FEDERAL MINISTRY OF POWER, WORKS & HOUSING

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14 November, 2018

Buhari-Led FG Has Delivered Visible Results, Addressing Economic Growth Through Infrastructure, Says Fashola

* As Minister delivers Progress Report on activities of his Ministry in the last three years
* Total of 2147 roads constructed/rehabilitated and 79,378 people employed between 2016 and November 2018
* Generation increased from 4,000 MW to 7000 MW, Transmission from 5000 MW to 7000 MW, Distribution from 2690 MW to 5,222 MW
* National Housing Programme ongoing in 34 States that provided land, sites are an  ecosystem of human enterprise that offers opportunities to the society’s most vulnerable
* This is progress that we must move forward by consolidating on our mandate of change. We cannot go back, he says

The Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Mr Babatunde Fashola SAN, Monday reviewed the activities and achievements of his Ministry in the last three years saying the President Muhammadu Buhari-led Administration has delivered visible results and recorded qualitative progress with the outcome that there was no state in Nigeria today where the Federal Government was not executing one project or the other.

Briefing newsmen on his Third Year Progress Report, Fashola, who recalled his first briefing on December 8, 2015 titled “Setting the Agenda for Delivering Change” in which he stated what he inherited, what he planned to do, and what Nigerians should expect, declared that with careful thinking, planning, and a dedicated team of public officers, the Ministry now has a firm foothold on its way to the top.

The Minister told the various news platforms as well as members of the public at the crowded press conference, “Our policies have shown what is possible with critical sectors recording growth. What remains is time that it takes for the full harvest of the fruits of our policies in plenitude and prosperity of our people”.

With regard to power, Fashola asserted that generation, which was at 4,000 MW in when he took over in the Ministry in 2015 has increased to 7,000 MW and transmission from 5,000 MW in 2015 to 7,000 MW while distribution has increased from 2,690 MW to 5,222 MW adding that although the work was clearly not finished, the Ministry was still in the process of delivering additional power to the grid.

According to him, the additional 215MW would come from the Kaduna Power Plant while 240MW would come from Afam IV, 40 MW from Kashimbila, 30 MW from Gurara, 29 MW from Dadin Kowa and a total of 3,750 MW from two big Hydro power plants in Zungeru (700MW) and Mambilla (3,050MW) while power is also programmed for nine universities and 15 markets across the country.

Also expected are transmission expansion from 90 transmission projects nationwide to boost the capacities of the Distribution Companies to distribute power across the country, the Minister said adding that some of the transmission substations recently completed included Apo, Mayo Belwa, Damaturu, Maiduguri, Odogunyan and Ejigbo substations.

According to him, while distribution is being boosted through over 100 injection sub-stations, a distribution expansion programme to be funded by the Federal Government was now in an advanced state of procurement adding that although there are still people yet to be reached and challenges due to disruptions from time to time and people who also needed meters “it is indisputable that we have delivered on incremental power”.

“The evidence of our progress is not only captured in the last quarter of the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) Report for Q2 of 2018 which shows a growth of 7.5 per cent in the electricity sector”, the Minister said adding that previous quarterly reports from 2017 had consistently recorded growth, which, he noted “is a clear departure from 2014-2015 and proof of change”.

Recalling that he promised in his inaugural address that it would not just be electricity by numbers but electricity that would be borne out by personal experiences, Fashola disclosed that the report of survey carried out by government and feedback mechanism put in place by it had confirmed that many Nigerians now have public power for longer hours compared to 2015 and run generators for shorter periods compared to 2015 while they now spend less money on diesel to power their generators.

“As some Citizens recently reported, they no longer have to iron all their clothes one week in advance as they previously used to do, because the supply is proving reliable and predictable even if not yet fully Stable and uninterrupted. This is progress that we must move forward by consolidating on our mandate of change. We cannot go back”, the Minister declared.

He said as the policies on Mini Grids, Meter Asset Provider, Eligible Customer, and liquidity sustenance and improved governance deepen, the experience with power supply could only get better adding, however, that the success of the plans now would depend on “energy users who must conserve energy when not needed”.

Relating to roads and bridges, Fashola, who also said progress report has confirmed the promise he made at inauguration had been fulfilled, declared, “We have recovered the thousands of jobs that were lost to  public works. This recovery is the result of   an expansive infrastructure spending that saw works budget grow from N18.132b in 2015 to N394b in 2018”.

“The outcome is that there is not one state in Nigeria today where the Federal Government is not executing at least one road project and construction workers are engaged on these sites”, he said adding that  even difficult or abandoned projects like the 2nd Niger Bridge, Lagos-Ibadan Expressway and the Bodo-Bonny Bridge have been brought back to life.

He noted that sections of Ilorin-Jebba, Sokoto to Jega, Sokoto-Ilela have been completed, “while progress of works continues nationwide from Jada to Mayo Belwa, Enugu to Port Harcourt, Lagos to Otta, Ikorodu to Shagamu, Benin to Okene, Lokoja to Abuja, Kano to Maiduguri, Abuja – Kaduna, Kano to mention a few”.

Fashola said apart from recovered construction jobs and growth in construction sector of the economy, the feedback from road users has shown that the journey times were reducing on the completed roads recalling a text message he received last week from a commuter reporting that he travelled from Warri to Lagos in Five and Half hours.

Noting that the foregoing represents a promise kept, Fashola, who recalled that the journey from Warri to Lagos used to take a whole day with people sometimes sleeping on the Road before President Buhari was elected, declared, “We cannot go back to that era. We are determined to move forward”. He added, “Although the work was not finished, but as long as we remain able to finance the projects, I have no doubt that it will get better”.

And supporting the assertions of the Minister, the Director Highways Planning and Development, Engineer Chukwunwike Uzo, said a total of 1262 roads were constructed and 885 roads were rehabilitated between 2016 and November 2018 while 79,378 persons were employed.

A breakdown of the figure showed that while 277 roads were constructed and 345 rehabilitated with 17,749 people employed in 2016, in 2017, 468 roads were constructed and 256 rehabilitated with 31,227 people employed in the process, while 497 roads were constructed and 284 rehabilitated while 30,402 people got employed

According to the Director, who made a contribution during the Question and Answer session, a total of N907, 628.118, 217 was budgeted for Works between 2016 and 2018 while a total of N499, 609,297,524 were disbursed to contractors during the period.

Pointing out that the intervention on roads did not stop on interstate highways, the Minister said his Ministry has also entered 14 Federal Universities where unattended internal roads were now receiving attention listing the institutions to include, University of Nigeria, Nsukka, Federal University Oye, Ekiti, University of Benin, Federal University, Lafia, Federal University, Otuoke Bayelsa and Bayero University, Kano.

Others, according to him, are Federal University of Technology Owerri (FUTO), University of Maiduguri, Federal University, Lokoja, Federal Polytechnic Bauchi, Federal University, Gashua, Kaduna Polytechnic, Federal College of Education Katsina and University College Ibadan. According to him, “This is the First Phase under the 2017 Budget and we are preparing to do more under the 2018 Budget.

Noting that the intervention and nine Independent Power projects in Federal Universities was an investment in Education for the benefit of those who seek more funding for education, Fashola said while roads were being built, government was also attending to old or damaged bridges and restoring the value of maintenance.

While the Loko - Oweto Bridge was nearing completion, the damaged Tatabu Bridge linking Ilorin and Jebba had been reconstructed and the Tamburawa Bridge in Kano, the Isaac Boro Bridge in Rivers, Eko Bridge in Lagos and the Old Niger Bridge that links Anambra and Delta were receiving regular maintenance attention.

In Housing, the Minister said public buildings like the Federal Secretariats in Zamfara, Bayelsa, Nasarawa and Ekiti and the Zik Mausoleum in Onitsha had now been practically completed pointing out that the pilot National Housing Programme has led to a nationwide Housing Construction being undertaken in the 34 states where government had received land. “No less than 1,000 people are employed on each site apart from the staff of the successful contractors”, he said.

“These sites are an  ecosystem of human enterprise, where artisans, vendors, suppliers and craftsmen converge to partake of opportunities and contribute to nation building. These are some of the most vulnerable people for whom President Buhari has delivered”, Fashola said adding parastatals like the Federal Mortgage Bank of Nigeria (FMBN) and the Federal Housing Authority (FHA) were also contributing while policies like the reduction of equity contribution from 5% to 0% for those seeking mortgage loans of up to N5million, and reduction  from 15% to 10% for those seeking loans over N5million were helping to ease access to housing.

According to the Minister, the Ministry is also tackling the backlog of issuance of consent  and Certificates of Occupancy to Federal Government land” adding that a total of 1,216 Application for Consent to transfer interests in Land application and 1,300 Certificates of Occupancy have been approved and signed respectively as at 25th October 2018.

Fashola, who noted that as the year heads to an end, festivity, end of year activity and consequent movement of goods and services would put pressure on the roads nationwide, added, “Our Ember month planning committee, working with FRSC and FERMA have been meeting to prepare themselves to make your movement during this period as conducive as the circumstances will permit”.

According the Minister, “FRSC will deploy their personnel across the major transport corridors of the country during this period of heavy movement to help manage traffic. They have committed to setting up nine camps and 18 help areas across the zones to provide support and help to commuters in need”.

The Ministry’s staff, he also said, had identified 53 critical roads requiring intervention while construction is going on in order to move traffic and would be working with the contractors to provide relief gangs while the Ministry as also deploying the Zonal Directors to their zones of responsibility until the period of peak traffic subsides.

Wishing Nigerians a Happy Christmas in advance with a promise of pleasant travel time during the festivities, Fashola declared, “With careful thinking, planning, and a dedicated team of public officers, we have a firm foothold on our way to the top. Our policies have shown what is possible with critical sectors recording growth. What remains is time that it takes for the full harvest of the fruits of our policies in plenitude and prosperity of our people.We cannot go back to the bottom of the mountain when the plateau is now within reach”.

Our Three Years Score Card on Infrastructure Development:  A Fulfillment of the "Change Mandate" The Honourable Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Babatunde Raji Fashola, SAN, has presented the Ministry’s scorecard and achievements on infrastructure development and provision across the country in commemoration of his three years in office.  He added that the ‘’present government has no doubt move the nation forward by consolidating on the mandate of change promised Nigerians. 2. Addressing the media and the general public at a press conference held in Abuja, today, he noted that there is the need to refresh on his inaugural statements titled, ‘’Setting the Agenda for Delivering Change,’’ when President Muhammadu Buhari inaugurated the present Federal Executive Council and the subsequent creation of the Ministry of Power, Works and Housing. 3. The Minister noted that with regards to power supply, ‘’I promised that we will improve on gas supply, increase transmission capacity, pay MDAs' debts to the DisCos and generally improve your experience with power supply, first by getting incremental power, then proceed to stable and hopefully reach uninterrupted supply.’’ 4. Fashola also reported that with regards to works, ‘’as at May, 2015, many contractors have stopped work due to lack of payment and many fathers and wives employed by them laid off as a result. The possibility to return those who have lost their jobs back to work is the kind of change that we expect to see’’. 5. Retrospectively speaking on the Housing sector, the Minister stated that, ‘’it presents an enormous opportunity for positively impacting the economy to promote not only growth but inclusion’’. He further stated that ‘’Government will lead the aggressive intervention to increase supply starting with a pilot’’. 6. Fashola, however, noted that where the nation is standing today, despite little resources to work with, is a clear evidence of qualitative progress in the delivery of infrastructure across Nigeria, adding that this is a remarkable departure from past Administrations. 7. Further in his address, the Minister disclosed that power generation has increased from 4,000 MW to 7,000 MW, transmission from 5,000 MW to 7,000 MW and distribution from 2,690 MW to 5, 222 MW. He noted that the consistence progress recorded in the power sector from 2015 till date is a clear departure from what obtained before, also a proof of change. 8. In relation to public works, the Minister stated that the dogged determination of the present Administration to deliver on critical infrastructure has brought about expansive spending on Federal road projects across the nation. He stressed that this development saw the budget of the works sector growing from N18.132b in 2015 to N394B in 2018. 9. The outcome of these massive spending and investment on infrastructure has not left any state in Nigeria today without a Federal Government visible road project(s) with thousand of construction workers, who were formerly laid-off now being fully engaged. 10. Fashola stated that the Ministry’s intervention on roads does not stop on interstate highways alone. It has also affected 14 Federal Universities, where failed internal roads are now receiving proper attention. 11. According to the Minister, the present government also took a giant stride by creating a Presidential Infrastructural Development Fund to address critical economic projects across the country. Projects such as the 2nd Niger Bridge, Lagos-Ibadan Expressway, the Mambilla hydro - power project and many more are expected to benefit from the Fund. 12. Speaking on the housing sector, the Minister stated that the pilot National Housing Programme, second in the history of the nation, has led to a nationwide housing construction currently at various stages of completion in 34 States where landed properties were provided. 13. He added that construction works at these project sites are an ecosystem of human enterprise, where artisans, vendors, suppliers and craftsmen are direct beneficiaries, as well as contributing to nation building. 14. The Minister opined that the Ministry is also tackling the backlog of issuance of Consent and Certificates of Occupancy on Federal Government lands. He stated that ‘’a total of 1, 216 applications for Consent to Transfer Interest in Land and 1, 300 Certificates of Occupancy were approved and signed’’. 15. Fashola noted that without the team of dedicated staff, the landslide achievements and growth in these sectors would have been a mirage.    In attendance were, the Permanent Secretaries of Works and Housing, Mohammed Bukar and that of Power, Engr. Louis Edozien, Directors from the three sectors, Heads/CEOs of Parastatals. 
13 November, 2018
Nigerian-Sweden Collaborate To Improve Electricity Supply In Nigeria The Minister of State I for Power, Works and Housing, Hon. Mustapha Baba Shehuri has applauded the Swedish Government for their expression of interest to collaborate with the Federal Government of Nigeria in the provision of infrastructure needed to move the economy forward and make life meaningful for Nigerians. Baba Shehuri made the commendation when he receivedthe representatives of Her Excellency, the Swedish Ambassador to Nigeria, Mrs. IngerUltvedt,  Charge d’ affaires of the Swedish Embassy, Mrs. Ida Hockerfeldtand Head of Economic Affairs, Mrs.Fanny Nylanderwho paid him a courtesy call. The Minister revealed that with the privatization of the generation and distribution aspects of electric power supply, it makes economic sense for any foreign country to invest in Nigeria, a country that already has the population and enabling environment for Foreign Direct Investment to thrive. He stated, “We have the population and a lot of potentials in the areas of renewable energy which some investors like the Chinese have already keyed into by providing mini grids to generate andsupply electric power to some communities”. The Head of Economic Affairs of the Swedish Embassy in Nigeria, Mrs. Fanny Nylander had earlier explained that the meeting is a follow-up to the Swedish Minister for Trade, Mrs Ann Linda’s, visit to theHonourable Minister for Power, Works and Housing, BabatundeRajiFashola, SAN in 2016 and thesigning of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Nigeria under the Nordic Umbrella on Energy. Mrs. Nylander further invited the Minister to be the “Country  Host” to the ‘Swedish – Nigerian Sustainable Energy Conference’ holding in Lagos on November 13, 2018, adding that the event is to create an avenue for Swedish companies to explore ways of supporting Africa, particularly Nigeria, in power generation, transmission and distribution.
27 October, 2018
FERMA Gives Nigerian Roads Facelift, Completes Over 300 Capital Road Projects Nationwide ABUJA - (FERMA Report) - The Managing Director / CEO of the Federal Roads Maintenance Agency (FERMA), Nuruddeen Rafindadi (Engr) has said that the agency has completed an additional 212 capital projects to the 88 road projects earlier reported and over 100 direct labour works within FERMA's scope of work nationwide. Some of the completed projects, according to him include: the rehabilitation of Bambal - Buzawa Road along Kiyawa - Jama’are Federal Road in Bauchi State where the patching of potholes and laying of asphalt were done. He identified the other general maintenance works completed as the Kari - Yobe State Border Road. Adding, the Ganjuwa - Gubi Road linking Wussarawa Road has also enjoyed rehabilitation works such as scarification, provision of stone base, asphaltic overlay and construction of culverts. Rafindadi also mentioned that the Federal Roads Maintenance Agency has recently disilted drainages on some Federal Roads in Edo State, while carrying out repairs on some bridges and failed portions of roads in the state, including the Benin Bypass and Ugonoba bridge amongst others. He however said that work on the failed carriageway at Ogheghe Junction along the Benin - Warri dual carriageway is ongoing. He later informed that other works that have been completed here include: site clearance, laterite work on shoulders, boulder placement on carriageways and cement stabilization of challenging sections; repairs of failed carriageway sections and pothole patching on the Ogheghe Junction along the Benin - Warri dual carriageway; the Benin Township Road along Benin - Asaba dual carriageway and the Oluke - Sobe - Fon linking Ondo State Border Road in Edo State. The MD also revealed that that in Plateau State, potholes along the Jos - Gimi - Fadan Kashi Roads and the Jos - Makurdi Road were also patched, including the general maintenance of other roads in Ilesha, Osun State through the intervention of FERMA. While noting that in the North - Central Zone direct labour works were carried out up to 100% completion along the Abuja - Keffi Road and Gwagwalada Road, involving patching of potholes, disilting of drains, reinstatement and embankment washout, the Managing Director hinted that in the South - West Zone, road construction activities such as hydraulic structures, routine disilting of open covered drains, washout and repairs, palliative works and patching of potholes were done in Lagos, Ogun and Oyo States respectively. "Some other completed projects in the South West include - maintenance works on the Lagos - Badagry Expressway stretching from Agbara - Atan, Olosha Bus Stop along Western Avenue - Agege Motor Road to Gbongan - Iwo - Oyo State Border Road. The work continued from here to Abeokuta Bakatari Road in Ogun State, up to Odo Oba along Oyo - Ogbomosho Old Road to Ibadan - Idi Ayunre Mamu Road," he depicted. "In the North East, the construction of reinforced concrete line drain along Kurba Gayiwuyo Road in Borno State, the patching of potholes along Maiduguri - Jos Road in Borno State (Sections I & II), construction of two cells reinforced concrete Box Culvert and Washout repairs along UBA - Askirambalala Road in Borno State as well as special repairs of Gumel - Maigatari - Niger Republic Road in Jigawa State were executed. Tthe disilting works on culvert/line drains and vegetation control along Kano State Border - Birnin Kudu - Bauchi State Border in Jigawa State have been 100% completed." In his analysis, Nuredeen stated that the reconstruction of failed sections of Box Culvert (Abuja Bound) along Kaduna - Abuja dual carriageway in Kaduna State and the reinstatement of collapsed portions of single and multiple Cell Pipe Culverts along the Kaduna - Birningwari - Niger State Border Road in Kaduna State are other interventions. He inferred that emergency repairs of collapsed 2-cell culverts and the reinstatement of embankment washouts along Kachia - Kwoi (Niger State) Border Road in Kaduna State and the repair of critical failures along the Kaduna - Abuja - Niger State (Abuja Bounds) are significant as well as the repair of critical failures along the Kaduna - Abuja - Niger State Border dual carriageway which is Kaduna Bound in Kaduna State. He continued that vegetation/silt control of the Kaduna - Abuja dual carriageway (Section I-V) along with the vegetation/silt control of the Kaduna - Birnin Gwari dual carriageway (Section II) in Kaduna State have been done. "Still in FERMA's resolve to reach to all roads within its scope of works nationwide, FERMA has completed the reconstruction of failed sections, effected vegetation control, reinstated failed portions and reinforced concrete stone base on carriageways. It has also embarked on asphalt repairs and cutting of potholes to regular shapes, just as the disilting of line drains on roads in Kano and Kebbi States have been delivered," he stated explaining to some concerned citizens the reason why FERMA is not carrying out activities on some roads. Responding to questions on the cause of non-involvement in the rehabilitation of Agbor - Amukpe Road in Delta State, he announced that FERMA cannot carry out any rehabilitation work on roads where there is an ongoing contract. On the Ondo - Ore Road, the MD said that the contract for the road is being supervised by the Federal Ministry of Power, Works and Housing and so the agency can not intervene there. Speaking on the Ukpagada - Ogoja Road in Cross River State, the MD allayed that the mandate of FERMA is for Federal Roads, adding that FERMA can only intervene on State and Local Government roads when such roads are appropriated under constituency projects. He further clarified on the roads in Nnewi, Anambra State that the agency has four road works proposed to be done in the 2018 capital appropriation around Nnewi which comprises the Oba - Nnewi - Okija Road, saying it has been advertised for tender.
19 October, 2018
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PUBLIC ANNOUNCEMENT
5 October, 2018

APC CONVENTION SATURDAY, 6TH OCTORBER, 2018

This is to inform FCT Residents, Visitors and Motorists that due to the National Convention of the All Progressives Congress, APC slated for Saturday, 6th October 2018 at the Eagle Square, Abuja, an unusual influx of human and vehicular traffic will be experienced within the city with the attendant traffic congestion in and around the venue of the convention.

To this effect all vehicular movement through Shehu Shagari Way from the early hours of Saturday, 6th October, 2018 to Sunday, 7th October  will be diverted at Ralph Sodeinde Street by Bullet Building to link Central Business District. Motorists will also be diverted at Kur Mohammed Street and Constitution Avenue at Bayelsa House to Central Business District.

Traffic on Ahmadu Bello Way will equally be diverted at Ralph Sodeinde Street by Finance Junction to Central Business District. Motorists will also be diverted at Kur Mohammed Street or Constitution Avenue by Benue Building to link Central Business District.

The Federal Capital Territory Administration have mobilized Officers of the Police, FRSC, FCT Directorate of Road Traffic Service and other relevant Traffic Enforcement Agencies to various flash points to ensure seamless traffic flow.

Parking has been made available at the National Stadium for ALL Delegates coming from outside Abuja from where they will be conveyed to the venue by dedicated Buses.

In the same vein, ALL Delegates from within the FCT should converge at the Old Parade Ground  from where they will be conveyed to the venue.

Please note that parking around the Eagle Square and its environs will not be tolerated as offending vehicles will be removed.

The understanding of the public is hereby solicited

Secretary, Transportation Secretariat
Federal Capital Territory

OTHER NEWS
22 May, 2018

Minister Scores Osun NHP High

Minister of State 11 for Power,Works and Housing, Surv. Suleiman Hassan Zarma has expressed satisfaction over the quality and speed of work at the National Housing Programme (NHP)site located at Abere, Ede North Local Government Area of Osun State and commended the team leader, Arc Mrs Lola Onwubalili and her team for a good supervision and execution of the project.

Speaking after inspecting the project in continuation of his inspection tour of the Ministry’s projects in the South-West Zone, the Minister said the site is a “big success story”, adding that it is really a site to visit. He noted that “Osun NHP is near delivery and I can see active Nigerians on ground here”.

The 68 units housing comprise: 4 nos 1 bedroom, 44 nos 2 bedroom units and 20 nos 3 bedroom units including a 1 no Condominium block consisting 24 of 1,2, and 3 bedroom units

The Minister reiterated his stance against the building of perimeter fencing at the NHP sites, explaining that security is not about walling but about exploring other proactive measures to stay secured. According to him, “fencing is not in our thinking but think of other ways to secure the site”.

Zarma further explained that the essence of the National Housing Programme is to build communities that will integrate with one another both within and around the estates.

The Minister also expressed delight at the pace of work of the infrastructure projects at the site. These include: the water project which has attained 90 per cent completion, electricity and the road network which are on- going.

Team leader of the project, Mrs Lola Onwubalili described her success story commendation by the Minister as a result of dedicated contractors who worked tirelessly and obeyed supervising directives to deliver quality and timely projects and also the commitment of members of her team and the entire workforce.

She said the project is 75 per cent completed with a slight delay on the Condominium which is on the second floor already and hoped that in the next two months, the Condominium would be completed 8 out of the 12 contractors have already completed and handed over their houses while the remaining 4 are at various finishing stages.

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SPEECHES
30 October, 2018

“Nation Building And Institutional Development, Lessons For Nigeria From The Island Club At 75,” Address Delivered By His Excellency, President Muhammadu Buhari, GCFR On The Occasion Of The Seventy-Fifth Anniversary Of The Island Club, Lagos

My chairman of the great Island Club, members of the management committee, worthy members of the club, eminent Nigerians, distinguished ladies and gentlemen.

Permit me to open my speech with words of congratulations and felicitations to the Island Club, her leadership team, comprised of the management committee and her body of members; on this occasion of the Seventy-Fifth Anniversary of the club.

To you all, I say Happy Anniversary and best wishes for many more years.

As an institution, Island Club has endured, not without challenges, but in spite of them: and there are many lessons for us as a people and a nation to learn from 75 years of history that has been woven into the walls and fabric of this club.

The first is perhaps the lesson that dispels the hyperbolic expression that flies around these days that Nigeria lacks institutions.   

The Island Club and many other social clubs who have endured over decades put a lie to those kind of uninformed statements.

Apart from social clubs, and non-governmental institutions, Nigeria has governmental institutions like federal, state and local governments, and indeed judicial, parliamentary, law enforcement and other institutions.

The fact that we expect more from them, the fact that they may be facing challenges does not justify the unsupported assertions that they do not exist.

Many of them have existed before and after the creation of Nigeria as corporate entities and have evolved from sometimes very humble beginnings to what they have become today.

At some times, they have worked very well. At other times, they have been challenged to give more; but they have never ceased to exist.

This is why I said earlier, that there is a lot to be learned from the Island Club.

Her history is all too well known and published to warrant any repetition here.

What is relevant for my purpose is to briefly recall that at any time, this was the place where the Giants of Nigeria gathered.

At the time, Lagos was the capital of Nigeria and ministers, state commissioners, many public officers and captains of industry were regular users of this club.

That has changed in the sense that the capital of Nigeria has moved to Abuja, but Island Club still retains its fair share of members of government at various levels as it does among the leaders of the business community.

But we must remember that just a few years ago this club faced very serious headwinds which threatened it to its very core.

Attendance dwindled, regular events around which brotherhood and conviviality that bound members together were threatened; indeed, there were court cases.

In the end, the storm calmed, Island Club went through a very tedious and I daresay painful process of change, and here we are at a glorious dawn that heralds many possibilities.

The club of which I proudly serve as grand patron has found its groove again.

Because of this process of change, I can confidently predict that Island Club will be here for another 75 years and more, long after we are all gone.

But that process of change and reform did not happen because Island Club did anything.

It happened because people, yes people, members of the club and I believe non-members, who were people of goodwill chose to act.

As an institution, like governments or agencies, Island Club as a creature of charter, brought into existence by laws made by men, can do nothing by herself.

It is men and women who define, who decide and who determine what happens to institutions.

When institutions do well, it is men and women who are entrusted with authority over that institution who have done well and vice versa.

This is an important lesson to learn from Island Club‘s history.

At the time of perhaps the greatest crisis, the men entrusted with the fortunes of the Island Club did not abdicate.

They confronted crises and embraced change; and they reminded me of the story of the Eagle which has been well told but which I crave your indulgence to repeat because of its profound lessons about change and hard decisions.

“The Eagle has the longest life-span of its species. It can live up to 70 years. But to reach this age, the eagle must make a very difficult decision!

In its 40th year, the eagle's long and flexible Talons can no longer grab a prey which serves as food. Its long and sharp beak becomes bent.

Its old-aged and heavy wings, due to their thick feathers, stick to its chest and make it difficult to fly. Then, the eagle is left with only two options: DIE or go through a painful process of CHANGE!

This process lasts for 150 days (5 months)

The process requires the eagle to fly to a mountain top and sit on its nest. There the eagle knocks its beak against a rock until it plucks it out.

Then the eagle will wait for the new beak to grow back after which it will pluck out its talons. When its talons grow back, the eagle starts plucking its old aged feathers.

And after this the eagle takes its famous flight of rebirth and LIVES for 30 more years!”

This story is not biologically proven and seems scientifically impossible for the Eagle to live without food for 150 days. But it is nonetheless inspiring. It is the inspiration that I seek to draw from and share.

Why is Change needed?

In order to better our Nation and ourselves, we too have to start the change process. We need to jettison things that have not worked and embrace those that will work.

We need to free ourselves from habits that have held us hostage in the past so that we can embrace the promise of a better Nigeria that beckons ahead.

That process may be painful, it may be tedious, but if an Eagle does it to survive, why can’t we?

When I took office on 29th May 2015 on the basis of the mandate you generously gave me as your President, one of the challenges I had to deal with was Nigeria‘s food security risk.   

With so much arable land, we were entirely dependent on others to feed ourselves, especially for staples and greens.

We were spending about $5 million daily to import rice that could be produced in Lagos, Ogun, Abia, Kebbi, Sokoto, Jigawa and many parts of Nigeria.

In the past, we had laudable initiatives like Operation Feed The Nation and Green Revolution aimed at securing our food supply and empowering our people.

Regrettably, by a combination of many factors, not least the vested interest of those who benefit from us importing food that we can produce, these initiatives did not achieve their laudable objectives.

Those interests were still there when I assumed office in May 2015. They fought back when I announced our commitment to produce what we eat and our refusal to provide foreign exchange to import those things.

I will not inundate you with the details of what they did, except to say that they nearly crippled us economically.

But today, I stand very proud to say that we took the flight of the Eagle in reaction to our food security.

Although they are still fighting, by importing to neighboring countries and dumping on us through smuggling; we are responding, and will do more to defeat them for the benefits of our people.

But I can tell you now that we have made progress.

Not only have we created millions of new rice and wheat farmers, who are not only self employed, they are now employers.

We intend to move this forward and retain the full benefits of what we have created, not only by expanding the number of farmers, but by developing the value-added chain of processing and ultimately building the base that leads us to full industrialization.

This is one of the reasons why I am offering myself to serve you for another term.

Manufacturing, which is a key driver of employment and wealth creation is largely dependent on agriculture, as it is on power supply and reliable transportation infrastructure about which I will speak shortly.

But before I leave the subject of manufacturing, let me say that our modest efforts are beginning to yield results as shown by the recent reports of the National Bureau of Statistics which shows increased growth in the manufacturing sector.

Let me say therefore, that as far as our institutions are concerned, it will require all of us, men and women of goodwill, right thinking and well-meaning Nigerians to get involved, participate, play our roles and do our level best in the way that the members of Island Club have done, in order to change what we do not like and create what we want.

On a related note let me quickly allude to the state of our national infrastructure.

A significant stock of our national infrastructure whether it is power, roads, bridges, schools, airports, rail, hospitals and many more require replacement, repairs, maintenance and expansion.

The challenges we face with infrastructure are not too dissimilar to what Island Club faced in the past and which they have now acted to remedy.

Most of the Roads, Bridges, Airports, Seaports, Power plants that we need to get on with our lives were largely built in the 1970s, and 1980s.

They were the best when we built them, but our population has grown faster than the rate of the growth of infrastructure.

I also recall that at one time, the Island Club had no hall of this size like the hall we now converge in.

The Annual Christmas and Ileya dances used to hold in the open and were dependent on the benevolence of nature, until one Chairman and management team decided to fly like the Eagle.

At the time they took the flight of change to bring down what remained of the old and inadequate structure, they did not have the resources to build this hall but they had a lot of belief and resolve.

And because of their commitment to change, we can now converge in this hall without the fear of the Rains.

Let me remind us that it took more than one term and one election cycle of the Chairman of the Island Club to build this hall, just as it will require more than one election cycle to build a nation and deliver change.

But I can report that the process of change for our infrastructure has commenced.

We have completed the Abuja-Kaduna Rail and the Abuja Business District to Airport intra-city rail and the New Port Harcourt International Airport Building which were not completed because we failed to pay the counterpart funding at the time we were earning about $100 per barrel of oil.

Our administration paid these monies when the price of oil dropped to about $50 per barrel, and simultaneously committed to the Construction of the Lagos- Abeokuta- Ibadan- Kano Rail which has started.

We have revived most of the road contracts that were abandoned and started new ones and I can say to you confidently that there is no state in Nigeria where our Government is not constructing at least one Road.

In Lagos for example, the Ikorodu-Sagamu and the Lagos-Otta-Abeokuta Roads are long abandoned roads we have revived and contractors are now back to work while I have inaugurated an Infrastructure Development Fund to ensure that the Lagos-Ibadan, Second Niger Bridge and Abuja-Kano roads are not affected or delayed by funding problems again. We have also awarded the Tin-Can Island, Mile 2, Oshodi – Oworonshoki Expressway which is contributing to the gridlock in the State and work should start in November this year.

With significantly less resources we are getting a lot more done.

As far as power supply is concerned, we all know that it had been largely privatized before the advent of my administration with only the transmission part left for Government to manage.

But even our harshest critics will admit that we have moved things forward from where we met them.

A significant number of Nigerians admit that the hours they run their generators, and the amount they spend on diesel and petrol to power their generators is reducing.

That is progress and we are not finished.

We know there is a lot of work to do but we are inspired by the progress in generation from 4,000MW to 7,000MW ; in transmission from 5,000MW to 7,000MW and in distribution from 2,690MW to 5,222MW.

Compared to the 4,000 MW of generation that we inherited after 16 years which did not start from zero in 1999, it means that we are averaging 1000 MW per annum of incremental power Generation every year since 2015 when we took office.

This is change for the better, compared to 4,000 MW after sixteen years  (which as I said did not start from zero in 1999), which is an average of 250 MW per annum.

Our policy of Eligible Customers to provide power to industrial customers working with the Manufactures Association of Nigeria is bearing encouraging results, with 5 industries already connected to reliable power and 14 more industries are being processed while many more new applications are coming in.

The policy of Meter Asset Providers to facilitate increased supply of meters excited 103 applicants, out of which 80 no objections have been issued.

As you all know, the only thing that stands between Policy, Impact and Results is time. We can only now wait to see how the solutions we have designed trickle down and bear fruit. But this is only one side of the Power story. The on-grid side.

On the Off-grid development side, another policy outcome of our Government will imminently bear fruits in 9 Federal Universities which are the pilot phase of supplying independent power to our children‘s places of learning.

Two markets, Ariaria in Abia State with 37,000 shops and Sabon Gari market in Kano with 13,000 shops are the pilots of 15 markets comprising 85,000 shops and 255,000 micro small and medium Enterprises that will get reliable and uninterrupted power.

Last week Friday, the Vice President was here in Lagos to inaugurate the Sura Independent Power Project , a product of our Mini Grid policy that has delivered uninterrupted power to 1,047 shop owners in Sura market. The feedback from the shop owners, that they have not used their generators for the last 70 days since the project was completed and that their businesses are growing , they are employing more people , confirm to me that we are on the right track.

It is because of these hardworking Nigerians who need the support of Government that I offer to serve again.

I could not conclude this address without a mention of our progress with regards to Security.

During my campaign for office in 2014, we were in a situation where insurgents had actually captured local governments and hoisted flags with a view to setting up their own parallel government.

We have retaken all of that from them.

But because crime is rewarding to its perpetrators, they do not give up easily.

They now attack soft targets and we will not stop our pursuit of them until they give up their nefarious acts and are brought to justice.

As we deal with new challenges and the dynamic nature of crime and indeed life as a whole, I understand that it is sometimes easy to forget what we overcame and have achieved when we face new challenges.

We overcame a situation where government activity like National day parades could not hold in the open.

They were held inside the villa in Abuja. That has changed since my assumption of office.

We rescued 107 children from Chibok incident and reunited them with their families, although 112 children still remain to be rescued, as very painful reminders that our work is not done.

We had a set back with the abduction of our children in Dapchi, but our response was quicker than Chibok, as we recovered all the children except unfortunately Leah Sharibu, the young girl for whom I will not rest until we bring her home, to the care and love of her anxious and traumatised parents.

I wish there is a crime free world; but sadly this world exists only in the ideal and it is my responsibility in this part of the world to lead the search for that ideal world.

Like the history of the Island Club to which I have referred, where the road to overcoming her challenges took more than one term of the chairman, it is obvious that we cannot solve all the problems we are faced within one term of my Presidency or one term of any President.

Change is not an event, it is a process and requires time.

This is another reason why I am offering myself to serve again. I believe that these problems can be solved and our choices are moving us in the right direction, which is forward.

Mr. Chairman, members of the management committee, Eminent body of members, invited Guests, Ladies and Gentlemen, like the Island Club, I believe Nigeria must move forward, consolidate on progress and seek to achieve more. We cannot afford to go back.

This is what I offer and promise, that we work together to build the Nigeria that we desire, and I invite all of you to join me, because it is possible, as we consign our difficulties to history and embrace a future of prosperity.

Let us consolidate and move forward together, because going back cannot be a choice.

Muhammadu Buhari, GCFR
President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria

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Photo News
19 November, 2018

FLAGOFF CEREMONY OF THE RECONSTRUCTION OF APAPA OSHODI OWORONSHOKI OJOTA EXPRESSWAY IN LAGOS STATE

The Honourable Minister of Power Works and Housing His Excellency Babatunde Raji Fasola The Executive Governor of Lagos State His Excellency Mr Akinwunmi Ambode Senate Committee Chairman on Works Senator Kabiru Gaya Senator Oluremi Tinibu Chairman Dangote Group Alhaji Aliko Dangote MD Nigeria Port Authority NPA with management staff of the Ministry at the FlagOff Ceremony of The Reconstruction of Apapa Oshodi Oworonshoki Ojota Expressway in Lagos State on the 17th of November 2018 Contract No 6488

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Power News
Photo News
14 November, 2018

HONOURABLE MINISTERS PRESS BRIEFING AT THE MINISTRYS HEADQUARTER MABUSHI ABUJA

the Honourable Ministers Press Briefing at the Ministrys Headquarter Mabushi Abuja on Monday 12th November 2018

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