By; SUNDAY ODE, Abuja
The Federal Government Wednesday approved the establishment of 10 new high capacity rice mills at the cost of N10 billion to boost the capacity of rice value chain in the country.
It also okayed a total of about N68 billion as contract sum for the construction of some roads in Bauchi and Lagos states.
Disclosing the outcome of the weekly Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting presided over by President Muhammadu Buhari at the Presidential Villa, Abuja, to State House Correspondents, Minister of State for Agriculture, Senator Heineken Olokpobiri said the new rice mills would be located across the six geo-political zones.
According to him, the 100 tons par day mills would be handed over to private sector operators after their establishment for proper utilization and maintenance.
He said: “Today the Federal Executive Council approved the establishment of ten very large rice mills to enhance the milling capacity of rice value chain in the country.
“Few years ago, it was reported that this country needs a minimum of 100 large mills. As at today we have about 21 but the Federal Government in its wisdom decided that today we should approve the establishment of ten new rice mills at the total cost of N10.7 billion.
“This will be given to the private sector to manage which will be paid back within a given time frame as will be agreed between the Bank of Agriculture and the Rice Mills.
“The state will be ten. You know in Nigeria, over 30 states are growing rice, in today’s memo, the ten rice mills will be located across the six geopolitical zones including Kebbi, Zamfara, Benue, Kogi, Bayelsa, Anambra, Kaduna, Niger, Ogun, Bauchi.
“The capacity of the rice mills is 100 tons per day each.”
Also speaking at the post FEC briefing, Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Babatunde Fasola disclosed that FEC approved about N64 billion for the construction of section one of Lagos-Ibadan Express Road, while another N4.578 billion was approved for the rehabilitation of Subaila-Falala-Birnin-Baku-
Fasola said: “Council approved the award of Subaila-Falala-Bini-Baku-
Bauchi Road that connects Kano and Bauchi States at the sum of N4.578 billion. Council also approved additional works on section one of Lagos – Ibadan express way. Council also approves additional works on over 43.6 kilometers for N64.108 billion which covers pedestrian bridges, toll plazas for that section so as to accommodate the changing nature of that road.
“Since its conception, so many new structures, religious institutions, factories, universities, increased human activities have come up along that road. The inherited design didn’t provide for these at all and also to modify the quality of bitumen, polymer modified bitumen, in order to deal with the heavy cargo that passes through that road.
“The first section is handled by Julius Berger. The second section under RCC which covers over 80 kilometres will come to council to incorporate similar works including drainage works when we finish the procurement.”
Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Malam Garba Shehu who moderated the briefing also announced that N10 billion was approved for erosion control in parts of the country, while another 460 million dollars was approved by council for additional facilities in at the airports.