FG Denies Plans To Stop Payment Of Shortfalls To GENCOS
Following a report in a national daily newspaper, the Ministry of Power, Works and Housing Wednesday denied that the Federal Government has stopped the payment of shortfalls to Electricity Generation Companies (GenCos), describing the report as both false and unfounded.
The report, contained in the Wednesday edition of Punch Online media, held that the Federal Government on Tuesday ordered power generation companies to find customers and sell their power directly to the identified customers as, according to the report, “plans are on the way for it to ultimately exit the monthly payments to Gencos to help cushion the revenue shortfalls on the books of the power generators as a result of the poor remittances from the power distributors”.
The report titled, “FG to stop payment of shortfalls to Gencos” and attributed to the Permanent Secretary (Power) in the Ministry, Engr. Louis Edozien, emanated from the remarks of the Permanent Secretary at a Workshop organized by the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) on Tuesday, 12th February, 2019 on the Eligible Customer Regulation.
But in a Statement signed by the Permanent Secretary in person, the Ministry asserted that at no point in his remarks did the Permanent Secretary state that "FGN is to stop payment of shortfalls to Gencos", pointing out that the Payment Assurance Programme of the Federal Government that authorized the Nigerian Bulk Electricity Trader (NBET) to guarantee payment for any power it has contracted from generation companies on the national grid had not been reversed.
The Statement read in part, “The Payment Assurance Programme of the Federal Government of Nigeria that authorized NBET to borrow N701.9 billion to guarantee payment for any power it has contracted from generation companies on the national grid and their gas and other suppliers has been in operation since January 2017. The amount NBET is authorized to borrow is not yet fully drawn. The Federal Executive Council (FEC) approved the programme. FEC has not taken any decision to stop it. FEC is the appropriate authority to comment on the Programme’s tenure and borrowing ceiling”.
In order to set the records straight, the Statement clarified that at the workshop organized by NERC on the Eligible Customer Regulation, the Permanent Secretary urged generation companies to more aggressively take advantage of the regulation to sell the power they can generate, of which 2,000MW is now stranded, to Eligible Customers who need it and are willing and able to pay for it.
Insisting that it would be better than waiting for NBET to pay for it or to guarantee it, for which NBET needs support from the Federal Government due to shortfalls in payment by distribution companies, the Permanent Secretary decried that though the Minister issued the policy direction to NERC that gave rise to the regulation in May 2017, and NERC has issued the regulation, none of the interested consumers and their generation company suppliers have been given licenses to buy and sell power as Eligible Customers. He encouraged NERC to accelerate and simplify the licensing process.
He further stated that the Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN) should continue to support the regulation by making targeted investments in the national grid, as needed to service specific contracts with generation companies and Eligible Customers to transmit the power, with penalties for failure to transmit, adding that TCN could finance such targeted investments with the expected revenue from such bilateral transmission contracts.
Encouraging electricity distribution companies (DisCos) to embrace the policy, the Permanent Secretary argued that if the DisCos were satisfying the power supply needs of their consumers of bulk power adequately such consumers would have no reason to generate the power by themselves or to want to become Eligible Customers adding that by embracing the regulation, the DisCos could partner with investors and generation companies to build new distribution infrastructure to better serve specific paying customers.
“They can buy power directly from generation companies and contract with TCN to deliver it, and give premium service to selected customers or customer groups”, the Permanent Secretary said adding that in such cases the distribution company must be willing and able to guarantee the payment for the power they buy, “because the shortfalls in payment which characterizes their power purchases from NBET, would not be possible in such bilateral contracts”.
The Permanent Secretary then enjoined dissatisfied consumers to take advantage of the Customer Care platforms set up by all the distribution companies in compliance with the provisions of their license, and escalate unresolved complaints to the NERC Consumer f Forum offices, as provided for in regulations, emphasizing that dissatisfied consumers could take advantage of the Mini-Grid Regulation, NERC's up-coming Franchising Regulation and the Eligible Customer Regulation to get premium power that meets their needs.
The Workshop revealed that the Ministry has received forty four (44) expressions of interest with a total demand for 600MW from underserved and unserved consumers desirous of becoming Eligible Customers. Of these, 14 have submitted license applications to NERC, two have fulfilled all NERC's conditions and expect to be licensed imminently.
The Ministry enjoins the public to discountenance the false report, and requests that the news outlets purveying such fake news cease and desist.
APC CONVENTION SATURDAY, 6TH OCTORBER, 2018
This is to inform FCT Residents, Visitors and Motorists that due to the National Convention of the All Progressives Congress, APC slated for Saturday, 6th October 2018 at the Eagle Square, Abuja, an unusual influx of human and vehicular traffic will be experienced within the city with the attendant traffic congestion in and around the venue of the convention.
To this effect all vehicular movement through Shehu Shagari Way from the early hours of Saturday, 6th October, 2018 to Sunday, 7th October will be diverted at Ralph Sodeinde Street by Bullet Building to link Central Business District. Motorists will also be diverted at Kur Mohammed Street and Constitution Avenue at Bayelsa House to Central Business District.
Traffic on Ahmadu Bello Way will equally be diverted at Ralph Sodeinde Street by Finance Junction to Central Business District. Motorists will also be diverted at Kur Mohammed Street or Constitution Avenue by Benue Building to link Central Business District.
The Federal Capital Territory Administration have mobilized Officers of the Police, FRSC, FCT Directorate of Road Traffic Service and other relevant Traffic Enforcement Agencies to various flash points to ensure seamless traffic flow.
Parking has been made available at the National Stadium for ALL Delegates coming from outside Abuja from where they will be conveyed to the venue by dedicated Buses.
In the same vein, ALL Delegates from within the FCT should converge at the Old Parade Ground from where they will be conveyed to the venue.
Please note that parking around the Eagle Square and its environs will not be tolerated as offending vehicles will be removed.
The understanding of the public is hereby solicited
Secretary, Transportation Secretariat
Federal Capital Territory
FG To Erring Contractors, Up Your Games Or Face Sanctions
The Zonal Director of the National Housing Programme in the North- West, Federal Ministry of Power, Works and Housing, Architect Joseph Toluhi, has urged erring contractors handling the on going construction of housing project in Kebbi State to step up their games or face necessary sanctions.
He noted that contractors, who fails to perform diligently on the job will have to give way for others to be engaged, adding that relevant clauses in the contract agreement can be invoke for appropriate sanctions.
This was contained in a statement by the Zonal Director on Wednesday in Biriin Kebbi during the North-West inspection tour to the project site.
Toluhi stated that the federal government is committed to provide decent and affordable housing to its teeming population and reduce the housing deficit in the country, adding that the NHP project is designed for the medium income earners who have the affordable means to acquire these houses across the nation.
The National Housing Programme, Kebbi State consist of 76 housing units of 1bedroom, 2 bedrooms and 3 bedrooms semi-detached bungalows, are being handled by 19 indigenous contractors.
In a similar development, the zonal inspection team led by Toluhi also visited the National Housing Programme site in Sokoto State to have on-the-spot assessment of the on going construction works which has reached 95 per cent completion stage.
“I must say that I am pleased and happy with the level of progress of work on this site because we have a very high level of competition. Most of the building here have been completed”. He noted that out of 20 contractors engaged, 12 of them have already been completed while four are yet to be roofed.
According to him, “this means, we are ready to move into these buildings. The infrastructure such as water supply, road arterial and water supply have reached a very high level of completion”.
The Team Leader in Sokoto State, Mr lliya Kastuda also confirmed that construction work has reached 95 percent completion, adding that there is provision of worship centers, school, market to give necessary comfort and police post to ensure adequate security within the housing estate.
The zonal Director and other officials of the Ministry inspected a similar project in Gusau, Zamfara State, which is put at 65% completion stage. He however expressed disappointment in the poor quality of job done, stressing that government will not tolerate sub-standard jobs from any contractor.
Keynote Address Presented At The 32nd Annual Conference And General Meeting Of The African Union For Housing Finance (AUHF)
Theme: Housing and Africa’s Growth Agenda at PDTF Centre, Central Business District, Abuja, 14th -16th September, 2016. By The Honourable Minister of Power, Works & Housing; Babatunde Raji Fashola, SAN.
I am delighted to address you on the occasion of this 2016 Annual Conference and General Meeting of the African Union for Housing Finance (AUHF) holding in Abuja, Nigeria. The political will and momentum of the present administration in her housing sector agenda are further invigorated by this conference taking place few months after the June 2016 National Housing Summit. You will recall that the outcome of the recent National Housing Summit identified Housing Finance as one of the major pillars necessary for realizing Affordable housing delivery in Nigeria apart from others like Land, Concessions/incentives, Off-taker Strategy and General Skills Acquisition. It is indeed, heartwarming and reassuring to note that AUHF is an association of Mortgage Banks, Building Societies, Housing Corporations and other organizations involved in mobilizing funds for housing on the African continent. Also that the goals of AUHF includes promoting and facilitating housing finance and unlocking its multiplier effects on National economies, hence leading to Africa’s economic growth. I understand that the Conference attracts stakeholders from across the African Continent, all with the purpose of advancing investment in affordable housing.
2. Let me begin by thanking the Nigerian Mortgage Refinance Company (NMRC) and other partners for hosting this important conference. The hosting of AUHF 2016 conference in Nigeria could not have come at a more auspicious time than now that Nigeria needs aggressive unleashing of new housing finance investments and opportunities. I will also like to thank all the stakeholders and experts from Africa and around the world for coming together to proffer solutions to the age long challenge of providing housing finance for Africans, especially Nigerians that are facing harsh economic challenges.
3. Housing, we know is critical to every human development and fundamental right of every citizen. Therefore, Housing is central to this Administration’s policy thrust. However, housing a population of over 180 million is an arduous task that cannot be left for Federal Government alone, especially now that the Government’s revenue and the economy is under pressure. The fund to support the construction and mortgages for the end-users is a big challenge for the government. The production cost versus the selling price of the present housing stock is beyond the reach of majority of Nigerians. Demand for affordable housing has grown over the years as a result of population explosion, rural-urban drift and search for higher quality of life. This demand has rapidly overwhelmed the supply capacity of existing Government resources. Many years of inadequate investment and poor maintenance culture have left Nigeria with a significant housing deficit which is slowing down the country’s development and economic growth and will clearly require close collaboration from stakeholders like the AUHF. The above demanding task is the mandate of my Ministry, Federal Ministry of Power, Works and Housing. Therefore, all stakeholders especially the Private sector and AUHF must play major role in this process of creating innovative housing finance in Nigeria.
4. Every Nigerian’s dream is to have a roof over their head! Hence, for an average Nigerian "owning a house" is a mark of economic success and security. Housing is also believed to be a long term investment that protects that investment against high inflation and the unpredictable economic down turn. Therefore, provision of housing is a major tool to reduce corruption. Why is it so difficult for the average Nigerian to realize this dream? Lack of Housing Finance in the public and corporate institutions and double digit housing loans are the major culprits while others include land for housing, population explosion, high cost of building materials, inflation that brings about unemployment and decreased purchasing power of the low and medium income earners.
5. The major housing Finance trends and developments in the Nigerian market can be summarized by tracing the historical tendency of the influence of the financial sector in the housing industry. In 1956, a Secondary Mortgage Institution called Nigerian Building Society (NBS) assumed the role of the main conduit for housing finance delivery. NBS was a British and Nigeria partnership arrangement. Nigeria’s housing finance development can be classified under major political periods, namely pre-independence (1914-1960), post-independence (1960-1979) and a second and subsequent civilian administrations (1979 to date). However, the mortgage institutions decree No. 53 of 1989 led to the establishment of the following; Primary Mortgage Institutions (PMI) as mortgage savings for on-lending property development and mortgage creation. And, the Secondary mortgage institution, the Federal Mortgage Bank of Nigeria (FMBN), to function as the Apex mortgage institution for regulation. While the National Housing Policy of 1991 was a bold step by the Federal Government of Nigeria to address the challenge of lack of finance for housing development and mortgage. The National Housing Fund (Act. No. 3) of 1992 is a collating reservoir of long term funds in terms of monthly contributions from workers in the public and private sectors. Unfortunately, most Nigerians see mortgage loans from Government as part of their share of the "national cake" leading to high default rates. This has forced the Government to encourage prospective home owners to approach commercial banks who regrettably have high interest rates. Thus, the Government who is supposed to be a major player in the provision of homes is now seemingly not on the frontline. The Government established the Nigerian Mortgage Refinancing Company (NMRC) to help in reducing the cost of mortgage loan by improving market efficiency.
6. From the inception of Government initiative in organized housing finance system to date, only a meager sum have so far been injected to the system. This accounts for less than 0.5% of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) as compared to other climes (like United Kingdom, South Africa etc) due to the inability of financial systems in providing low cost finance that meets the need of low and medium income earners. Therefore, the Secondary Mortgage institution (FMBN) should be strengthened by ensuring full compliance with the National Housing Funds (NHF) Act by affected stakeholders, like the Central Bank, commercial banks, insurance companies, Mutual and Trust Fund administrators. However, I am happy to note that with the greater participation of the private sector in housing and embracing the new initiatives of this Administration, the journey to sustainable housing delivery is on course.
7. Ladies and Gentlemen, it may interest you to note that the current Administration has taken cognizance of the housing sector as an important area requiring priority attention for reinvigoration and revitalization. This accounts for the appreciable budgetary allocation to the sector in the current annual estimate. This vision is increasingly being energized by the Federal Ministry of Power, Works and Housing. Only recently, the Ministry organized a National Housing Summit, where stakeholders met and examined the numerous constraints militating against the provision of affordable housing in Nigeria and proffered a clear, sustainable and strategic blueprint to mitigate same. Identified as a critical factor in the provision of affordable housing was lack of access to construction finance by developers including high risk in current mortgage finance structure which does not support the buying-off of houses to enable developers recoup their investments on time. The Summit resolved that there was need for necessary machinery to be put in place to promote appropriate construction finance schemes. AUHF members are hereby challenged in this regard. In the summit also, various definitions of affordable housing were adduced. However, the consensus from these definitions revealed that there is no one-size-fit all definition for Affordable Housing. The indices that should be used for defining Affordable Housing would include Segregation, Stratification, Classes of people and their income bracket, not more than one-third net household income of the target group and equity contribution of end-users.
8. I am happy to note that despite the challenges that housing delivery has encountered in the country over the years, the renewed vigor and policy re-orientation of this Administration have set the agenda for Housing revolution. In this regard, the Ministry has produced six (6) designs of one bedroom, two-bedroom, three-bedroom flats, bungalows and condominiums that will represent the Nigerian House which responds to our cultural diversity. Another key area of achievement is the pursuit and promotion of local content and standardization of building components such as doors, windows, tiles, roof boards and other accessories to be produced by local manufacturers as part of our support for local industries SMEs and in pursuit of diversification and job creation. Effort is already being made to embrace and deploy modern technology to mass production of housing in all the States of the Federation and FCT using the Traditional procurement platform and the Contractor Finance Initiative model, to reduce the housing deficit.
9. To make the Housing Sector attractive, viable and stimulate growth, the present Administration plans to de-risk lending to approved Housing Developers. This will entail the government providing guarantees and other credit enhancement to developers. Government therefore plans to issue promissory notes to reduce Developers financing requirements. Government recognizes that provision of leverage and guarantees are critical in attracting private sector funds into the industry thereby creating thousands of affordable houses each year as well as generate considerable employment and commercial activities. These are some of the far reaching contribution of the Finance Minister during the Housing Summit.
10. Ladies and Gentlemen, I wish to state here that much discussion has been held on the housing deficit. There is therefore need to change the story to begin to discuss the housing opportunities. Regardless of issues facing the sector, real estate projects are increasingly being launched and completed in Nigeria. With the present Administration’s many incentives, new investors are expected in the market to continue to deliver positive results.
11. It is on this note that I call on all stakeholders, especially members of the African Union for Housing Finance here present to join hands with the Federal Government towards the realization of its objectives in providing affordable housing to the people. As agent of change, members are enjoined to borrow a leaf from Nigeria and influence their respect home governments to domesticate or localize their housing options to reflect the peculiarities and expectations of the people as well as provide the private sector the needed impetus to invest in the sector.
12. Finally, I wish to state that though the challenges to the sector are real and obvious, we are convinced that with the renewed commitment of this Administration, coupled with strengthened collaborations with all stakeholders in the industry, the desired revolution in the housing sector will be achieved in not too distant future.
13. I wish you all very engaging and thoughtful deliberations and thank you for listening.
COMMISSIONED 60KW GRID CONNECTED HYBRID SOLAR PV MINI GRID POWER PROJECT IN TORANKAWA VILLAGE YABO LGA SOKOTO STATE
The recently commissioned 60KW Grid Connected Hybrid Solar PV Mini Grid Power project in Torankawa village Yabo LGA Sokoto State Initiated by the Ministry of Power Works and Housing Power Sector under the Renewable Energy Micro Utility REMU Programme which was commissioned on Tuesday 12th February 2019
FASHOLA ADDRESSES THE PRESS ON THE NATIONAL PUBLIC BUILDINGS MAINTENANCE POLICY RECENTLY APPROVED BY THE FEDERAL EXECUTIVE COUNCIL IN ABUJA
Hon Minister of Power Works Housing Mr Babatunde Fashola SAN 2nd left Permanent Secretary Works Housing Mr Mohammed Bukar 2nd right Chairman Committee on Housing House of Representatives Hon Mahmud Mohammed right Deputy Chairman Committee on Works Hon Dr Abubakar Kannike left shortly after the Hon Minister s Press Briefing on the National Public Building Maintenance Policy recently approved by the Federal Executive Council at the Ministry of Power Works Housing Headquarters Mabushi Abuja on Thursday 31st January 2019