The Gombe State Executive Council has approved N250,000 (Two Hundred and Fifty Million Naira) as counterpart fund for the Partnership for Expanded Water Supply, Sanitation and Hygiene (PEWASH) for four Local Government areas in the state.
Briefing journalists on the outcome of the meeting, the Gombe Commissioner of Information and Culture, Ibrahim Kwami, said the issues discussed were geared towards uplifting the socio-economic and educational standards of the people of the State.
PEWASH is a national collaboration for the improvement of access to water supply and sanitation in Nigeria, through a structured multi-sector partnership.
Explaining further, the Gombe Commissioner of Water Resources, Mijinyawa Yahaya, said the PEWASH project is designed to build on previous efforts and complement existing water supply and sanitation strategies by instituting a coordination and prioritization framework.
He said it entails the resuscitation of boreholes and construction of new ones in Dukku, Kwami, Furnakaye and Balanga Local Government Areas of Gombe State as first of the state-wide project.
Other fund approvals by the council, according to the commissioner of information, include N112million (One hundred and twelve million) for the payment of outstanding scholarship for students of Gombe State origin for 2016, 2017 and 2018 academic sessions.
The SEC also considered and approved the sum of N204million for the payment of WAEC, NECO and NABTEB examination fees for over 13,000 final year students of the State.
“You may recall that the last administration paid only 50 percent of the scholarship for students in 2016/2017, 2017/18 sessions so council now approved the payment of the balance of the 50 percent, and going forward we will continue to pay our students their scholarship entitlements,” he said.
The Council also approved the upgrading of five public schools to model institutions with one in each of the three senatorial districts and two in the state capital owing to its cosmopolitan nature.
On the agricultural sector, the commissioner said the council also approved the leasing of the Gombe fertilizer blending plant to Tag Agro factory for N7million naira per annum for the period of 10 years.
He also disclosed that the State Government already received 50 percent upfront payment which translates to N35million.
He said the decision to lease the fertilizer plant was to inject efficiency and promote accountability in the production and timely distribution of fertiliser to farmers across the State.
On the abandoned ultra modern mega motor park, the Commissioner said Council approved the upward review of the initial contract sum from 6.028 billion Naira to 7.6 billion Naira.
But speaking in specific terms, the Commissioner of Works, Abubakar Bappah, said the project was initially awarded to a construction firm that lacked the requisite expertise in similar work, adding that considering the enormity of the civil engineering work at the project site, Council now awarded the contract to Triacta Construction Company which has vast experience in the field of engineering design and execution.
“Initially at the packaging stage of the contract bulk of the work was civil engineering but unfortunately when the contract was being awarded, it was given to an unknown civil engineering construction firm and as a result, the firm failed to itemise the civil engineering aspect of the job,” the commissioner said.
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