To minimize attacks on the country’s railway services, the Federal Executive Council (FEC) yesterday approved an N495 million contract for the procurement and installation of scanners in some railway stations.
Specifically, the baggage scanners will be installed at the Kubwa, Idu, Jere, Rigassa, Kaduna, and Kano, among others.
Minister of State for Transportation, Ademola Adegoroye, who stated this to reporters after the week’s Council meeting, presided over by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo at the Presidential Villa, Abuja, also said the cost of the contract was put at N495 million.
He said the devices were necessary because of the need to enhance the security of lives and property in the railway facilities.
“The Federal Ministry of Transportation had two memos today, which I presented on behalf of the ministry and it had to do with one, the provision of scanners at all railway stations all over the country. The scanners cost N495 million.”
“You’ll all agree with me that in view of the process of security of lives and property, such equipment has to be installed at our railway stations. Since we’re starting the railway revolution, we are trying to put in place a lot of things with the railways. We don’t want people to come and damage all that the government has been trying to put in place in that sector.
“So, today there was a memo before the Council for the provision of baggage scanners at railway stations and I’m happy to inform you that the Council agreed with us and has approved that contract for scanners to be installed at railway stations so that when people get there and have goods, then they can pass through the scanners and they can be sure that there’s nothing that can destroy, that can cause violence or inflict danger or bring lives and property at stake”, he said.
Adegoro further disclosed that the Council approved another memorandum for the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA), with respect to the provision of towing services for the new Lekki Deep Seaport and the Dangote Jetty in Lagos.
According to the Minister, the Council approved a ten-year concession to a marine services company to provide towing services at the two locations, in order to ease operations at the ports.
“The second one had to do with the provision of towing services. You will recall that the Lekki Deep Seaport was commissioned by the President a couple of months back and so because one of the statutory responsibilities of the NPA is the provision of marine services, being the regulatory agency in that sector and so because of the new Lekki Deep Support and the Dangote Jetty, the need has arisen for a company that can carry out towing services so that it will make a lot of things easier in the ports like ship berthing will be easier, discharge of goods and will be a lot easier.
“So the Federal Executive Council also agreed with us and has given a 10-year concession to that company, Messrs Arcuff, to carry out two-way services at Lekki Deep Seaport and Dangote Jetty”, the Minister said.
Also, the Council approved a new policy on the Agricultural Extension Service, aimed at making the practice of agriculture in the country really technology-driven and aiding the drive for food and nutrition security in the country.
Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Mohammed Mahmood Abubakar, who disclosed this during the post-FEC, also disclosed that the ministry had recruited more than 100,000 Extension Service Agents in 2022.
The Minister also disclosed, while responding to a question, that there is no food shortage in the country, assuring that the ministry would continue to support the smallholder farmers, whom he said produce about 70per cent of the nation’s food production.
“We presented a memo today on Agricultural Extension Service in the country and the purpose is really to have a good working extension service policy. Of course, you know we do conduct research, and today the age of technological innovations, how do we get this research information to the farmers? It is done through an extension service. We have Extension Service agents, which the ministry recruits from time to time. Last year, we recruited way over 100,000 Extension Service agents”, he said.?