The Federal Executive Council (FEC) yesterday approved N126 billion for the rehabilitation and construction of 12 roads across some states of the federation.
The beneficiary states include Jigawa, Kano, Enugu, Kwara, Adamawa, Bauchi, Gombe and Kaduna.
Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola disclosed to State House Correspondents after the FEC presided over by Acting President Yemi Osinbajo at the Presidential Villa.
He was joined at the briefing by the Minister of Health; Isaac Adewole, Minister of Budget and National Planning, Udo Udoma and senior special assistant media to the President, Garba Shehu.
According to Fashola , the contracts spread across the country would energise the ailing economy as massive funds would be injected into the construction sub sector.
He said;Council considered and approved the award of contracts for 12 roads,one of them is the Dukka Gulu road, in Kano, others are spread across Bauchi, Adamawa, Kwara, Gombe/Adamawa, Kano, Enugu, Kaduna, Bauchi/Gombe,
“The headline figures are in the region of 126billion but I think that is not the story, the story really is what the award of those contracts will do to the economy. It will restore confidence to the construction industry. Contractors who have been owed for two to three years before Mr President was elected are back in various states, they are called back their workers and as they are purchasing gravel, cement.
“The economy is on its way back with a bend and this situated what the minister of budget and planning has said. Every place in all of those states once we mobilise the contractors the monies is kept in those states.
“Most of the workers who drive the trucks, who fix the roads that you see are indigenes of those states and so they aggregate to the total output from each of those states to the national productivity and national recovery.
“What you then will see is improve improved journey time which was what we promised you as we cover more grounds wherever we have worked we have seen that you are travelling more efficiently, you are burning less fuel, you are reaching yourdestination quicker and as we complete those roads we can only have a more efficient economy.”
FEC also approved a new national health policy for the country.
Minister of Health, Prof. Isaac Odewale explained that the policy would ensure increased budgetary provision and universal health coverage for citizens.
He noted that this is the third in the history of this country as the first was in 1988, the second in 2004 and country is having the third now.
He said the thrust of the new policy is promoting the health of Nigerians to accelerate socio-economic development.
Adewole said;Council also received the new national draft health policy 2016 today.The process of getting the policy to FEC took sometime.
“We constituted a technical working group,chaired by former by former minister of health, professor Eyitayo Lambo, to look into the country’s context, the challenges, what went wrong in the past and how we can reposition the health sector.
According to him,this new policy provides direction necessary to support the achievement of significant progress interns of improving the performance of the national health system.
He hinted that the new policy also lays emphasis on primary healthcare as the bedrock of our national health system in addition to the provision of financial risk protection to all Nigerians particularly the poor and vulnerable population.
“This administration is reputed for being pro-poor and we are quiet committed to alleviating the problem of the poor Nigerians, the vulnerable the unemployed and the disadvantaged” he said.
On his part, the Minister of Budget said government is putting finishing touches to the economy and recovery growth plan.
According to him, when the administration came in ,they meet very difficult economic circumstances and they have been working hard to revive the economy .
He explained “When you talk about the plan, it is a document. What goes into the plan are things that we have working but now want put everything in a single plan. But elements of the plan are already being implemented. As you know, the 2017 budget is under the guidance of the plan.
“It is just we want a complete document so that any stakeholder dealing with Nigeria internally and externally, there will one document that you can see anything that you want find out about what government thinking is on the economy and every aspect of it. It is all in a document.
” We started with this implementation in the 2016 budget. When the plan is launched, you will see that everything that was done in that 2016 budget will be in that plan.