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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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5 October, 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

27 October, 2018

Minster Calls For Price Reduction For The Sale Of Houses In Nigeria

The Minister of State I for Power, Works and Housing, Hon. Mustapha Baba Shehuri has urged all stakeholders in the building and construction industry, especially in the housing sector, to relatively reduce the price tag for the sale and purchase of houses so that the poor and low income earners, who formed the majority of our larger population could afford to earn a decent living.

Baba Shehuri made the call recently in his Mabushi office when he received in audience the officials of Housing Africa Co-operation (HAC)who came to collaborate with his Ministry, in order to provide affordable and decent housing accommodation for the Civil Servants in particular and Nigerians at large.

He disclosed that the potentials in the housing industry in Nigeria is quite huge, which businessmen ought to tactfully embrace, bearing in mind the accruing profits and quick turnover, stressing that with considerable prices, Civil Servants and low income earners will no doubt have a roof over their heads.

The Minister however charged the Management of Federal Housing Authority (FHA), and the Federal Mortgage Bank of Nigeria (FMBN) to create time out of their busy schedule and critically look into possible ways to partner with HAC in order to solve the problem of accommodation bedeviling Nigeria.

Earlier, the Chief Executive Officer, HAC, Mr. Stephen Duggan stated that his mission in the Ministry was to see how to partner with Federal Government of Nigeria in order to improve the standard of living of Nigerians through the provision of decent and affordable accommodation.

He maintained that the materials for the building construction will be sourced locally and with labour made up of Nigerians within and around the local communities.

Records 1 to 1 of 20
9 May, 2017

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

Records 34 to 34 of 34
Photo News
19 November, 2018


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


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

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