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FEC approves N3.9 billion to complete federal secretariat projects, abandoned since 2011

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THE Federal Executive Council, FEC on Wednesday approved the completion of the federal secretariat projects which was initiated in 2011 in five states across the country.

The projects located in Anambra, Bayelsa, Nasarawa, Osun, and Zamfara states are expected to gulp N3.975 billion after FEC finalised the terms of approval.

Babatunde Fashola, Minister of Works at the end of the FEC meeting presided by President Muhammadu Buhari, said the ministry reviewed the costs of the materials for the projects as the costs since 2011 have changed significantly.

“We applied to the council to revise the estimates and total cost of files of 16 contracts because the cost of materials had altered significantly since 2011 when these projects started and we want to complete them and these are the federal secretariat projects in Anambra, Bayelsa, Nasarawa, Osun and Zamfara states.

“They are handled by different contractors, but each one wanted a variation and the total sum of variation came to N3.975 billion and we sought Council’s approval and the approval was granted so the old contract price of N13,565,621,307 has now been increased to N17,541,456,168,” he said.

He also went down memory lane to explain how the secretariats were created to enable federal workers to have a visible official presence in various states.

“The problem arose from the creation of new states, in assets sharing some of the old states took the whole secretariats, so our staff in those states, across all federal ministries, are either in rented official premises for their work or squatting in state government premises,” he said.

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Fashola said the furniture for the facilities are completed and waiting in the warehouse till the building is completed before they can be installed.

Lai Mohammed, minister of information, who also spoke with state correspondents clarified that the council approved N3.9 billion and not N17 billion for the projects.

“These projects started since 2011 and many of them have reached completion, like Gombe State. Some are in various stages of completion, money has been paid to a certain level. So all that have been approved today was the variation of N3.9 billion, not N17 billion,” he said.

Amos Abba is a journalist with the International Center for Investigative Reporting, ICIR, who believes that courageous investigative reporting is the key to social justice and accountability in the society.

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