Zainab Ahmed, minister of finance, says the federal government is working on a policy that will limit the number of children a woman can give birth to.

The Federal Executive Council (FEC) has approved the loan of $20 million for Lagos state strategic transportation plan.

The sum is part of the total $247 million loan approval granted at the weekly Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting presided over by President Muhammadu Buhari.

The other $227 million loan is for rural electrification and West Africa Power projects.

The minister of Finance, Zainab Ahmed, who announced the loan approval, said the Lagos transportation project when completed will benefit 1.8 million people in the state.

Lagos state she said has the capacity to repay the loan.

She briefed State House Correspondents alongside with Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi, FCT Minister, Bello Mohammed and Senior Special Assistant to the President, Garba Shehu.

She explained that the country’s borrowing is still within limit.

She said: “The third loan approval is $20 million, for the Lagos State Strategic Transport Master Plan, this facility is from the French Development Agency.

“The objective of the project is to improve the living conditions of the inhabitants of Lagos urban area and to promote urban development sitting by efficient and effective transport system.

“The project has two major components, first is to rehabilitate urban roads and the creation of minimum of eight equality bus corridors and the creation of two multi-model inter-changes at Marina and Mile 2. The second objective is to provide technical support for implementation and management.

“When completed, the project is expected to impact 1.8 million inhabitants of Lagos State and accumulative 1.5 million users per day for inter-model inter-changes without about 620,000 boarding at Mile 2 and 480,000 boarding at Marina. Another estimated 630,000 boarding at QBS.

“The project is being undertaken by Lagos State agency, LAMATA under its own strategy.

“So the federal government is borrowing to unlearn to Lagos following the same terms and conditions that we signed.

“Our assessment is that Lagos state has the capacity to repay the loan.”

The Council also approved $150 million loan facility from African development bank and $50 million loan from African Grow Together Fund to finance the Nigeria electrification project.

The project, the Minister said “is a nationwide initiative to be implemented by the rural electrification agency. The project aligns with the strategy of federal government on electrifying rural community. ”

The project, She revealed has four components, first is solar hybrid mini-grid for rural economic development, the second is productive appliances equipment for off-grid communities and the third is energising education while the fourth component is institutional capacity building.

“The impact of the project when fully implemented, about 500,000 people will be able to have access to electricity for about 105,000 households.

“The maximum power that will be generated will be 76.5 megawatts installed generating capacity part of which is 68,000 megawatts of solar.

“Eight universities will benefit from this scheme and about 20,000 small, micro, medium enterprises across different communities in the nation,” she added.

The other foreign loan approval of 27.3million is for the West Africa regional power project.

The post project aims to connect Nigeria, Niger, Benin Republic, Togo, Burkina Faso with a high voltage 330 kilowatts transmission line, to facilitate energy trade amongst participants.

She said: “The second approval the North Core Dorsal regional transmission project. This is a project that is part of the pipeline for the pipeline for the West Africa power pull priority projects. The intention is for the creation of regional power pull in the region of west Africa. The post project aims to connect Nigeria, Niger, Benin Republic, Togo, Burkina Faso with a high voltage 330 kilowatts transmission line, to facilitate energy trade amongst participants.

“The project is in the total sum of $640 million out of which each of the four countries involved has a component. Nigeria has the smallest component in this pact which is a total loan of $27.3 million IADE facility, it is a concessionary loan. This is a loan that the four countries are taking together, the other three countries have concluded theirs, so this is one of the final stages for Nigeria to conclude its process.”

FEC also approved contract in the sum of N3.86 billion for projects in FCT.

Briefing newsmen on the approval, FCT Minister, Mohammed Musa Bello said: “The first is the approval for the rehabilitation of 12.6 kilometer of road from the junction Gwagwalada in the abuja Lokoja A1 express way. It will pass through Gwagwalada specialist hospital upto Bello village at the cost of N1.3 billion, with a completion period of eight months.

“Council also approved the award of contract for the provision of cultural zone at the cost of N1.3 billion with a completion period of nine months.

“Council also approved the award of contract for the reconstruction of access road leading the lower usuma dam, which provides portable water to the residents of abuja and environs. This is line with this administration’s stance of twin contract development of the city and satellite towns to make it easier for residence to stay in either satellite towns or city. The contract sum is N1.26 billion with a completion period of six months .”

Also, the two memos presented by the Ministry of Transportation, got the approval of council, Amaechi said.

The sum of $8.7 million was approved for the rail projects spanning Ibadan-Kano-Oshogbo-Minna-Abuja.

With the approval yesterday, the project will now include Oshogbo-Ekiti.

He said “There was an approval for $8.7 billion for Ibadan to Kano to Oshogbo, to Minna to Abuja. Minna to Kaduna, Kaduna to Kano. What we sought for was the variation because the financing authority wanted to find just $5.7 billion. We needed approval to negotiate the remender as a commercial loan.

“Again the President also approved that we add Oshogbo to Ekiti as part of the construction. It was not there earlier. That will cost us a total of $500 million.

“The next one was approval for N474.4 million for the purchase of 22 number operational vehicles for the Nigeria Civil Aviation Authority. There will be two Hiace vehicle and 21 others

In the cost of each of the vehicles, he said the unit price for each of the buses is N27.5 million and they are two. And don’t forget that there is nothing we do that does not go through due process. So they would have checked the actual prices in the market. And the other ones are N28.5 million multiple by 21 vehicles.

“Also, FEC approved the bill for the establishment of a Nigeria Army University in Biu, Borno state. You will recall the council in April 2018 approved the establishment of the university. The bill will be forwarded to the National Assembly for legislation.”

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