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 Provides N500bn to Resuscitate FMBN for Mortgage Facilities
The Federal Government says it has provided N500 billion to resuscitate the Federal Mortgage Bank of Nigeria (FMBN) to make mortgage facilities easily available to Nigerians. Alhaji Mustapha Baba-Shehuri, Minister of State for Power, Works and Housing, announced this in Lafia on Monday when he called on the Nasarawa State Deputy Governor, Mr Silas Agara.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the minister visited the site of a National Housing Project (NHP) in Lafia. “The resuscitation of the bank with N500 billion will provide the institution with adequate funds to provide mortgage facilities to interested Nigerians. “The Federal Government in its quest to provide shelter to Nigerians, has recently directed the FMBN to waive the payment of 10 percent equity on mortgages below N5 million. “This will greatly enhance the transition of low income earners from tenants to home owners,’’ he said.
Baba-Shehuri explained that the project would provide houses and jobs for low income earners. The minister said the houses would be built based on Nigerian housing design with 100 per cent local content. “The housing project came up with a 100 per cent Nigerian housing design and local content. “This is done because government wants to create employment for Nigerian youths,’’ he said.
The minister commended the state government for providing land for the National Housing Project, saying that it was in line with President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration’s promise of providing infrastructure. Baba-Shehuri said the ministry would leave no stone unturned in tackling the challenges of housing shortage in the country which was about 16 million to 17 million. He disclosed that the government had commenced plan to construct mass housing units in every state for public and private workers over the next three years.
Responding, the Deputy Governor thanked the minister for the visit and commended the Buhari led administration for initiating the project. “We assure you as a state that we will partner with your ministry to ensure that the project is successfully completed. “As you are aware, we have fulfilled our part by providing a good location in Akruba in the outskirts of Lafia metropolis for the project,’’ he said.
The minister visited the ongoing project in Akruba in Lafia Local Government Area comprising 76 houses of one, two and three-bedroom apartments.
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.
FASHOLA WIFE OTHERS VOTE IN SURULERE LAGOS DURING THE GOVENORSHIP HOUSE OF ASSEMBLY POLLS
Hon Minister of Power Works Housing Mr Babatunde Fashola SAN casts his vote during the Governorship and House of Assembly Polls at the Ward G3 Unit E002 State Junior Grammar School Itolo Street Surulere Lagos on Saturday 9th March 2019
FASHOLA AT THE 6TH EDITION OF THE TOP MANAGEMENT RETREAT FOR DIRECTORS CEOS OF PARASTATALS AGENCIES AND HEADS OF UNITS OF THE FEDERAL MINISTRY OF POWER WORKS AND HOUSING IN OWERRI IMO STATE
Hon Minister of Power Works Housing Mr Babatunde Fashola SAN middle Permanent Secretaries in the Ministry Mr Bukar Mohammed Works and Housing left and Engr Louis Edozien Power right during the 6th Edition of the Top Management Retreat for Directors Chief Executive Officers of Parastatals Agencies and Heads of Unit of the Federal Ministry of Power Works and Housing with the theme Re Inventing Governance for National Prosperity at the Imo Concorde Hotel Concorde Boulevard Off Port Harcourt Road Owerri Imo State on Saturday 23rd March 2019