Nigeria earmarks N993m for College of Aviation Zaria

Timothy Choji, Abuja


Nigeria’s cabinet has approved the sum of N993.4 million for the building of a simulator house for the College of Aviation Zaria, Kaduna State.

Minister of State-Aviation, Hadi Sirika revealed this to Journalists at the end of Wednesday’s cabinet meeting presided over by President Muhammadu Buahri.

“Council today considered a memo form Ministry of transport-Aviation, for the building of a simulator house that will house the Boeing 737 simulator at the College of Aviation Zaria, in the sum of N993, 484, 980.60. The project has a completion period of 43 weeks. The simulator has already been procured but there is the need for such a house for it. The presence of this simulator in Zaria is very significant because it will enhance the capacity of the institution. You noted that just recently Zaria became the centre for excellence in Africa, as certified by the International Civil Aviation Organisation ICAO and this is part of our effort to upgrade the institution and make it the only training institution in the world,” Sirika explained.

Economic Zones

On his part Minister of industry, Trade and Investment, Dr Okechukwu Enelamah informed Journalists that the Ministry obtained Council’s approval for the implementation of a policy that will enhance the export of Nigerian goods through special economic zones across the country.

“The Ministry brought memos. The first one is a memorandum that sought the council’s approval for effective implementation of Projects Made in Nigeria Exports, something called Project-MINE Initiative which is aimed at developing world class export oriented special economic zones across the six geo-political zones of council. And that memo was approved. That memo is anchored on creating the right enabling environment for special economic zones across the country. If you study other countries that industrialised rapidly, you will find out that one of things they did right was to have these special economic zones and industrial parks that are world class which means that all the infrastructure are there and all the requirements are in place. And the plan is to begin the development of those special economic zones across the six geo-political zones as follows:

“We are going to do one in Lagos State Lekki Free Trade Zone Area, one in Katsina in Funtau Cotton Cluster Zone Area and another one in Abia in Enyimba City. We are also going to develop to world class standard the existing two zones that the government has in Calabar and Kano. And in addition, the council also approved pre-development work to start and develop Green Field Special Economic Zone in Akwa Ibom, in Benue and in Ebonyi, Edo, Gombe, Kwara and Sokoto state with a further roll out to other locations in phase two. As you know, there were budgetary allocations both in the 2017 and also in the 2018 budget,” he said.

Consultancy Fee

The Minister also told State House Correspondents that over two billion naira was approved for the payment of consultancy fees for projects to be executed in the special economic zones.

“The second one, specifically, Council approved today payments to consultants totalling N2.655, 785, 000 billion for various projects that would be undertaken by different consultants that would lead to the implementation of these zones. Actually, that is just for one set of consultant. The aggregate amount which includes another set is N3.172, 431 billion. But the amount that has been invested in zones that are much larger. The 2017 budget had over N40bilion. The budget also has over N40billlion in 2018. The total budget of developing these zones would be in excess of N250billion and it will include partners. This is going to be done through something called The Nigerian Special Economic Zones Company Limited, which is a public private partnership.

“The Federal Government is going to own 20 percent of that company and AFRIEXIM bank is going to be a shareholder and other investors like the Nigerian Sovereign Investment Authority and other international investors. It is going to be developed in such a way that it will be world class. We are going to see rapid implementation now that council approval has been obtained,” Dr Enelamah stated.