The Federal Executive Council (FEC) on Wednesday in Abuja approved N987 million for the procurement of 50 vehicles for Special Mines Surveillance Task Force to check illegal mining activities across the country
The Minister of Mines and Steel Development, Dr Kayode Fayemi, disclosed this when he briefed State House correspondents on the outcome of the Council’s meeting presided over by President Muhammadu Buhari, at the First Lady Conference hall, Presidential Villa.
Fayemi said that Nigeria had lost over nine billion dollars to illegal mining activities between 2014 and 2015 and there was an urgent need to check the negative impact on the economy. He said the 50 vehicles would be deployed to all the 36 states including the FCT and this will further add to the contribution of the mining sector to the nation’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP).
The Minister of Water Resources, Alhaji Suleman Adamu, also said Council approved N606 million for operating and maintaining the Gurara-Abuja Water pipelines it for nine years. The amount (N606million) would be paid by his ministry and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).
According to him, “We believe after construction it doesn’t make sense for the project to remain in the hands of the contractor for close 10 years now without our taking possession and being responsible for the operation and maintenance of the pipeline.
“The memo was approved and in the next 12 months we would have prepared our own personnel to take over the operation and maintenance of the scheme and for the contractor to totally disengage from the project site after 10 years.’’
The Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Mr Okechukwu Enelemah, , who also briefed the correspondents, said the council approved the second National Action Plan and the integrated Operationalization Plan for Executive Order 1.
The Council had, before the commencement of the meeting, observed a minute silence for the late former Vice President, Dr Alex Ekwueme.