Wednesday, 31 October 2012

Jonathan swaps ministers •Stops new memos for contracts

altPRESIDENT Goodluck Jonathan, on Wednesday, moved the Minister of State for Power, Mr Darius Ishaku to the Niger Delta Affairs Ministry, while the erstwhile Minister of State for Niger Delta Affairs, Hajia Zainab Ibrahim Kuchi, takes over Mr Ishaku’s position in the power ministry.
Ishaku had acted as Minister of Power since the resignation of the substantive minister, Professor Barth Nnaji, a few months ago.
According to the Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Dr Reuben Abati, the president announced the reshuffle during the Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting at the State House, Abuja, saying that the two ministers would begin work in their respective new ministries immediately.
President Jonathan also directed that no fresh memos for contracts should be accepted by the council after November 30, meaning that all memos under the 2012 budget must be submitted by that date.
In the absence of the Minister of Information, Mr Labaran Maku, who is on Good Governance nationwide tour, Minister of Communications, Mrs Omobola Johnson; Minister of Works, Mr Mike Onolememen and the Minister of State for the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Mrs Olajumoke Akinjide, with Dr Abati, briefed State House correspondents after the meeting.
FEC, at the meeting, approved contacts worth about N11.7 billion for construction of phase one of the 220-bed general hospital for Gwarimpa District and the 13-floor headquarters of the Code of Conduct Bureau.
According to the Minister of State for the FCT, the general hospital, which contract was awarded at the cost of N3.02 billion, would cater for the health needs of Gwarimpa Estate.

On the second contract worth N8.76 billion for the Code of Conduct Bureau headquarters in the Central Business District of Abuja, she said the 13-storey building would have four multi-level storey car parks, two of which are subterranean.
She added that the contract was originally awarded in 2010, but because of the development control provision that any building in the Central Business District must have multi-level car park, the design had to be revised, adding that the change necessitated a review of the cost from N3.509 million to N8,767 million with a  completion period of 36 months.
Also speaking at the briefing, Dr Abati denied that there has been a drop in electricity generation in the country, as he noted that ordinary Nigerians were speaking of increase in electricity supply.

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