Juliana Taiwo-Obalonye, Abuja
The Federal Executive Council presided over by President Muhammadu Buhari, on Wednesday, approved three memos, including the procurement of five fire fighting trucks for the Nigeria Fire Service, as well as construction of a data center for the Nigeria Immigration Service NIS, two parastatals under the Ministry of Interior.
The Council had approved N11 billion for the purchase of fire fighting trucks for the Nigeria Fire Service (NFS) and construction of technology building for the Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS).
The approval includes the procurement of 116 trucks for the Nigeria Prison Service for conveying inmates to the courts, amongst other places.
The Minister of Interior, Abdurahman Dambazzau, disclosed this on Wednesday while briefing State House Correspondents after the meeting.
He said the purchase of the vehicles was part of the reform initiatives of the present administration to turn around the country’s fire service.
“The reform is not only in the area of procurement, we are also focusing on the issue of welfare and training of the personnel of the fire service,” he said.
According to Dambazzau, the 116 operational trucks which he christened” Green Maria” will be distributed amongst the 240 prisons for their daily operations including, taking prisoners to courts, adding that “This is part of our efforts to ensure speedy justice dispensation in our Prison system.”
“The first memo has to do with the procurement of fire fighting trucks, water tankers and we are also focusing our attention on the issues of training and workers welfare.”
He disclosed that government had “procured 21 fire fighting vehicles and water trucks in 2016, 22 fire fighting trucks in 2017, adding that, in 2018, government was repeating what it did in 2017, purchasing trucks worth N3.952 billion.
“The government is doing everything possible to ensure that the fire incidents are contained and also controlled. We will identify the areas that have the higher hazards.”
Dambazzau recalled that FEC had approved contracts for the construction of technology building, a data command, control and communications center, to bring data used by the Nigeria Immigration Service under one roof. The data are currently scattered and domiciled with the service providers.
“Even though, we have made efforts to bring them together, they are still in piecemeal. With the technology center, all these data will be brought together, so that they can be able to interface with other institutions that has to do with internal security, border management and so on, including the Nigeria Customs Service NCS.”
The minister revealed that the rationale is to guarantee efficient and effective management of the data
The contract, he said has been awarded to Julius Berger at the cost of N7.19 billion.
He also revealed that FEC approved contracts for the procurement of 116 “Green Maria” vehicles. “We just changed the names to reflect the reforms we have undertaken in our prisons.
“We are procuring these trucks at the cost of N1.58 billion. There are over 5,000 Courts, were we take our awaiting trial inmates to on daily basis from the 240 Prisons and this is part of our efforts to improve our speedy dispensation of Justice and avoid Prison over crowding.”
The Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi, disclosed that his Ministry presented a memo for variation of cost for Abuja rail project runway.
“FEC approved the increase of N628 million to bring the total cost of the job to N6.5 billion. What we referred to as variation is more of additional works that we need to do”
“We also have what we call Pilot Cutters which covey vessels from point A to point B. We have Pilot Cutters in our ports except at the Tin Can Island Port and Apapa ports. So we came to Council for approvals to purchase two Pilot Cutters for the two ports.
He disclosed that the contract was awarded at the cost of N1.2 billion or $3.9 million.