FEC Approves N87.54 Billion for Roads, Bridge Constructions
The Federal Executive Council (FEC) has approved another N87.54 billion for the construction of roads and bridges in Nigeria.
The Minister of Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola and Muhammed Bello, the Minister of the Federal Capital Territory, disclosed this to the State House correspondents at the end of the council meeting presided over by President Muhammadu Buhari.
Bello told reporters that the contract for the road in the FCT was awarded to Messrs Gilmor Engineering Nigeria Limited in the sum of N30.69bn with a completion period of 32 months.
He said the contract was about the full scope development of Umaru Musa Yar’Adua Way to the Northern Express Way (Murtala Mohammed Way) popularly known as Kubwa Expressway.
He said the project area was within Phase II of the Federal Capital City, serving as boundary road between the adjoining districts of Mabushi, Kado, Katampe and Jabi.
Fashola, on his part, said the council approved a variation of N47.5bn for the completion of the 52 kilometre-Oyo-Ogbomosho Highway, which is a part of the Ilorin-Ibadan 145 kilometres highway.
The variation, he explained, had increased the cost of the contract to N105.04bn.
He said the variation was necessary because of the need to adjust the thickness of the pavement from 500mm to 560mm; to change the asphalt to polymer-modified bitumen and also change the shoulders from surface dressing to fully asphalted inside and outside shoulder.
The minister explained, “So, all these required changes in prices of N47.5bn. This was the revision that we presented which council approved.
“This road was awarded in 2010. As I said, Sections 1 and 3 were completed. We are trying to complete Section 2 which we also inherited.”
Fashola added that the council approved N9.35bn variation to complete Lokko-Oweto Bridge that links Nasarawa to Benue State, adding that the development had changed contract price from N51.621bn to N60.961bn.
He said, “That project was awarded in 2011 and it was awarded in three different sections – one section, the road to Benue to Oweto, was awarded to one contractor; we have completed that road.
“The bridge was awarded to another contractor. The bridge is essentially finished now. It is open to traffic. And then, Lokko to Nasarawa, 74 kilometres, was awarded to another contractor. We are trying to sort out that problem and we will come back to it.
“So, the approval given today was a N9.35bn variation to complete the bridge component or remaining work on the bridge.”
He said changes in the contract moved the price from N51.62bn to N60.96bn.
Food Inflation Hits Record High of 19.56 Percent in December 2020
Food Index, which measures prices of food items, grew by 19.56 percent in the month of December 2020 amid herdsmen attacks and flooding.
In the latest report from the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS), increases were recorded on Bread and cereals, Potatoes, Yam and other
tubers, Meat, Fruits, Vegetable, Fish and Oils and fats.
On month on monthly basis, the food sub-index rose by 2.05 percent in December 2020, 0.01 percent from 2.04 percent recorded in November 2020.
“The average annual rate of change of the Food sub-index for the twelve-month period ending December 2020 over the previous twelve-month average was 16.17 percent, 0.42 percent points from the average annual rate of change recorded in November 2020 (15.75) percent” the report stated.
Headline inflation number increased by 15.75 percent in the month of December 2020, up from 14.89 percent.
The report noted that increases were recorded in all COICOP divisions that yielded the Headline index.
On a month-on-month basis, “the urban index rose by 1.65 percent in December 2020, same as the rate recorded in November 2020, while the rural index also rose by 1.58 percent in December 2020, up by 0.02 percent above the rate that was recorded in November 2020 (1.56 percent).”
Nigeria’s Inflation Rate Rises to 15.75 Percent in December
Inflation rate in Africa’s largest economy, Nigeria, rose at the fastest pace in several months in the last month of 2020, according to the latest report from the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS).
Consumer Price Index (CPI), which measures inflation rate, increased by 15.75 percent year-on-year in December 2020, representing a 0.86 percent increment from the 14.89 percent attained in November.
On a monthly basis, headline inflation rose by 1.61 percent in the month of December, representing 0.01 percent increase from the 1,60 percent posted in the month of November.
Food gauge that measures prices of items in Africa’s largest economy increased by 19.56 percent in December from 18.30 percent in November.
NBS attributed the increase to the surge in prices of Bread and cereals, Potatoes, Yam and other tubers, Meat, Fruits, Vegetable, Fish and Oils and fats.
On a monthly basis, the food sub-index grew by 2.05 percent in December 2020, an increase of 0.01 percent points from 2.04 percent recorded in November 2020.
The more stable annual rate showed Food sub-index over the last 12 months increased by 0.42 percent points from 15.75 percent in November to 16.17 percent in December.
Herdsmen attacks, the rising cost of fuel, flooding and the wide exchange rate are some of the key factors impacting the cost of food items in Nigeria, especially in December when demands were the highest.
Still lack of enough fiscal buffer to cushion the effect of COVID-19 and ease forex scarcity also drag on raw materials necessary for the production of some import-dependent items.
Joe Biden on Thursday Unveiled $1.9 Trillion Stimulus Package
President-elect, Joe Biden, on Thursday revealed more details of his $1.9 trillion coronavirus rescue package for households and businesses impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic in the United States.
In the proposal called the American Rescue Plan, several stimulus measures were detailed in the hope it would mitigate the impact of COVID-19 on families and businesses.
Below are the highlights of the Rescue Plan
- Direct payments of $1,400 to most Americans, bringing the total relief to $2,000, including December’s $600 payments
- Increasing the federal, per-week unemployment benefit to $400 and extending it through the end of September
- Increasing the federal minimum wage to $15 per hour
- Extending the eviction and foreclosure moratoriums until the end of September
- $350 billion in state and local government aid
- $170 billion for K-12 schools and institutions of higher education
- $50 billion toward Covid-19 testing
- $20 billion toward a national vaccine program in partnership with states, localities and tribes
- Making the Child Tax Credit fully refundable for the year and increasing the credit to $3,000 per child ($3,600 for a child under age 6).
Speaking on Thursday, Joe Biden, said “Tonight, I lay out my first step, the American Rescue Plan that will tackle the pandemic and get direct financial assistance and relief to Americans who need it the most.”
“Next month, in my first appearance before a joint session of Congress I will lay out my ‘build back better’ recovery plan,” Biden said. “It will make historic investments in infrastructure, manufacturing, innovation, and research and development in clean energy.”
“Our ‘rescue and recovery’ plan is a path forward with both serious of purpose and a clear plan, with transparency and accountability, with a call for unity that is equally necessary,” he said.
“It’s not hard to see that we’re in the middle of a once-in-several-generations economic crisis with a once-in-several-generations public health crisis. A crisis of deep human suffering is in plain sight and there’s no time to waste,” Biden said. “We have to act, and we have to act now.”
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