By Johnbosco Agbakwuru
The Federal Government has approved the procurement of lie detectors and digital night vision goggles for the National Drugs Law Enforcement Agency, NDLEA) to enhance their performance.
This is as the Federal Executive Council, FEC, has approved various contracts for the award of projects under the Ministries of Works and Housing; Industry, Trade and Investments, and Justice with a combined worth of over N33.812billion.
Briefing State House correspondents at the end of the virtual FEC meeting presided over by President Muhammadu Buhari, at the Council Chamber, Presidential Villa, Abuja, the Attorney General of the Federation, AGF, and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, explained that the rationale for the approval of the lie detector and digital night vision goggles for the NDLEA.
He said, “Two memos were presented this afternoon by the Federal Ministry of Justice on behalf and at the instance of national drugs, law enforcement agency. As you rightly know, the National Drugs Law Enforcement Agency is an agency of the government saddled with the responsibility of exterminating illicit drugs trafficking, sales and consumption.
“Arising from the fact that they have been doing wonderfully well, in terms of dealing with the scourge associated with drugs, the federal government has considered the possibility of making added provisions and employing and deploying technological equipment skills and competencies that will assist them in delivery.
“So, this morning, two memos were taken. One, it was a memo seeking the approval of the council for the award of contract for the supply of eye-scanning lie detector. Our technology has improved to the extent that we have in place technological equipment that have the capacity to detect whether you are indeed speaking the truth or indeed you are lying in the course of investigation.
“So, for the purpose of enhancing the capacity of the NDLEA in exterminating illicit drugs trafficking, sales and consumption, the federal government has considered the need and possibility of indeed providing this equipment to NDLEA.
“So, the memo in that respect was presented, it was taken and the contract was approved for MESSR Zettabytes Technologies Limited to procure for the agency these lie detector equipment. So eventually, on that account, the Federal Council approved the award of contract for the supply of eye-scanning lie detector by the National Drugs Law Drugs law enforcement agency in favour of my MESSR Zettabytes Technologies Limited in the sum of N498,850,000 only, inclusive of 7.5% VAT with a completion period of 90 days. That was the first memo that was taken.
“And the second memo is a memo by which the NDLEA through the Office of the Attorney General seeks approval of the council with the award for the supply of digital night vision goggle to the NDLEA, this is equally additional technological device that is intended to support the night operations of NDLEA in view of its capacity to support visibility for the NDLEA.
“So, the contract too was presented for consideration of the council and the council had graciously approved the award of the contract with the supply of digital night vision goggles by the national drug law enforcement agency in favor of MESSRS R-SET Integrated solution limited in the sum of N570,825,000 only, inclusive of 7.5% Value Added Tax with completion period of weeks. That is from the office of the attorney general at the instance of the national drug law enforcement agency.”
Also, briefing, the Minister of Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola, said that he presented two memoranda on behalf of his ministry which were approved and that the first memo was for the augmentation of the contract of the Zaria-Funtua section of the Zaria-Sokoto-Birnin-Kebbi highway.
He explained that the augmentation was for N9.446 billion, an increase, which brings the contract price to a total of N16.924 billion.
According to him, “The augmentation caters for an extension of the scope of works on that section from 26 kilometers to a total of 64 kilometers. It also caters for the improvement of the pavement from a laterite-based pavement to a cement-based, concrete-mixed, stone-base pavement. It also makes provision for extensive drainage works to accommodate increasing rain flow and flooding patterns that we have observed in the last few years. Council approved that memorandum.”
The Minister said that the second memorandum was presented on behalf of one of the parastatals in his ministry, the Federal Roads Maintenance Agency (FERMA), which have statutory responsibility for the maintenance and rehabilitation of certain roads.
He said FERMA requested and council approved contracts award to rehabilitate Kwara-Peta-Milda road in Borno in favor of Messrs. CBC Global Civil Engineering and Building Construction. Value of the award is N6,271,985,441.2.
Fashola said the council approved the rehabilitation of the Uturu-Isikwuato-Akara Road in Abia State at the cost of N13.624 billion, to 18th Engineering Company for 24 months.
On his part, the Minister of Industry, Trade and Investments, Otunba Niyi Adebayo, said the council approved contracts for infrastructure in one of the six special economic zones that the Export Processing Zones Authority is creating for the special economic zones in Lekki.
The Nigerian Export Processing Zones Authority is a parastatal under the ministry.
He said, “As part of that special economic zone, there is a textile and garment part that is being put up and Council approved contract for the development of an initial five megawatt power plant and electrical reticulation within the park, in favour of Messrs. Mustra Energy Limited, in the sum of N1.5 billion, inclusive of 7.5% VAT with a delivery period of 52 weeks.
“Council also approved the construction of an access road, with associated drainage works from the Lekki-Epe Expressway, through the textile and garment park, in favor of Messrs. Proportion Construction Works Limited, in the sum of N1.9 billion, inclusive of 7.5 VAT, with a delivery period of 52 weeks.
“The objective of developing the Special Economic Zones is to establish an economic zone with multifunctions of industry, commerce, trade, medical tourism, recreation and residence to attract foreign investment, create employment and expedite economic growth.
“As you’re all aware, constant power supply as well as provision of other infrastructure like roads is very important for the functioning of the Special Economic Zones and as a result of that, which Council approved the contract that I had previously mentioned. We are hopeful that once the Special Economic Zone is functional, it will generate employment for about 3500 Nigerians in the short term, and in the long term, it will provide employment for about 10,000 Nigerians.”