Mambila Power Project : The Fictional Allegations Of Leno Adesanya Contradict Logic
The attention of the Hon. Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Mr Babatunde Fashola SAN has been drawn to the spurious and unfounded allegations of Leno Adesanya with regards to the ongoing Mambilla Power Project.
It has therefore become necessary to debunk the lies and resist the unjustified and malicious attack on the person of the Hon. Minister, Mr Babatunde Fashola SAN and save the innocent members of the public from the rather misleading and offensive publication widely circulating in various media platforms, authored and sponsored by Mr Adesanya in order to damage good name and reputation of the Minister to claim undue credit and attract unwarranted attention and sympathy.
Nothing is more further away from the truth than the claim that the loan negotiations have stalled since 2017 because of an attempt to utilize $600 Million (equivalent of N219 Billion) from the 3,050MW hydropower project for a “pet project” not hitherto considered by the Federal Executive Council.
There is currently no budgetary provision or cash provision of $600 million or the N219 Billion in any budget of the Federal Government for the Mambila Project.
Therefore you cannot attempt to divert what does not exist.
For the avoidance of doubt, the China Exim Bank disburse money to specific projects and on conclusion of negotiations, the loan will be devoted to the construction of the Mambila Power Project, which has been on the drawing board for close to 40 years before the advent of the Buhari administration which is now working assiduously to get the project off the ground.
The latest publication of fictional claims by Mr. Leno Adesanya in a national daily and the social media is the desperate attempt by him and his political sympathisers to destabilize a project that they could not bring to fruition.
The antics of Leno Adesanya and his ilk would readily explain why the project has taken so many years without lift-off.
Since Mr. Adesanya has chosen to go to court, he would be required to prove his baseless allegation in court.
The Federal Executive Council which is the highest decision making organ of the Executive Arm of Government never awarded a contract for the project to Mr Adesanya.
The allegation with regard to stalling the Mambilla project is untrue , baseless and a figment of Adesanya's imagination . The events and relevant facts will show that because Mr. Fashola first presented a memo on the Mambilla Power Project to the Federal Executive Council in August 2017; which was the first ever Federal Executive Council approval given to the Mambilla project in favour of a Chinese Joint venture.
The Minister has also accompanied the President twice to China on trips that had the project as one of the headline agenda.
The Hon. Minister in June 2018 attended, alongside officials of the Ministry of Finance, a meeting of the China Exim Bank to negotiate the terms of the loan for the project further.
And only this week, after the Federal Executive Council meeting, he briefed Nigerians about the approval of contracts for surveyors to demarcate the areas for the project.
These are the first contracts to start preparatory work on the project after 40 years delay.
These actions are not consistent with delay falsely being alleged against the Minister by Mr Adesanya.
Indeed, available evidence does not support the claims of Leno Adesanya and well-meaning Nigerians will be well advised to ignore him.
We hereby state, that no amount of negative effort to distract, intimidate or threaten the Hon. Minister in the performance of his duties in line with the pledge of the present Government to the Nigerian people on the provision of adequate infrastructure in all relevant sectors of the economy will succeed.
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
Hon. Mustapha Shehuri Warns Contractors Against Delay in Project Delivery
The Minister of State for Power, Works and Housing, Hon. Mustapha Baba Shehuri has warned the contractor handling rehabilitation works on Yola - Hong - Mubi road against delay in the delivery of the project.
2. Hon. Baba Shehuri gave the warning on Saturday, while on an inspection tour of Federal Government's ongoing road projects in Adamawa State.
He expressed dismay over the slow pace of work by the contractor, Messrs AG Vision (Nigeria) Limited. Baba Shehuri described the road as a vital artery to the socio-economic development of area, the entire State and beyond, hence the need for urgency in its delivery.
3. The contract, which commenced in May, 2017 with a 24 - month completion period, is presently at a dismal 15.10% completion, which the Minister described as unacceptable.
4. According to the Contractor, the major cause for the delay is insecurity occasioned by activities of Boko Haram Insurgents in the area and inadequate funding. Hon. Baba Shehuri, who did not hide his displeasure with the Contractor, agreed that though the project was facing some security and funding challenges, he reminded him of the Federal Government's commitment to ensuring security of lives and properties, while the Ministry is making frantic efforts to ensure that certificates are being paid.
5. The Minister urged the Contractor to expedite action on the project by improving on its capacities, stressing that the project is already running out of time. While also commending the communities along the corridor and road users alike for their cooperation and understanding, he reiterated the resolve of the President Muhammadu Buhari's Administration towards the provision of critical infrastructure.
6. In his briefing on the project earlier, the Federal Controller of Works, Adamawa State, Engr. Salihu Abubakar revealed that the contract sum is N21.8 billion, the Contractor fully mobilised to site in 2017 and presently has a total of N6.3 billion unpaid certificates.
7. In the same vein, Hon. Baba Shehuri has summoned the Contractor handling the rehabilitation of Mararrabar Mubi - Michika - Madagali road, Messrs Rhas (Nigeria) Limited to his Office for apathy to work. The Minister, who was visibly livid with anger, expressed his dissatisfaction with the Contractor for abandoning the project despite being fully mobilised. He added that based on the tempo of work on the site, the fate of this all - important project is already jeopardised.
8. The Minister also used the opportunity to express misgivings over claims by the Contractor that the project was initially delayed due to non - availability of working drawings.
9. According to the Federal Controller, the 90 - kilometre road with 3 bridges, which were distroyed by Boko Haram Insurgents in 2014, has a completion period of 18 months, which had already elapsed and the project at a mere 1.7% completion.
10. However, the case of the Contractor handling the rehabilitation of Cham - Numan road project in Gombe and Adamawa States is different, as the Minister was highly impressed with the level of work achieved thus far. Eventhough the Minister applauded the pace of project, he still urged for increased tempo, while assuring the prompt release of funds to meet the project's timeline.
Remarks By Babatunde Raji Fashola, SAN At The 15th Monthly Power Sector Operators Meeting Held In Jos
I would like to start my opening remarks at this 15th Monthly Power sector meeting by expressing my sympathy, and that of the Electricity Industry represented by the participants at this meeting, to the families of our brothers and sisters who were victims of the unfortunate electrocution accident in Cross Rivers state.
While we pray for the full recovery of the survivors who suffered various forms of injuries, we pray for the peaceful repose of the souls of the departed and may I request that we all rise to observe a moment of silence in honour of our dear departed brothers and sisters.
Whilst the accident is regrettable and the consequences very saddening, they were clearly man-made and avoidable, and if we must learn any lessons from the accident, it is to honestly and truthfully admit that it occurred as a result of non-compliance with laws and regulations. And if there is a time to learn the lesson, there can be no more auspicious moment than now.
Yes, I know that there are difficult challenges and people are struggling to eke out a living. But every business set up in a place of danger is a threat to life,that ultimately defeats the essence of survival.
We must admit as a People that the time to stop cutting corners and violating regulations has come upon us, and the time to change those non-compliant conduct is now, for our own long term benefit.
This is because the situation in Calabar, where a building was located under or close to an electricity line, exists in almost all cities in Nigeria and they are all accidents waiting to happen unless we prevent them.
The burden of preventing them, rests with all of us - Government and the governed.
TCN, the Discos and NEMSA all have roles to play. Their success however will depend on the will, support and collaboration of state governments who have the responsibility for granting construction permits and removing illegal structures.
For the information of the general public and the benefit of the state planning authorities, the applicable regulations for set back and approval of structures are as follows:
* For the 330 KV lines the set back is a total of 50 meters, that is 25 meters on both sides from the centre of the line.
B. For the 132 KV the set back is a total of 30 meters, that is 15 meters on both sides from the centre of the line.
* For the 33 KV lines which come close to our homes the buildings should observe at least 3.5 meters from the closest line and For the 11 KV lines, it is at least a 3-meter set back.
* For 415 volt lines it is 1.5 meters.
* For underground cables they should be buried at least 3 meters below the ground surface.
I know that there may be a debate about whether or not it is fair to relocate those noncompliant structures. Indeed, there will be arguments about whether it was the transmission line that got there before the buildings were erected or vice versa.
My response is that we need to keep people alive and we also need the electricity to improve our lives.
Therefore logic dictates that it is those non-compliant structures that must give way to save lives and to keep electricity on.
It is this logic that ensures there will be no repeat of the Calabar incident and that those who lost their lives would not have done so in vain.
I will now return to the subject and agenda of the meeting proper first by thanking our hosts the owners of the Jos Electricity Distribution Company for hosting us.
I will like to recall your attention to the purpose that I set out to achieve when I mooted the idea of these meetings.
The first was to provide an opportunity for me to visit one power asset or installation at least once a month to familiarize myself with their status, capacity, challenges and requirements in order to enable me make proper decisions without the need to be on the road for days on end.
I can say that this objective for me has been largely achieved. I now know most if not all of the power assets and I can visit and inspect the remainder at my convenience.
The second objective was to provide a monthly meeting for 2 (TWO) representatives each of every power distribution and generation company who could make decisions.
You will have to decide whether this objective has been achieved, because whilst I, the Honorable Minister of State and the Permanent Secretary have endeavored to attend all meetings some of you have sent junior officers who had no powers to bind your company to the meetings.
Nevertheless, I acknowledge that some problems have been solved and we remain committed to solving more as proof of our commitment to enabling businesses.
The third object was to provide a monthly forum where accurate information could be disseminated to the members of the public about what we are doing to resolve the problems of electricity and provide service to them.
I regret to announce that at best this objective is not being fully achieved or at worst is being frustrated by the Distribution Companies who have formed themselves into an Association of Distribution Companies, and have persistently issued statements on issues they either did not present for discussion at the meetings, or which contradicts the communiqué that is jointly agreed and released after each meeting.
The latest of such statements, which are wholly misleading and substantially untrue, because they conceal facts from the public, was issued and published on April 18 in the This Day newspaper.
I will come to the content of the statement shortly; but before doing so, I wish to state very clearly that while the right of association is a constitutional right which you are entitled to exercise, as is the right to free speech, the Ministry of Power, Works and Housing reserves the right to recognize or deal with you as an association.
As head of the Ministry, I regret that I will not deal with an association because the Bureau of Public Enterprises (BPE) acting for the National Council on Privatization (NCP) did not contract the asset sales and performance agreements with an association and neither did Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission grant you licenses as an association.
The Government contracted with 11 (ELEVEN) investors in the distribution companies and the Commission licensed 11 (ELEVEN) distribution companies. Government will continue to relate with you as such, through meetings such as this, or individually to ensure that you discharge your duties to consumers.
I am certain that NBET (the Bulk Trader) and the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC), your regulator, will communicate a similar position to you.
Now I will address some of the issues raised in the statement you issued.
A. Centralization and escrowing of Disco revenues and Regulations to guide your procurement
Under this heading the statement alleges that attempts to escrow your accounts amounted to “nationalization or expropriation” of the Discos, and that attempts to make regulations to guide the pricing of your procurement was at best an intrusion into your business.
What you failed to say in the statement was that the escrow condition was agreed by you with Central Bank as a condition for offering you stabilization funds by way of loans to fund the business you invested in because commercial banks were reluctant to do so.
What you also failed to state was that the loan was at 10% interest which is well below commercial rates.
What you also failed to state is that you also agreed under that arrangement to establish letters of credit to guarantee future payments to NBET and TCN Market Operations, that the agreed commercial terms of the letters of credit authorizes NBET and TCN Market Operations to draw on the letters of credit for any default in payment to them, and that such defaults have occurred and continue to occur.
Any right-thinking person will accept the principle that any person lending you money must have the right to know what you are doing with the money especially when under collection and under payment has been a major feature of many Disco performances.
As far as the regulation on your procurement is concerned, what the public needs to know, which your statement was silent on, is that you are entitled to fully recover your costs and investment by law and this is the function of how tariffs calculated.
Since Government holds 40% of the shares of Discos on behalf of states and local governments and the Nigerian people, it has a duty to ensure that you buy parts and other equipment at reasonable and competitive market prices and not through inflated contracts to relatives as we have seen in some Discos in respect of which NERC will take action in due course and sanction those who are involved.
Declaration of eligible customers
Your statement claims that this provision, which allows certain classes of consumers to deal with the generation company directly is premature and results in extra cost to consumers.
Your statement is silent about the inability of some of your members to invest in feeders and distribution equipment to get power to consumers.
This has led to the emergence of the terminology of load rejection for an economy that does not have enough.
As you rightly acknowledge, the power to declare eligible customers is provided by law, and what it does is to entitle certain types of customers to deal directly with their power provider or Genco once they can bear the cost of constructing the distribution facility in cases that we currently have, where their Discos cannot or will not invest the money to do so.
Your statement does not address the ill-logic of standing in the way of a consumer seeking to get by himself what the service provider Disco has failed or is unable to give them.
As for the alarm and panic which your statement seeks to raise about increased tariff, eligible customer declaration is not compulsory and applies only to those who elect to benefit from it, and they are in a position to decide whether a tariff of over N60 per Kilowatt hour of generation by diesel which they currently use is preferable to investing in a distribution asset that gives them power at a lower tariff.
What is important is that the law is followed, consultations are held with prescribed and decisions are taken.
No Disco has exclusive rights over any area and its ability to retain an area must be consistent with the ability to provide service to the area.
Corporate Governance at Disco level
Your statement alleges that the complaint about lack of corporate governance in the Discos is not as important as other issues like payment of MDA debts, ensuring cost reflective tariffs and so on.
The statement is silent on the efforts being made at these monthly meetings to help you ascertain and prove the debts that you claim that Government owes you.
The statement is silent on your failure to provide up-to-date audited financial statements as required by your licenses.
If a company cannot produce all the records of its transactions and accounts does that not allude to gaps in its governance?
Your statement is silent about the number of times your consumers have contacted the ministry in Abuja about failure of service.
Does the fact that consumers go beyond their service provider who collects the money monthly to complain to Government who does not collect money for their power not call for a look in the mirror about your corporate governance?
If corporate governance was not an issue, your statement will not be silent about plans to improve service to consumers that by supplying them meters and rebuilding the trust that has been damaged by estimated billing.
Good corporate governance will ignite the conscience of an electricity business to first provide meters to its customers before seeking tariff increases so that a metered consumer will at least have the ability to fairly measure from his meter how he is being billed.
In order not to take any more time than I have done, I will only say about the other issues addressed in your statement relating to:
* The N701.9 Billion intervention
* Load rejection
* The Nigerian Electricity Market stabilization fund and;
D. Disco performance under which you allege the power infrastructure you inherited is old and that some progress has been made by you that I am the first to publicly defend your contributions to the sector, but to the extent that consumers are not yet satisfied, you must do more to improve service.
Rather than complain about old infrastructure, I wish to remind you that nobody forced you to buy those assets and you knew what you were buying.
The N701.9 Billion intervention fund is consistent with Government's policy and determination to enable businesses flourish, and it was intended to save the Gencos, the gas companies and their financiers who were providing service, from collapse.
Your statement did not tell members of the public that these companies were not getting paid because you were not remitting all of what you should remit to NBET and the market operator, admittedly because of reasons that are partly and not partly your fault.
As I said when I convened the first of these monthly meetings, it is entirely voluntary and nobody is under compulsion to attend.
As I have done at almost every previous meeting, I will now ask you all again to vote whether we should continue the meeting.
If the outcome of the vote is to discontinue the meetings, this will be my valedictory statement to the meeting.
If the outcome of the vote is to continue the meetings, then I will demand that this meeting must remain the platform for ventilating and resolving issues relating to the sector without prejudice to other meetings that the regulator may convene.
I will also, in that event, issue statements like this as the need arises where any group within the industry seeks to mislead or misrepresent our common actions.
Thank you very much for listening.
Babatunde Raji Fashola, SAN
Honourable Minister of Power, Works and Housing
Monday 8th May 2017
FASHOLA DELIVERS KEYNOTE ADDRESS AT THE ETOMI LEADERSHIP CONFERENCE 2018
Hon Minister of Power Works Housing and Keynote Speaker Mr Babatunde Fashola SAN right Principal Partner GEPLAW Mr George Etomi midle shortly after the Etomi Leadership Conference 2018 with the theme If Not Us Who If Not Now When at the Grand Junction Room Landmark Towers Water Corporation Rd Victoria Island Lagos on Friday 28th December 2018
FASHOLA RECEIVES GOVERNOR STATE OF OSUN MR ISIAKA GBOYEGA OYETOLA ON COURTESY VISIT IN ABUJA
Hon Minister of Power Works Housing Mr Babatunde Fashola SAN right Permanent Secretary Power Engr Louis Edozien left and Governor State of Osun Mr Isiaka Gboyega Oyetola middle in a group photograph shortly after a meeting on State of Osun s infrastructural development at the Ministry of Power Works and Housing Headquarters Mabushi Abuja on Monday 17th December 2018