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”.
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
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.
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
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
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