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FG approves N1.7b for hi-tec equipment at airports



Commences minimum wage by Dec., includes corps members

Renames communication ministry

FEDERAL Government has approved N1.7 billion for procurement and installation of hi-tec communication gadgets for airport towers to aid its counter insurgency offensives across the federation.

  Minister of Aviation, Hadi Sirika, said the approval was given at the weekly Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting held yesterday at Presidential Villa, Abuja.

  The session was presided over by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo following President Muhammadu Buhari’s absence on official visit to Russia.

  According to him, the sophisticated equipment will aid discrete tracking of suspected movements around the airports by aviation authorities in a bid to close down on terrorists in time before they launch attacks on their targets.

  Sirika said the equipment will also ensure general safety and efficiency at the airports, explaining that completion period for the contract is eight months.

  Also while briefing State House Correspondents together with Minister of Labour, Chris Ngige, Minister of Finance, Zainab Ahmed disclosed that her ministry has been directed to effect payment of the new federal minimum wage on or before December 31, 2019.

  According to her, FEC also approved the payment to take effect from April 18, 2019.

  Similarly, Minister of Youth and Sports Development, Mr. Sunday Dare said that members of National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) would enjoy the new minimum wage of N30,000.

  He said this via his official Twitter handle, stating that NYSC Director General, Brig Gen Shuaibu Ibrahim would provide details of the new allowance after he has been briefed by the Ministry of Finance and Ministry of Youth and Social Development.

  “Next week the DG NYSC will provide details of the new ‘allowee’ for the Youth Corp members after full briefing from the Ministries of Finance and MYSD,” he tweeted.

  In his own presentation, Minister of Communication, Dr. Isa Pantami said FEC equally gave approval to renaming of Federal Ministry of Communication to Federal Ministry of Communication and Digital Economy while Minister of Science and Technology, Ogbonnaya Onu disclosed that FEC approved use of Methanol as part of the country’s energy mix to power Nigerian economy in a project that will be private sector driven.

  According to Onu, it has not been profitable for oil companies to flare gas, which has posed great environmental problems in the country, adding that the approval extends to use of the product as transportation and cooking fuel.

  Although he said that the project cannot be achieved overnight as plants have to be developed and other logistics put in place, while stressing that Methanol is cheap and safe, Onu also said that its use will also help to curb deforestation in the country.

  It will be recalled that Methanol is derivable from gas that accompanies crude oil.

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