The Federal Executive Council has approved the procurement of two new KND P.249 Aluminium high speed boats for the Nigerian Customs Service.

The bulletproof boats, which got an approval of the sum of N3,072,653,164.60, are expected to be used to combat the current security challenges on the nation’s waterways.

The speedboats, which will be fitted with surveillance equipment, will be customised and have the capacity to go deeper into the sea to check crime.

The Council, during its meeting on Wednesday, also approved the total sum of N5,538,190,913.52 for the rehabilitation of Owerri-Umuahia Road Sections 1, 11 & 111 in Imo state and construction of two bridges  along Auchi Polytechnic Ekperi-Agenebode Road in Edo.

Minister of Information, Labaran Maku, said the meeting, which was presided over by Vice President Namadi Sambo, awarded the procurement contract in favour of Messrs Kobus Naval Design/Portplus Limited in the sum of N3,072,653,164.60 inclusive of five per cent Value Added Tax with delivery period of nine months.

He told journalists that the scope of the contract covers the construction of the jetty, stock of ammunition for three years, spare parts for three years, training of the crew and maintenance for three years, adding that the delivery of the speed boats would go a long way in curtailing the huge economic drain and threat smuggling poses to the nation’s manufacturing sector.

Maku also said the procurement would prevent huge revenue loss, as the activities of smugglers was affecting the development of the nation’s economy.

FEC also approved the rehabilitation of Owerri-Umuahia Road Sections I, II and III in Imo/Abia States, after considering the socio-economic importance of the road and the potential for reduced vehicle operating cost, travel time and accidents on the roads.

According to Maku, the contract brought by the Ministry of Works was awarded to Messrs Zerock Construction Nigeria Limited in the sum of N4,207,774,864.51 with a completion period of 12 months.

He added that FEC also approved the building of two bridges along Auchi Polytechnic Ekperi-Agenebode Road in Edo State, to make that route properly serviceable and control environmental degradation.

The construction of the bridges, he said, was awarded to Messrs Niger Construction Limited in the sum of N1,330,416,048.02 with a completion period of 12 months.

FEC also adopted the proposal for the adoption of central database for all ministries, departments and agencies of government.

The Minister of Communication Technology, Omobola Johnson, had, three weeks ago, presented a memorandum to the FEC on the need to coordinate the deployment of all Information Communication Technology systems in government and public service.

Following this, FEC set up a committee led by the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Senator Anyim Anyim, on the issue.

Maku said approval was based on the proposal brought by the committee on the matter.

Highlights of the new policy are the harmonisation and coordination of ICT and its budget in all MDAs by the Ministry of Information Technology, as well as the deployment of communication officers to MDAs.

According to the minister of Information, the presence of the communication officers is meant to give additional technical capacity and avoid duplication as well as reduce cost.

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