Thursday, February 9, 2017 1:08 am
Fashola said the projects were consistent with the programmes of the federal government to reduce travel time and improve power supply to parts of the country.
“Council considered and approved the construction of Ilorin- OmuAran-Kabba Road, Section 1 of it in order to complement the ongoing works on the Kabba-Egbe road to link Kwara and Kogi states.
“The justification for the memo and consequent approval is consistent with our promise to continue to reduce travel time to ease the cost of doing business and the cost of goods and services.
“The second approval was for consultancy services for professionals to conduct line-route studies, Environmental Social Impact Assessment and resettlement action plan as well as environmental social management plan.
“(It) is in order for us to access the Japanese International Cooperation Agency (JICA) loan to support the Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN) to continue its transmission grid expansion programme.’’
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The Minister said that the TCN projects covers the routes which the transmission line would pass through.
He added that when the 200 kilometre line would enable TCN to evacuate power from the Olorunshogbo power plant to industrial clusters in Ogun and parts of Lagos state.
He said that the good thing was that there was no real shortage of food adding that Nigerians were groaning under the pain of high prices.
He attributed the high cost of transportation to the complete reliance on roads for evacuation of produce coupled with high cost of diesel and difficulties of trucks to move to places at the old fares.
“So we considered the following alternatives using railway wagons on the current railway networks as we did when we did before. When we moved cattle from the North West to Lagos, we brought down the costs.
“We avoided the multiple taxation visited on transporters in this country by local governments, road blocks, most of them not very legal, along the high ways, which delays movement and causes damage to a lot of foods like tomatoes.
“In fact in Cote D’Ivoire, they cannot be stopped for more than 10 minutes anywhere even if something serious has happened.
“The security agencies will follow them to the port or to their destinations and come back to investigate whatever happens.
“Finally, we shall be looking into our reserves if the situation in the next few days persists then to see what we can bring out to lower the prices. (This is) because another round of harvests would be coming up again by the end of March.
The Minister said there was really no starvation in the country, adding that there was also a lot of pressure on Nigerian food from West, North and Central Africa.