FG’s N72 Billion Distribution Expansion Programme Is A Commitment Towards Enhancing Power Distribution-Fashola
* Says amount was arrived at in consultation with the DisCos as to their priority investment areas within their franchise to improve evacuation of power to consumers
* Although the power sector Operation is now in private hands, Government is concerned, he assures
* Calls for consistency and understanding saying decision to privatize is a matter of policy and policies take time to take effect
* Lists Mini-Grids, Meter Asset Providers, among others as initiatives aimed at tackling post-privatization challenges
The Minister Power, Works and Housing, Mr. Babatunde Fashola SAN, Wednesday reiterated Federal Government’s commitment to enhancing the distribution segment of the Power value chain saying the approval of a N72 Billion Distribution Expansion Programme by the government was a clear demonstration of that commitment.
Speaking at the December 2018 Nextier Power Dialogue in Abuja, Fashola said the Government, as a 40 per cent shareholder, had to make the approval in order to enhance the distribution of power across the country pointing out that although operationally there is 7,000 Megawatts of electricity ready for deployment, the operation was still constrained at the distribution end.
Reiterating the concern of government towards correcting the anomaly, the Minister, however noted that the decision to intervene was done after asking the DisCos where they would want to spend their money within their franchise, if they have it, that could evacuate “some of the power that is available and that can yield a maximum collection report” adding that it was with that data that Government put the amount together that it would inject into the Distribution sector.
The Minister, who quoted the 3rd Quarter Report of the National Bureau of Statistics as revealing that Electricity made the highest contribution of 18 per cent to the 1.8 per cent growth in the nation’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) recalled the “Thank You” visit of the Gora Community of Nasarawa State to his office early in the week to express their gratitude to the Federal Government over the provision of Solar Power to their Community saying it was a testimony to the growth in electricity supply and increasing accessibility to the rural communities.
The Community delegation, led by its Traditional Head, Alhaji Jafaru Adamu, thanked the government of President Muhammadu Buhari for initiating the rural electrification programme and the Minister for driving it adding that since the installation of the Solar electricity, the Community has consistently enjoyed several benefits hitherto not known to them, especially in the areas of social life, Education and Health.
Also the Minister seized the opportunity of a question to clear the air on an alleged statement made by him in 2014 as to his ability to solve the nation’s power problem in six months explaining that the statement attributed to him was made in 2015 in Lekki in respect of distributing power to the Lekki community within six months from the residual power in an Independent Power Plant earlier commissioned by him to power some government Water Works and Street lighting on the Island.
He declared, “I think it was in 2015 during the run up to the elections and I was in Lekki where we had gone to commission the Lekki IPP. It was Sam Amadi who gave us a license to do an IPP dedicated to power our Water works in Lekki, our Water Works in Victoria Island and our Water Works in Oniru and the street lighting in Lekki Phase 2.
“When we switched on that power plant that night and all of the street lights came on, as I was leaving, the residents accosted me and said “Governor you can’t go; we like this; but how would we get it into our houses”. I explained that it was Eko Distribution Company’s franchise and if they wanted the power in their houses, there was reserved power still in the IPP and if they could tell NERC to issue him a license, he would do the distribution and connect the Lekki residents in six months. That was what I said”.
The Minister recalled that the policy outline laid by his Ministry at inception set out a roadmap to first get incremental power and then go to steady power and then to uninterrupted power, which, according to him, “is not just a function of how much power you have”, but also “how you manage the power”.
“I think that if you followed the policy outline, we set out our roadmap first to get incremental power and then we will go to steady power and then to uninterrupted power and uninterrupted power is not just a function of how much power you have; it is also a function of how you manage the power. So in terms of our first leg of incremental power, we have delivered what we promised. We have increased the power on all sides”, he said.
Fashola pointed out the amount of diesel that he used to power his residence was now less than two years ago adding, “The man who buys the diesel knows and the man who supplies the diesel knows that I don’t buy as much as before. And that is the story from many parts for people on the grid. But that doesn’t mean that there are no problems”.
Responding to a question posed by a participant during the Interactive Session concerning the supply of transformers, Fashola, who reiterated that all the assets that the Ministry of Power used to control for power distribution have been sold by the last administration pointed out that the people now operating the Generation and Distribution segments of power sector are now privately owned companies.
The Minister added, “I am here because I am concerned. If your telephone is not working, it is not the Minister of Communication that you go to; let us be very clear. My role is regulatory, oversight and policy”, adding, however, “I cannot separate myself from the problem; I am trying to get involved to do what the law allows me to do. So the people you should be talking to about transformer is not me; the Ministry does not supply transformer anymore”.
In response to another question bordering on whether or not to cancel the Privatization policy and hand back power to the government, Fashola, who called for caution, declared, “Let’s be careful what we wish for. We wished, many years ago, after 60 years or so of government run power, we wished and decided that Private Sector should take over this Power. That was our decision. No sooner had we decided, five years after, we are now asking government to take it from them. Is that what we really want?”
“So let’s be consistent here and let us understand that the decision to privatize is a matter of policy. When policy is made, it takes time to take effect. When it begins to take effect, its impact takes time to spread. And that is why we can share here that five years ago nobody could talk about mini-grid, we are talking about it now; five years ago nobody was talking about Meter Asset Provider, we are talking about it today, five years ago who dared to go into the military formation to meter them; the President has directed that all the military formations must be metered”.
The Minister said ministries and agencies of government now pay their electricity bills regularly adding, “I just signed the letter for this month because our office is the collection warehouse. This wasn’t happening five years ago. So we are making progress and let no one downplay that”.
“Can we move faster, certainly we can”, he said adding, however, that if the consensus was that government should take it over the power sector from private hands, then there was need to “go back to Parliament and repeal the law; because I asked you, do you want a five-year old to have a moustache?”
Arguing against the reversal of the Privatization Policy, Fashola, who again reiterated the existence of challenges in the sector which, he assured were being dealt with, declared, “But you must decide in this country whether you want to continue to see devils or angels. I like to see angels; my glass is always half full and problems are opportunities for me to show that nothing is wrong with us and to benchmark what I have achieved. There are problems no doubt and we must deal with them”.
According to the NBS Report for Budget 3, the 3rd Quarter GDP result was 1.81 per cent growth; up from 1.50 per cent in Q2 with Electricity as the biggest motivator scoring 18 per cent, Metal Ores 17 per cent, Telecoms 14 per cent, Transportation 11.9 per cent Quarrying and Mining 3 per cent and, for the first time in about six consecutive quarters, the Services Sector grew by 2 per cent.
“It is not enough”, Fashola said adding, “But it means we are heading in the right direction back up. What is also important to share is that the growth was driven by non-Oil Sector and that is important because the growth came in a quarter when oil prices have not done well and that is what this team set out to achieve; to diversify the economy. We welcome the Oil money, but when the oil money suddenly disappears, our prosperity will not go with it and that is important”.
The Minister added, “So, in a period when oil prices began to flounder Nigeria’s economy did not flounder and that is important. But more importantly, who drove the growth? It means that if we continue with the foundations that are being laid-infrastructure- the jobs that all of us want to see will multiply. That is where we are”.
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
FG Commends Contractors On Quality Of Roads; Advocates For Alternative Funding Sources
The Federal Government has commended contractors handling various road and housing projects in the South South region for doing a good and quality job.
2. The Honourable Minister of State I for Power, Works and Housing, Hon. Mustapha Baba Shehuri expressed satisfaction on the quality of road rehabilitation and construction, as well as the construction of mass houses under the present administration, since its inception three years ago. He added that contractors are now fully back to sites with attendant effects on rejuvenating the economy and enhancing human capital development.
3. Shehuri noted that in tackling infrastructural deficits across the country, there is a dire need for alternative and innovative sources of funding beside the usual annual budgetary allocations, adding that government is presently using the SUKUK (bond) funding option and Public - Private - Partnerships (PPP) to bridge infrastructural gaps in the country.
4. The Minister stated this in Yenagoa, Bayelsa State during a working tour to the South South geopolitical zone to inspect ongoing projects being embarked upon by the Ministry.
5. Earlier in his tour, the Minister inspected the Dualisation of Lokoja – Benin road, Section II: Okene – Auchi, Section III: Auchi – Ehor, as well as Section IV: Ehor – Benin City.
6. He also visited the ongoing Dualisation of Sapele - Ewu road, sections I and II, Sapele - Agbor and Agbor - Ewu, respectively.
7. The Honourable Minister expressed satisfaction in the level and quality of work being carried out, especially in Bayelsa state inspite of the difficult terrain. He said this while inspecting ongoing construction works on Yenegwe – Okaki – Kolo road and the Dualisation of Yenegwe Road Junction – Kolo – Otuoke – Bayelsa Palm road.
8. While in Rivers State, the Federal Controller of Works, Engr. J. O. Fadire briefed the Minister on the progress of work on the Rehabilitation of Enugu – Port Harcourt Expressway, Section IV, Aba - Port Harcourt, as well as the 39 - kilometre Bodo – Bonny road with bridges across Afa, Opobo and Nanabie Creeks, the only one to link the Ogoni people with Bonny Island.
9. Engr. Fadire stated that though there are challenges affecting the pace of work such as the environment, compensation and youth restiveness, he, however, commended the contractor, Messrs Julius Berger (Nig.) Ltd. for the progress made within a short period of time. He further assured the Minister that the project will be delivered as scheduled because funding is not an issue as the major financiers, Messrs NLNG Ltd. is committed.
10. The Minister visited the construction sites of houses under the National Housing Programme (NHP), the second of its kind in the history of the nation since the President Shagari Low Cost Housing of the early 1980s, in Benin City, Edo State, Asaba, Delta State, Uyo, Akwa Ibom State and Calabar, Cross Rivers State. He also inspected the ongoing construction of the Federal Secretariat in Yenegoa, Bayelsa, where the Federal Controller of Housing in the State assured the Minister that the project will be completed by February, next year.
11. Hon. Shehuri noted that with the construction of these affordable Mass Housing Estates across the country, the present government is delivering on its campaign promise of bridging the housing deficit in the country, creating jobs and generating wealth.
12. The Phase I of the NHP projects, according to the Minister, have reached advance stages of completion and will be due for commissioning in the first quarter of next year, stressing that the houses are for all interested illegible Nigerians.
13. The Minister further disclosed that the procurement processes for the second phase of the Programme will soon be concluded and contracts awarded for its commencement in all the states that have provided the Ministry with land.
14. During the course of the Tour of Duty, the Honourable Minister also visited the 132 KVA Transmission Substations at Uyo and Calabar in Akwa Ibom and Cross River States, respectively, where the present Government installed and commissioned an additional 1 * 60 MVA Transformer each, in April.
15. While conducting the Minister round the Uyo Facility, the General Manager, Port Harcourt Region of the Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN), Engr. Solomon Uyouko lamented that out of the 144 megawatts capacity of the transmission infrastructure, the DisCo utilise a meagre 2% daily, leaving most of the generated and transmitted power idle.
16. The story is almost similar at the 132 KVA Transmission Substation in Calabar, where the Acting Assistant General Manager, Engr. Nasiru Bello stated that out of the 192 megawatts transmitted daily, the DisCo evacuates between 20 - 30%.
17. Commenting on the unfortunate state of power distribution infrastructure in the country, Hon. Shehuri said the present scenario is unacceptable, while admonishing the DisCos to up their game or pave way for those with requisite capacities. He further urged Nigerians to start blaming the DisCos for lack of electricity, not the Federal Government.
Remarks By H.E, Babatunde Raji Fashola, San At Meeting With Manufacturers Association Of Nigeria (Man) On Tuesday 13th February 2018
I would like to thank you all for responding to our invitation to discuss the possibility of increasing not only access to power for business, but also improving the quantity and quality of power.
For too long, the story of our manufacturing and production sector has been characterized by lack of infrastructure, including power supply, and the best we seem to have done is to talk about the problem and imagine the possibilities if the problems were removed.
Our meeting is important because we gather not to talk about the problem, we gather to solve the problem. As I said at a different forum, we have a new problem; we have more power than we can distribute.
In that context, we cannot continue to talk of lack of power; instead, we must talk about how to connect to the available and unsold power, and what it will cost to do so.
I must, therefore, thank Dr. Frank Jacobs of M.A.N for the enthusiasm with which they have embraced the idea to have this meeting.
For the records, and as a matter of fact, Nigeria’s Power Generating Companies are now able to produce 7,000 MW and the transmission company is able to transport all of it and is expanding its capacity daily.
The distribution companies have also increased their load taking capacity to 5,0000MW.
However, this leaves a gap of 2,000MW of what you manufacturers will call unsold inventory.
This is in the face of more power plants that will come to operation in 2018 as promised by His Excellency, President Muhammadu Buhari, in his New Year Day address, such as Azura, 459 MW; Afam III, 240 MW, Kaduna, 215 MW, and a host of others.
This unsold and increasing inventory is what this meeting offers to manufacturers as your critical Raw Material to reduce the cost of production.
This is why we declared the Eligible Customer Policy and NERC made the rules that guide its implementation, such that bulk power consumers purchase power from GENCOs directly, while ensuring that the business of DISCOs is protected.
For clarity, let me state that under the EPSRA of 2005, the clear intention was that Generation Companies should be able to sell power to 3 (three) classes of persons:
A. The bulk trader (NBET)
B. The Distribution Companies
C. The eligible customer
What we have largely seen are sale to the Bulk Trader.
What we gather to do today is to open the window for sales to the Eligible Customer.
There can be no better time to explore this option than when there is the inventory of unsold power, with the clear promise of more to come.
The market must open to all willing buyers.
This access to power, for manufacturing and production, is the big bridge towards diversification of the Economy.
This is what Nigeria has wanted to do since the 1970s with initiatives such as Operation Feed the Nation and Green Revolution.
But, every time we have started, we have failed to complete the cycle, either due to lack of infrastructure like power to support industries or the elixir of cheap petro-dollars that dim our focus.
Now that Agriculture is back on the right track, Mining is raring to go into industrial production, road and rail infrastructure are being constructed, the Power infrastructure must lock into the mix.
In spite of the spike in oil prices, we must complete this foundation for our Economic and Industrial liberation, by remaining focused. This is what the Buhari Administration seeks to achieve with the Economic Recovery and Growth Plan.
This is the big boost for “Made in Nigeria.”
As you gather today with our technical team, I urge you to be open, frank and, most importantly, be flexible. The negotiations may be tough, but please never walk away from the table.
See only one reason why we must try this, and ignore all the naysayers, who only see why new things should never be done.
Every one of you here today stands at the cusp of history as you deliberate on the necessary actions to build the Bridge that Connects Nigeria’s Industrial Backbone to Electricity.
I await the outcome of this meeting expectantly, and I wish you fruitful deliberations.
Thank you very much.
Babatunde Raji Fashola, SAN
Honourable Minister of Power, Works and Housing
Tuesday 13th February 2018
FASHOLA HASSAN RECEIVE HEAD AND LEADERS OF GORA COMMUNITY IN KARU LOCAL GOVERNMENT AREA OF NASARAWA STATE ON COURTESY THANK YOU VISIT IN ABUJA
Hon Minister of Power Works Housing Mr Babatunde Fashola SAN 2nd right Village Head of Gora Alhaji Jafaru Adamu right Elder in Community Prof Moh d Sani Haruna left and Farming Entrepreneur Hajia Kareen Fatimah Mohammad 2nd left shortly after a Courtesy Thank You Visit for the completion and deployment of 24 7 Solar Power in the Anguwan Neighborhood Villages of Gora Community in Karu Local Government Area of Nasarawa State by the Rural Electrification Agency REA as part of the Federal Government s Rural Electrification Strategic Implementation Plan at the Ministry of Power Works Housing Headquarters Mabushi Abuja on Tuesday 11th December 2018
FASHOLA INSPECTS THE ONGOING REHABILITATION OF OUTSTANDING SECTIONS OF ONITSHA ENUGU EXPRESSWAY ENUGU AMANSEA STATE BORDER IN ENUGU STATE AND UMUNYA AMAWBIA SECTION IN ANAMBRA STATE
Work in Progress Hon Minister of Power Works Housing Mr Babatunde Fashola SAN right speaking to media men shortly after inspecting the ongoing Rehabilitation of Outstanding Sections of Onitsha Enugu Expressway Enugu Amansea Enugu State border in Enugu State and Umunya Amawbia Section in Anambra State on Monday 10th December 2018