagged Project-MINE Initiative.
According to him, Project – Mine is aimed at developing world class export oriented special economic zones across the six geo-political zones of the country.
He added that project was anchored on creating the right enabling environment for special economic zones across the country.
“”If you study other countries that industrialised rapidly, you will find out that one of things they did right was to have these special economic zones and industrial parks that are world class which means that all the infrastructure is there and all the requirements are in place,’’ he said.
He said the plan was to begin the development of those special economic zones across the six geo-political zones.
“We are going to do one in Lagos State Lekki Free Trade Zone Area, one in Katsina State in Funtau Cotton Cluster Zone Area and another one in Abia in Enyimba City.
“We are also going to develop to world class standard the existing two zones that the government has in Calabar and Kano.”
The minister announced that the council also approved pre-development work to start and develop Green Field Special Economic Zone in Akwa Ibom, Benue, Ebonyi, Edo, Gombe, Kwara and Sokoto states with a further roll out to other locations in phase two.
He said there were budgetary allocations both in the 2017 and 2018 budgets for the implementation of the project.
Enelamah said: “Specifically, council approved today payments to consultants totalling N2.655,785billion for various projects that would be undertaken by different consultants that would lead to the implementation of these zones.
“Actually, that is just for one set of consultant. The aggregate amount which includes another set is N3.172,431billion. But the amount that has been invested in zones are much larger.
“The 2017 budget had over N40 bilion. The budget also has over N40billlion in 2018.
“The total budget of developing these zones would be in excess of N250billion and it will include partners.
“This is going to be done through something called The Nigerian Special Economic Zones Company Limited, which is a public private partnership.
“The Federal Government is going to own 20 per cent of that company and AFRIEXIM bank is going to be a shareholder and other investors like the Nigerian Sovereign Investment Authority and other international investors.
“It is going to be developed in such a way that it will be world class. We are going to see rapid implementation now that council approval has been obtained.’’
Minister of State, Aviation, Hadi Sirika, revealed that the council approved N993.3million for the building of Simulator at the Nigeria College of Aviation Technology (NCAT), Zaria.
He expressed the hope that the installation of the Simulator would enhance the capacity of NCAT as Regional Training Centre of Excellence.
“”So, wind of change is blowing at the Nigeria College of Aviation Technology (NCAT), Zaria,’’ he said.
He also stated that the Council was briefed on the activities of Nigerian Meteorological Agency (NIMET) including the 2018 Seasonal Rainfall Prediction (SRP).
In his contribution, the Minister of State for Works, Power and Housing, Mustapha Shehuri, said Council approved N5.9 billion for the construction of 16.7 kilometers Suleja-Chaaza-Banguru road and spur to Rafinsayin in Niger State.
“It also provided for 15 metres of bridge construction.” he added
He added that N130 billion was also approved for the dualization of Ilorin-Jebba-Mokwa-Bokani road in Kwara and Niger states.
“The contract’s life span is 36 months,’’ he added.
Shehuri disclosed that the Council also approved construction of Ibi bridge across River Benue connecting Taraba and Plateau states at the cost of N57 billion.