Cyril Okonkwo, Abuja
The Nigerian cabinet has approved the installation of 300 buoys on the River Niger at the cost of N581million.
Minister of State for Transportation, Senator Gbemisola Saraki, stated this on Wednesday while briefing State House correspondents after the meeting of the Federal Executive Council presided over by President Muhammadu Buhari.
She said the approval was for a repeat procurement because it had first been done in 2017 and 2018.
“It is actually a repeat procurement because the first was done in 2017/2018, which was Baru to Onitsha and this time we are taking it from Onitsha to Lokoja.”
According to Saraki, the initial approval was for 200 buoys, while the additional 300 buoys were approved “to ensure that the waterways are navigable for all the vessels that go through.”
Over 200 jobs expected
Senator Saraki said the procurement of the buoys would generate new direct and indirect jobs in the country.
“It was important that the council appreciates the importance of safety of lives and property.
“It is going to be a six months contract that will generate approximately between 100 and 120 direct new jobs and various indirect jobs because you know these buoys float.
“They have to actually cast and have concrete base that they sit on, to generate the new direct employment.
“Obviously, it opens up the area; it is part of the programme of the president to have the infrastructural system in Nigeria improved and strengthened to generate wealth for everybody,” he said.
The minister added that the contract was awarded to Messrs Marina Energy Limited.