FEDERAL MINISTRY OF POWER, WORKS & HOUSING

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LATEST PRESS

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.

FG Rolls Out 76 Housing Units In Kogi State The Federal Government of Nigeria, through the National Housing Programme, has delivered on its promise to provide housing for its teeming population, 76 Housing Units of Three, Two and One Bedroom Flats in Lokoja, Kogi State. Engr. Valentine Nwaimo, Zonal Director, National Housing Programme (NHP) North Central zone, Federal Ministry of Power Works and Housing, made this known when the Ministry embarked on a Media Tour of all the Housing units within the Programme in the North central zone to ascertain the level of progress of work. Engr. Nwaimo said 76 units have been fully completed within the estate, its road infrastructure was at a 100% completion, Electricity 93% while Water supply was at 53% Nevertheless, the whole building works would be delivered by March, 2019. This was part of Governments’ efforts at ameliorating housing deficits experienced within the country, he said. On how to access the buildings, Engr. Nwaimo said the Ministry will make public modalities for purchase as soon as it was finalized. While the 2nd Phase of the project would kick off as soon as necessary paper works have gone through Due Process and land allocations have been concluded, he added. Speaking with Pressmen, Arc. Hajara Enesi Team Leader/ Controller of NHP, Kogi State described the opportunities made available to the indigenes in the area of artisanry, food and water vending, supply of building materials etc. Arc Enesi  stated that over 5000  Nigerians were engaged for skilled and unskilled labour while the project lasted. She said the ripple effect has brought development to the whole area which was known for nefarious activities before now and in turn advanced the economy as a whole. Arc. Enesi added that all materials used on the project were locally sourced within the state in line with the Presidential Executive Order 5 meant to improve local content and free up job opportunities for Nigerians.
15 February, 2019
FG Reopens Apapa/ Leventis Bridge, Pledges Repairs On Third Mainland Bridge After closure for over one year, the Federal Ministry of Power, Works and Housing on Wednesday reopened the Apapa/Leventis Bridge to traffic. The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) recalls that the bridge was closed for emergency repairs in August 2016 after a portion of the bridge deck damaged by fire caved in. Some of the reinforcement rods on top of the bridge’s centre had become exposed as the asphalt covering them had been eroded. It was re-opened to light traffic after the emergency repairs and later shut in 2017. The permanent repairs began in 2018 after Julius Berger, the contractor on the project, imported some materials to aid the repairs. The 40-year-old bridge links Nigeria’s premier port to both the Lagos Mainland and Island. While performing the tape cutting ceremony to open the bridge, the Director Highways, South West, Mr Funsho Adebiyi said that the opening would ease gridlock on the Apapa axis. “It is my pleasure to open this bridge in the name of God the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Today we are having a new bridge as well as a new access road. So, hopefully gridlock will end here,” he said. He said that government was going to take drastic action against all forms of abuses that would cause damage to bridges in Lagos. The Federal Controller of Works in Lagos, Mr Adedamola Kuti said that the bridge was damaged in 2016 due to “activities of some miscreants living under the bridge’’. “When the contractor came on board and removed the slab, that is the deck that got damaged, we discovered that the beams carrying the weight of the slab itself had been affected by the fire. “So, there was no way we could go ahead with the replacement of the slab, other than for us to start from the beams. So we had to produce new distress beams, and then, of course, the slabs. “And we have also done the surfacing of the other adjoining slab close to the damaged one,’’ he said. He thanked residents for their patience during the period of closure of the bridge and pledged Federal Government’s commitment to continued maintenance of all the roads and bridges in Lagos. He listed bridges that had been repaired to include the Marine Beach Bridge, Coconut Bridge and Ijora 7Up Bridge. He added that work was ongoing on the Alaka Bridge in Surulere and the Third Mainland Bridge. He further explained that repair works were ongoing on Lagos-Ota-Abeokuta, Lagos-Ibadan, Ikorodu-Sagamu Expressways and some other federal roads in the metropolise. Kuti said that materials for total rehabilitation of the Third Mainland bridge had been imported and that permanent repair works would soon begin on some damaged expansion joints alongside the ongoing rehabilitation of the bridge. “We have completed the Adeniji Adele bound, we are working on the Mainland bound. So the repair works on the Third Mainland will start very soon because our materials are on the way,’’ he said. Speaking on the newly installed beams on the Apapa/Leventis Bridge, Mr Thomas Balzuweit, Julius Berger’s Regional Manager, said that experts were used to get “a comprehensive design study to get high quality materials“. Balzuweit added that various quality control checks were done before installing the beams to ensure structural integrity of the bridge to cater for the huge vehicular traffic on the axis. Alhaji Wasiu Olowuntoye, President, Container Truck Owners Association, who led a delegation of truck drivers to witness the opening, said that the hardship to truck owners would be minimized. “We are happy today because our members have suffered so much, they spend several days and sometimes weeks trying to go in or out of the ports but with this bridge opened, there will be good for traffic flow,’’ he said. Source: (NAN)
7 February, 2019
No Nation Develops Without Building Its Infrastructure - Fashola The Honourable Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola SAN, has disclosed that President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration is committed to providing the necessary roads, bridges, rails and electricity that will, in no distant time bring about the overall social economic and political development of Nigeria inspite of visible and sharp decline of oil revenue. Fashola disclosed this late yesterday, when he received in audience the Management, 18 facilitators and 57 participants of the Nigerian Institute of Transport Technology (NITT), Zaria, who paid him a courtesy call in his Mabushi office. He commended the effort of NITT for including Transport Planning and Logistic works in their curriculum which is useful in the chain of production and distribution of goods and services in Nigeria, adding that the present administration needs the services of the institute and that Mr President is providing a very useful laboratory material for members of the institute to thrive. The Minister described members of NITT as stakeholders and partners in the wheel of progress and development of the Nigeria economy, noting that ‘’ the elements of national development and prosperity have come together at the appropriate time’’. He therefore enjoined members of NITT to support President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration to achieve his mandate of providing the basic needed infrastructure for the overall benefit of Nigerians. Earlier, the Acting Director General and Chief Executive of NITT, Dr Abimbola Odumosu stated on behalf of his institute that the reason for their visit was essentially to seek for partnership with the Federal Ministry of Power, Works and Housing in the development of manpower as regards transport and logistics which is NITT’s  area of specialisation, stating that collaboration between NITT and the Ministry will provide the nation with the needed impetus for sustainable growth and development. Dr Abimbola disclosed that NITT was established in 1986 as a Management Development Institution to among other things provide management training for personnel employed in all modes of transport and Serves as a Transport Intelligence Centre for monitoring transport and logistics system and to conduct research in all modes of transport in Nigeria
6 February, 2019
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PUBLIC ANNOUNCEMENT

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

OTHER NEWS

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.

 

OTHER NEWS

Minister Guarantees Continuous Funding Of Second Niger Bridge Construction

The Minister of State for Power, Works and Housing, Hon. Mustapha Baba Shehuri has guaranteed Nigerians of Federal Government’s determination to continue funding on-going construction works on the 2nd Niger Bridge linking Asaba, Delta State with Onitsha, Anambra State. He gave the assurance while on an inspection visit to the site.

2. Hon. Shehuri reiterated that since the present Administration came on board, its priority has, essentially, been on infrastructural development. He added that this has placed a huge obligation on the construction of an additional bridge to compliment the existing one built in 1965 as a crucial link between the Eastern and Western regions of the country.

3. Hon. Shehuri said the Federal Government will stop at nothing to ensure that funds are released, as at when due, to the contractor in order to  accomplish the project for ease of vehicular traffic and socio - economic enhancement.

4. The Minister revealed that since the commencement of the Main Works for the construction of this national infrastructure in 2017, after the completion of Early Works, Phases I - IV, there has been no delay in payments. This is evident in the appreciable progress achieved so far.

5. On the issue of compensation, the Minister appealed to the affected communities to co-operate with the Federal Government as the project, when eventually completed, would be of benefit to them, in particular, and Nigerians, as a whole.

6. Speaking earlier, the Federal  Controller of Works, Anambra State, Engr. Ajani Adeyemo established the fact that the Ministry has already paid compensations to the tune of N3.5Billion for claims on the project corridor. He also disclosed that compensation was paid from Km 23 - 34.9 of the project,  though there were still pockets of claims coming in from time to time. These  outstanding claims have already been forwarded to the Ministry for consideration and settlement, he added.

7. Engr. Adeyemo, while allaying the fears of Nigerians on the scheduled delivery of the project, further explained that the 2nd Niger Bridge, alongside two other Federal Government projects, are specially funded from the National Sovereign Investments Fund (NSIF) and as such will not experience paucity of funding. The Federal Controller, gladly, informed the Minister that, while the completion period for the contract is 42 months, it is presently at 17%  within 4 months.

8. The Project Director, Julius Berger (Nigeria) Limited, Mr Frederick Weiser stated that his Company has received payment on work done thus far and the communities have been co-operating as well. The major threat to the project, according to him, is the River Niger itself. He believes the river was going to rise between 10m to 12m as the rainy season was fast approaching. This, he said, calls for intensive work, 24 hours of the day, seven days a week to ensure it progresses before the River level rises.

OTHER NEWS

Hon. Shehuri Gives Directives on Smooth, Safe Passage

The Minister of State for Power, Works and Housing, Hon. Mustapha Baba Shehuri has directed the Contractor handling rehabilitation works on the 9th Mile - Orokam road in Enugu State to focus more attention on the pothole - riddled sections of the alignment. He gave the directive, while on a working visit to Federal highways projects in Enugu and Anambra States.

2. Speaking with the Project Manager, Messrs RCC (Nigeria) Limited, Engr. Harel Vaknin, at the road rehabilitation site, the Minister directed that further palliative measures should be provided immediately to ensure that the rough portions of the road are completely rehabilitated to ease the sufferings of road users, stressing that the President Muhammadu Buhari's Administration places high premium on providing succour to Nigerians. While commending the Contractor on the pace of work, Hon. Shehuri called for more proactive measures before the rainy season  sets in.

3. The Minister also inspected the on going rehabilitation of outstanding section of Onitsha - Enugu Expressway (Amansea - Enugu) in Enugu State, where he assured the Contractor, Messrs RCC (Nigeria) Limited that funds would be made available when the necessary processes are completed.

4.The Minister enjoined the contractor to speed up the tempo of work in order to deliver the projects as at the time due without prejudice to engineering designs and specifications.

5. While briefing the Minister on the two projects, earlier, the Federal Controller of Works, Enugu State, Engr. Femi Oyekanmi stated  that remarkable progress has been made on the 9th Mile - Orokam road compared to how it was in December 2018, promising that the Ministerial directive will be carried out to the latter.

OTHER NEWS

Hon. Mustapha Shehuri Warns Contractors Against Delay in Project Delivery

The Minister of State for Power, Works and Housing, Hon. Mustapha Baba Shehuri has warned the contractor handling rehabilitation works on Yola - Hong - Mubi road against delay in the delivery of the project.

2. Hon. Baba Shehuri gave the warning on Saturday, while on an inspection tour of Federal Government's ongoing road projects in Adamawa State.
He expressed dismay over the slow pace of work by the contractor, Messrs AG Vision (Nigeria) Limited. Baba Shehuri described the road as a vital artery to the socio-economic development of area, the entire State and beyond, hence the need for urgency in its delivery.

3. The contract, which commenced in May, 2017 with a 24 - month completion period, is presently at a dismal 15.10% completion, which the Minister described as unacceptable. 

4. According to the Contractor, the major cause for the delay is insecurity  occasioned by activities of Boko Haram Insurgents in the area and inadequate funding. Hon. Baba Shehuri, who did not hide his displeasure with the Contractor, agreed that though the project was facing some security and funding challenges, he reminded him of the Federal Government's commitment to ensuring security of lives and properties, while the Ministry is making frantic efforts to ensure that  certificates are being paid. 

5. The Minister urged the Contractor to expedite action on the project by improving on its capacities, stressing that the project is already running out of time. While also commending the communities along the corridor and road users alike for their cooperation and understanding, he reiterated the resolve of the President Muhammadu Buhari's Administration towards the provision of critical infrastructure.

6. In his briefing on the project earlier, the Federal Controller of Works, Adamawa State, Engr. Salihu Abubakar revealed that the  contract sum is N21.8 billion, the Contractor fully mobilised to site in 2017 and presently has a total of N6.3 billion unpaid certificates.

7. In the same vein, Hon. Baba Shehuri has summoned the Contractor handling the rehabilitation of Mararrabar Mubi - Michika - Madagali road, Messrs Rhas (Nigeria) Limited to his Office for apathy to work. The Minister, who was visibly livid with anger, expressed his dissatisfaction with the Contractor for abandoning the project despite being fully mobilised. He added that  based on the tempo of work on the site, the fate of this all - important project is already jeopardised.

8. The Minister also used the opportunity to express misgivings over claims by the Contractor that the project was initially delayed due to non - availability of working drawings.

9. According to the Federal Controller, the 90 - kilometre road with 3 bridges, which were distroyed by Boko Haram Insurgents in 2014, has a completion period of 18 months, which had already elapsed and the project at a mere 1.7% completion.

10. However, the case of the Contractor handling the rehabilitation of Cham - Numan road project in Gombe and Adamawa States is different, as the Minister was highly impressed with the level of  work achieved thus far.  Eventhough the Minister  applauded the pace of project, he still urged for increased tempo, while assuring the prompt release of funds to meet the project's timeline.

OTHER NEWS

FG Commends Contractors On Quality Of Roads; Advocates For Alternative Funding Sources

The Federal Government has commended contractors handling various road and housing projects in the South South region for doing a good and quality job.

2.      The Honourable Minister of State I for Power, Works and Housing, Hon. Mustapha Baba Shehuri expressed satisfaction on the quality of road   rehabilitation and construction, as well as the construction of mass houses under the present administration,  since its inception three years ago. He added that contractors are now fully back to sites with attendant effects on rejuvenating the economy and enhancing human capital development.

3.      Shehuri noted that in tackling infrastructural deficits across the country, there is a dire need for alternative and innovative sources of funding beside the usual annual budgetary allocations, adding that government is presently using the SUKUK (bond) funding option and Public - Private - Partnerships (PPP) to bridge infrastructural gaps in the country.

4.      The Minister stated this in Yenagoa, Bayelsa State during a working tour to the South South geopolitical zone to inspect ongoing projects being embarked upon by the Ministry.

5.      Earlier in his tour, the Minister inspected the Dualisation of Lokoja – Benin road, Section II: Okene – Auchi, Section III: Auchi – Ehor, as well as Section IV: Ehor – Benin City.

6.     He also visited the ongoing Dualisation of  Sapele - Ewu road, sections I and II, Sapele - Agbor and Agbor - Ewu, respectively.

7.      The Honourable Minister expressed satisfaction in the level and quality of work being carried out, especially in Bayelsa state inspite of the difficult terrain. He said this while inspecting ongoing construction works on Yenegwe – Okaki – Kolo road and the Dualisation of Yenegwe Road Junction – Kolo – Otuoke – Bayelsa Palm road.

8.      While in Rivers State, the Federal Controller of Works, Engr. J. O. Fadire briefed the Minister on the progress of work on the Rehabilitation of Enugu – Port Harcourt Expressway, Section IV, Aba - Port Harcourt, as well as the 39 - kilometre Bodo – Bonny road with bridges across Afa, Opobo and Nanabie Creeks, the only one to link the Ogoni people with Bonny Island.

9.     Engr. Fadire stated that though there are challenges affecting the pace of work such as  the environment, compensation and youth restiveness,  he, however, commended the contractor, Messrs Julius Berger (Nig.) Ltd. for the progress made within a short period of time. He further assured the Minister that the project will be delivered as scheduled because funding is not an issue as the major financiers, Messrs NLNG Ltd. is committed.

10.     The Minister visited the  construction sites of houses under the National Housing Programme (NHP), the second of its kind in the history of the nation since the President Shagari Low Cost Housing of the early 1980s, in Benin City, Edo State, Asaba, Delta State, Uyo, Akwa Ibom State and Calabar, Cross Rivers State. He also inspected the ongoing construction of the Federal Secretariat in Yenegoa, Bayelsa, where the Federal Controller of Housing in the State assured the Minister that the project will be completed by February, next year.

11.    Hon. Shehuri noted that with the construction of these affordable Mass Housing Estates across the country, the present government is delivering on its campaign promise of bridging the housing deficit in the country, creating jobs and  generating wealth.

12.    The Phase I of the NHP projects, according to the Minister, have reached advance stages of completion and will be due for commissioning in the first quarter of next year, stressing that the houses are for all interested illegible Nigerians.

13.     The Minister further disclosed that the procurement processes for the second phase of the Programme will soon be concluded and contracts awarded for its commencement in all the states that have provided the Ministry with land.

14.     During the course of the Tour of Duty, the Honourable Minister also visited the 132 KVA Transmission Substations at Uyo and Calabar in Akwa Ibom and Cross River States, respectively, where the present Government installed and commissioned an additional 1 * 60 MVA Transformer each, in April.

15. While conducting the Minister round the Uyo Facility, the General Manager, Port Harcourt Region of the Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN), Engr. Solomon Uyouko lamented that out of the 144 megawatts capacity of the transmission infrastructure, the DisCo utilise a meagre 2% daily, leaving most of the generated and transmitted power idle.

16. The story is almost similar at the 132 KVA Transmission Substation in  Calabar, where the Acting Assistant General Manager, Engr. Nasiru Bello stated that out of the 192 megawatts  transmitted daily, the DisCo evacuates between 20 - 30%.

17.      Commenting on the unfortunate state of power distribution infrastructure in the country, Hon. Shehuri said the present scenario is unacceptable, while admonishing the DisCos to up their game or pave way for those with requisite capacities. He further urged Nigerians to start blaming the DisCos for lack of electricity, not the Federal Government.

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SPEECHES

Speech Delivered By H.E, Babatunde Raji Fashola, SAN At Press Briefing On National Infrastructure Maintenance Framework At Federal Ministry Of Power, Works And Housing Headquarters Mabushi, Abuja

I welcome you warmly to this press briefing to share information about two very important developments that occurred in the month of January 2019.

The first was that on the 9th January 2019, the Federal Executive Council, Nigeria's highest decision making organ of the Executive arm of government approved a National Maintenance Framework for public buildings.

The second is that on the 24th January 2019, President Muhammad Buhari signed into law a bill to prohibit discrimination against persons living with disabilities which included provisions for specific actions that must be taken within a period of 5 (FIVE) years to provide opportunities for such persons to live as normal a life as possible.

This briefing is meant to discuss what these developments mean for Nigeria and Nigerians, and to highlight the possibilities that they offer for our way of life and our economy.

National Maintenance Framework for Public Buildings

Let me start with the National Maintenance Framework on Public Buildings and first point out that for now, this only applies to public buildings but will ultimately extend to other public assets like roads, bridges, rail, power installations and other infrastructure of a public nature.

What the FEC approval means is that after decades of agonizing about lack of maintenance, the Buhari government has chosen to act.

This is policy decision of enormous profundity because the records do not indicate that any such policy decision has previously been taken at the federal level.

The decision was provoked by a memorandum from the Ministry of Power, Works and Housing that challenged the conventional thinking that "Nigeria does not have a maintenance culture".

The memorandum argued and FEC agreed, that maintenance of infrastructure whether public or private, is not a cultural issue but an economic one.

The memorandum showed that in the built industry, only about 23% of the workforce is employed by Design (6%) and Construction (15%), Governance (2%) , while the remaining 77% are employed by Maintenance and operation.

Council was persuaded to accept that while skill training and vocational centres exist almost nationwide for training artisans like plumbers, painters, bricklayers, welders, tilers, electricians etc., there is a lack of National policy that makes the practice of these vocations economically worthwhile on a sustainable basis.

The available data showed that many people trained in these vocations often resort to earning a living by resorting to other vocations in which they do not have a training, such as riding motor-cycles and tri-cycles in order to make a living.

Therefore, the federal government’s decision on maintenance is an economic one, to empower Nigerians at the base of the economic pyramid who are artisans, those at the middle of the pyramid who own small businesses, SMEs who are involved in manufacturing of building and allied materials.

What it entails is that:

* Site assessment of the affected buildings will have to be conducted, measurement are to be taken, valuation conducted and data is collated. This on its own requires the employment of people to carry out this process and therefore jobs will be created from the very first step.

* It will also provide for credible data such as lettable space, value of the property and so on which can form the basis of the economic decisions or even actions in emergency periods.

* Condition assessment is the next step that requires people to be trained and employed to assess the conditions of affected buildings from foundation to roof and for mechanical and electrical sustainability for purpose.

* In one of our sample buildings leading up to the memorandum to FEC, we found out that out of 63 air-conditioning units, 11 required replacement or repairs. We also identified windows, doors, tiles, roofing materials, plastering works that required replacement or repair.

* The maintenance program is then developed from these assessments as to what jobs need to be done to restore the building to fitness, what needs to be replaced and what needs to be repaired.

* This is the basis for the award of the maintenance contract following the existing procurement law.

* This provides a window of opportunity for small businesses who are into facility management and for young graduates of building tech, architecture, engineering and even technical schools to register for these contracts.

* Successful bidders are then in a position to employ artisans to execute the maintenance contract they have won in the bid.

* Each ministry, department and agency will be responsible for its own procurement for its own building  after training of their designated personnel by the staff of the Ministry of Power, Works and Housing who will guide them through the framework approved by FEC.

* Because data is critical to the programme, each MDA will file data with the Ministry of Power, Works and Housing who will centrally manage data and use it to advise government and brief the public, while the MDA reserves the right to keep its own data.

* The award of contracts will not only drive employment for artisans, it will drive demand of manufacturing and suppliers of parts like wood, pipes, paint, tiles, electrical fittings, windows and tools, in addition to those of  cleaning items like soap, detergent, polish, varnish etc.

This is the economy that we see ahead as we set out to implement this approval starting from buildings, and as I said, and extending to roads, rail, bridges etc. as we progress.

Our pilot programme covered 9 buildings  comprising a Federal government college, a Federal Hospital,  a Federal Court building, a federal prison, a federal secretariat and our office buildings at our headquarters here in Mabushi.

The pilot survey showed that these 9 (Nine) buildings will cost N40.3 billion to reconstruct, while it will cost N922.8m per annum to maintain them which is about   2.3 % of the cost of replacement.

Just these 9 (NINE) buildings will require about 448 people to keep them well maintained a year. For example, the school will require at least 30 people to be employed per school for maintenance; and the federal government owns 104 Unity schools which potentially will require 30 X 104 = 3,120.

So you can see the economy we see when this extends to all our hospitals, all our courts, all our prisons, all our police stations, all our universities and covers all public buildings.

This is an economic choice by this government to drive the small business sector, to drive skill utilization and to move the economy from growth without jobs to growth driven by new jobs that reward services.

But as if this was not enough, President Buhari raised the bar for construction, services and a new way of life for Nigerians when he signed the law to protect people living with disability from discrimination and exclusion.

We have 5 years to comply, and this requires that all our buildings must have lifts and ramps. (By this I mean well designed ramps for people confined to their wheelchairs, not hills they cannot use on their own).

We must modify all our toilets with support for our brothers and sisters who are living with disabilities, as we must build sidewalks for them to use our roads without colliding with vehicles.

Our airports and parking lots in buildings must become compliant with international best practice by providing corridors and facilities for people living with disabilities at arrival and departure points, while a minimum number of slots clearly designated must be provided for vehicles owned by people living with disabilities.

This is another opportunity for jobs to re-design, to re-model, to retrofit all our assets nationwide to comply with the law as signed by Mr President.

Ladies and gentlemen, this is the Nigeria that beckons upon us from today and the immediate future. A Nigeria where public infrastructure works because they are maintained.

A Nigeria where everybody has a secure sense of belonging because they can use their skills and labour to earn a decent income and retain their dignity.

A Nigeria where government cares for the people living with disability by providing the basic minimum facilities that gives them a sense of belonging to demonstrate their ability.

Government has taken the leadership role to provide the policy and the how to make this Nigeria possible.

It is now your responsibility and mine to take ownership of this platform of opportunities and make it work for all of us.

Thank you for listening.

Babatunde Raji Fashola, SAN
Honourable Minister of Power, Works and Housing

Thursday 31st January 2019

SPEECHES

Third Year Progress Report As Delivered By H.E Babatunde Raji Fashola, SAN At The Conference Room Of The Ministry Of Power,Works And Housing

Distinguished ladies and gentlemen, Saturday the 10th day of November 2018 was the 3rd anniversary of the day when President Buhari inaugurated the current Federal Executive Council and announced the merger of the Ministry of Power, Works and Housing into one new ministry, on the 11th November, 2018.

Shortly after the inauguration and specifically on the 8th day of December 2015, I addressed members of the public in a statement titled “Setting the Agenda for Delivering Change” in which I set out what we inherited, what we plan to do, and what members of the public should expect from us.

For the sake of consistency, let me refresh your memories by repeating some of what I said about each sector, as a benchmark for assessing our progress in the report which I will present shortly.

With regard to our mandate on power supply, I promised that we will improve on the gas supply, increase the transmission capacity, pay MDA debts and generally improve your experience with power supply, first by getting incremental power, then proceed to stable power and hopefully reach uninterrupted power.

With regard to works, I said:

“As at May 2015, many contractors have stopped work because of payment and many fathers and wives employed by them have been laid off as a result. The possibility to return those who have just lost their jobs back to work is the kind of change that we expect to see…”

And with regard to Housing, I said:

“The Housing Sector presents an enormous opportunity for positively impacting the economy to promote not only growth but inclusion.”

I also said that:

“Government will lead the aggressive intervention to increase supply” starting with a pilot.”

Ladies and Gentlemen, on behalf of my colleagues, Hon. Mustapha Baba Shehuri and Surveyor Suleiman Hassan Zarma, the Honourable Ministers of State who manage this ministry with me, the Permanent Secretaries; Mohammed Bukar for Works and Housing; Louis Edozien, for Power, the Directors and all the staff of the ministry, the heads of our various parastatals and their staff, I am proud and happy to report that we have walked our talk, and we have delivered visible results and recorded qualitative progress.

With regard to power, we have improved on what we met, by increasing generation from 4000 MW to 7000 MW, transmission from 5000 MW to 7000 MW and distribution from 2690 MW to 5,222 MW.

Our work is clearly not finished, and we are still in the process of delivering additional:

 

* Generation from Kaduna 215MW, Afam IV 240MW, Kashimbilla     40MW, Gurara 30MW, Dadinkowa 29MW, power for 9 universities, 15 markets and 2 big Hydro power plants of 700MW in Zungeru and 3,050MW in Mambilla.

* Transmission from 90 projects nationwide with Apo, Mayo Belwa, Damaturu, Maiduguri, Odogunyan and Ejigbo being recently completed ones.

* Distribution through over 100 injection sub-stations and a distribution expansion programme to be funded by the Federal Government now in an advanced state of procurement.

 

Although there are still people we have not reached, although there are still disruptions from time to time, and although there are still people who also need meters, and we are working to reach them, 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% in the electricity sector, previous quarterly reports from 2017, have consistently recorded growth, a clear departure from 2014-2015 and proof of change.

As I promised you in my inaugural address, it will not just be electricity by numbers, it will be borne out by personal experiences.

The report of our survey and feedback mechanism confirm that many of you now have public power for longer hours compared to 2015, and you now run generators for shorter periods compared to 2015 and you now spend less money on diesel to power your 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.

As our policies on Mini Grids, Meter Asset Provider, Eligible Customer, and liquidity sustenance and improved governance deepens, your experience with power supply can only get better.

Our progress report on public works relating to roads and bridges also confirms that we have fulfilled our promise.

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.

Difficult or abandoned projects like the 2nd Niger Bridge, Lagos-Ibadan Expressway and the Bodo-Bonny Bridge have been brought back to life.

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.

Apart from recovered construction jobs and growth in construction sector of the economy, the feedback from road users is that the journey times are reducing on the completed roads.

Only last week a commuter sent a text message to me that he travelled from Warri to Lagos in Five and Half hours.

This is what we promised in my inaugural address.

That journey used to take a whole day before President Buhari was elected and sometimes people slept on the Road. We cannot go back to that era. We are determined to move forward.

We acknowledge that the work is not finished, but as long as we remain able to finance the projects, I have no doubt that it will get better.

Our intervention on roads does not stop on interstate highways. It has also entered 14 Federal Universities where unattended internal roads are now receiving attention in:

1.   University of Nigeria, Nsukka;
2.   Federal University Oye, Ekiti,
3.   University of Benin,
4.   Federal University, Lafia
5.   Fed University, Otuoke Bayelsa
6.   Bayero University Kano
7.   Federal University of Technology Owerri  (FUTO)
8.   University of Maiduguri
9.   Federal University, Lokoja
10. Federal Polytechnic Bauchi
11. Federal University, Gashua
12. Kaduna Polytechnic
13. Federal College of Education Katsina
14. University College Ibadan

This is the First Phase under the 2017 Budget and we are preparing to do more under the 2018 Budget.

It is important to highlight this intervention and the 9 (Nine) Indepedent Power projects in Federal Universities as an investment in Education for the benefit of those who seek more funding for education.

As we build roads, we are also attending to old or damaged bridges and restoring the value of maintenance.

So, while the Loko -Oweto Bridge is nearing completion, the damaged Tatabu Bridge linking Ilorin and Jebba has 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 are receiving regular maintenance attention.

As for housing, permit me to start with public buildings like Federal Secretariats in Zamfara, Bayelsa, Nasarawa and Ekiti where public works are being undertaken, and to mention the Zik Mausoleum in Onitsha which has now been practically completed.

Let me also point out that our pilot National Housing Programme has led to a nationwide Housing Construction being undertaken in the 34 states where we have received land.

No less than 1,000 people are employed on each site apart from the staff of the successful contractors.

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.

Our parastatals like the Federal Mortgage Bank of Nigeria (FMBN) and the Federal Housing Authority (FHA) are also contributing.

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 are helping to ease access to housing.

The ministry is also tackling the backlog of issuance of consent  and Certificates of Occupany to Federal Government land.

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.

Some of these transactions started over a decade ago and those just getting certificates acquired their properties years back but never got title.

You will go a long way back in our history to find out when a Federal Government set out such clear objectives and is able to come back to show its progress report.

As you all know, we are now in the month of November and heading to the end of the year.

What this means is that festivity, end of year activity and consequent movement of goods and services will put pressure on our roads nationwide.

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.

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 9 camps and 18 help areas across the zones to provide support and help to commuters in need.

The ministry staff have identified 53 critical roads requiring intervention while construction is going on in order to move traffic and we will be working with our contractors to provide relief gangs.

We are also deploying the Zonal Directors to their zones of responsibility until this period of peak traffic subsides.

What is true of pressure on roads at the end of the year is true of pressure on the power supply with the heat and weather change that comes with end of the year.

There will be increased demand for water and cooling in dry and hot weather which translates to increased demand for electricity in our homes, offices, and other places of activity.

Our ember month team have been set up to keep the supply on and, where possible, increase it to meet demand.

We have prepared for the worst and we now hope for the best.

The success of our plans now depend on the cooperation of road users who must drive carefully and energy users who must comserve energy when not needed.

Ladies and gentlemen, we came to this job in November 2015 with a mountain to climb.

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.

Let me conclude by wishing you all a Merry Christmas in and a prosperous 2019 in advance and assure you of our readiness to continue   to serve you.

Thank you for listening.

Babatunde Raji Fashola, SAN
Honourable Minister of Power, Works and Housing

SPEECHES

“Nation Building And Institutional Development, Lessons For Nigeria From The Island Club At 75,” Address Delivered By His Excellency, President Muhammadu Buhari, GCFR On The Occasion Of The Seventy-Fifth Anniversary Of The Island Club, Lagos

My chairman of the great Island Club, members of the management committee, worthy members of the club, eminent Nigerians, distinguished ladies and gentlemen.

Permit me to open my speech with words of congratulations and felicitations to the Island Club, her leadership team, comprised of the management committee and her body of members; on this occasion of the Seventy-Fifth Anniversary of the club.

To you all, I say Happy Anniversary and best wishes for many more years.

As an institution, Island Club has endured, not without challenges, but in spite of them: and there are many lessons for us as a people and a nation to learn from 75 years of history that has been woven into the walls and fabric of this club.

The first is perhaps the lesson that dispels the hyperbolic expression that flies around these days that Nigeria lacks institutions.   

The Island Club and many other social clubs who have endured over decades put a lie to those kind of uninformed statements.

Apart from social clubs, and non-governmental institutions, Nigeria has governmental institutions like federal, state and local governments, and indeed judicial, parliamentary, law enforcement and other institutions.

The fact that we expect more from them, the fact that they may be facing challenges does not justify the unsupported assertions that they do not exist.

Many of them have existed before and after the creation of Nigeria as corporate entities and have evolved from sometimes very humble beginnings to what they have become today.

At some times, they have worked very well. At other times, they have been challenged to give more; but they have never ceased to exist.

This is why I said earlier, that there is a lot to be learned from the Island Club.

Her history is all too well known and published to warrant any repetition here.

What is relevant for my purpose is to briefly recall that at any time, this was the place where the Giants of Nigeria gathered.

At the time, Lagos was the capital of Nigeria and ministers, state commissioners, many public officers and captains of industry were regular users of this club.

That has changed in the sense that the capital of Nigeria has moved to Abuja, but Island Club still retains its fair share of members of government at various levels as it does among the leaders of the business community.

But we must remember that just a few years ago this club faced very serious headwinds which threatened it to its very core.

Attendance dwindled, regular events around which brotherhood and conviviality that bound members together were threatened; indeed, there were court cases.

In the end, the storm calmed, Island Club went through a very tedious and I daresay painful process of change, and here we are at a glorious dawn that heralds many possibilities.

The club of which I proudly serve as grand patron has found its groove again.

Because of this process of change, I can confidently predict that Island Club will be here for another 75 years and more, long after we are all gone.

But that process of change and reform did not happen because Island Club did anything.

It happened because people, yes people, members of the club and I believe non-members, who were people of goodwill chose to act.

As an institution, like governments or agencies, Island Club as a creature of charter, brought into existence by laws made by men, can do nothing by herself.

It is men and women who define, who decide and who determine what happens to institutions.

When institutions do well, it is men and women who are entrusted with authority over that institution who have done well and vice versa.

This is an important lesson to learn from Island Club‘s history.

At the time of perhaps the greatest crisis, the men entrusted with the fortunes of the Island Club did not abdicate.

They confronted crises and embraced change; and they reminded me of the story of the Eagle which has been well told but which I crave your indulgence to repeat because of its profound lessons about change and hard decisions.

“The Eagle has the longest life-span of its species. It can live up to 70 years. But to reach this age, the eagle must make a very difficult decision!

In its 40th year, the eagle's long and flexible Talons can no longer grab a prey which serves as food. Its long and sharp beak becomes bent.

Its old-aged and heavy wings, due to their thick feathers, stick to its chest and make it difficult to fly. Then, the eagle is left with only two options: DIE or go through a painful process of CHANGE!

This process lasts for 150 days (5 months)

The process requires the eagle to fly to a mountain top and sit on its nest. There the eagle knocks its beak against a rock until it plucks it out.

Then the eagle will wait for the new beak to grow back after which it will pluck out its talons. When its talons grow back, the eagle starts plucking its old aged feathers.

And after this the eagle takes its famous flight of rebirth and LIVES for 30 more years!”

This story is not biologically proven and seems scientifically impossible for the Eagle to live without food for 150 days. But it is nonetheless inspiring. It is the inspiration that I seek to draw from and share.

Why is Change needed?

In order to better our Nation and ourselves, we too have to start the change process. We need to jettison things that have not worked and embrace those that will work.

We need to free ourselves from habits that have held us hostage in the past so that we can embrace the promise of a better Nigeria that beckons ahead.

That process may be painful, it may be tedious, but if an Eagle does it to survive, why can’t we?

When I took office on 29th May 2015 on the basis of the mandate you generously gave me as your President, one of the challenges I had to deal with was Nigeria‘s food security risk.   

With so much arable land, we were entirely dependent on others to feed ourselves, especially for staples and greens.

We were spending about $5 million daily to import rice that could be produced in Lagos, Ogun, Abia, Kebbi, Sokoto, Jigawa and many parts of Nigeria.

In the past, we had laudable initiatives like Operation Feed The Nation and Green Revolution aimed at securing our food supply and empowering our people.

Regrettably, by a combination of many factors, not least the vested interest of those who benefit from us importing food that we can produce, these initiatives did not achieve their laudable objectives.

Those interests were still there when I assumed office in May 2015. They fought back when I announced our commitment to produce what we eat and our refusal to provide foreign exchange to import those things.

I will not inundate you with the details of what they did, except to say that they nearly crippled us economically.

But today, I stand very proud to say that we took the flight of the Eagle in reaction to our food security.

Although they are still fighting, by importing to neighboring countries and dumping on us through smuggling; we are responding, and will do more to defeat them for the benefits of our people.

But I can tell you now that we have made progress.

Not only have we created millions of new rice and wheat farmers, who are not only self employed, they are now employers.

We intend to move this forward and retain the full benefits of what we have created, not only by expanding the number of farmers, but by developing the value-added chain of processing and ultimately building the base that leads us to full industrialization.

This is one of the reasons why I am offering myself to serve you for another term.

Manufacturing, which is a key driver of employment and wealth creation is largely dependent on agriculture, as it is on power supply and reliable transportation infrastructure about which I will speak shortly.

But before I leave the subject of manufacturing, let me say that our modest efforts are beginning to yield results as shown by the recent reports of the National Bureau of Statistics which shows increased growth in the manufacturing sector.

Let me say therefore, that as far as our institutions are concerned, it will require all of us, men and women of goodwill, right thinking and well-meaning Nigerians to get involved, participate, play our roles and do our level best in the way that the members of Island Club have done, in order to change what we do not like and create what we want.

On a related note let me quickly allude to the state of our national infrastructure.

A significant stock of our national infrastructure whether it is power, roads, bridges, schools, airports, rail, hospitals and many more require replacement, repairs, maintenance and expansion.

The challenges we face with infrastructure are not too dissimilar to what Island Club faced in the past and which they have now acted to remedy.

Most of the Roads, Bridges, Airports, Seaports, Power plants that we need to get on with our lives were largely built in the 1970s, and 1980s.

They were the best when we built them, but our population has grown faster than the rate of the growth of infrastructure.

I also recall that at one time, the Island Club had no hall of this size like the hall we now converge in.

The Annual Christmas and Ileya dances used to hold in the open and were dependent on the benevolence of nature, until one Chairman and management team decided to fly like the Eagle.

At the time they took the flight of change to bring down what remained of the old and inadequate structure, they did not have the resources to build this hall but they had a lot of belief and resolve.

And because of their commitment to change, we can now converge in this hall without the fear of the Rains.

Let me remind us that it took more than one term and one election cycle of the Chairman of the Island Club to build this hall, just as it will require more than one election cycle to build a nation and deliver change.

But I can report that the process of change for our infrastructure has commenced.

We have completed the Abuja-Kaduna Rail and the Abuja Business District to Airport intra-city rail and the New Port Harcourt International Airport Building which were not completed because we failed to pay the counterpart funding at the time we were earning about $100 per barrel of oil.

Our administration paid these monies when the price of oil dropped to about $50 per barrel, and simultaneously committed to the Construction of the Lagos- Abeokuta- Ibadan- Kano Rail which has started.

We have revived most of the road contracts that were abandoned and started new ones and I can say to you confidently that there is no state in Nigeria where our Government is not constructing at least one Road.

In Lagos for example, the Ikorodu-Sagamu and the Lagos-Otta-Abeokuta Roads are long abandoned roads we have revived and contractors are now back to work while I have inaugurated an Infrastructure Development Fund to ensure that the Lagos-Ibadan, Second Niger Bridge and Abuja-Kano roads are not affected or delayed by funding problems again. We have also awarded the Tin-Can Island, Mile 2, Oshodi – Oworonshoki Expressway which is contributing to the gridlock in the State and work should start in November this year.

With significantly less resources we are getting a lot more done.

As far as power supply is concerned, we all know that it had been largely privatized before the advent of my administration with only the transmission part left for Government to manage.

But even our harshest critics will admit that we have moved things forward from where we met them.

A significant number of Nigerians admit that the hours they run their generators, and the amount they spend on diesel and petrol to power their generators is reducing.

That is progress and we are not finished.

We know there is a lot of work to do but we are inspired by the progress in generation from 4,000MW to 7,000MW ; in transmission from 5,000MW to 7,000MW and in distribution from 2,690MW to 5,222MW.

Compared to the 4,000 MW of generation that we inherited after 16 years which did not start from zero in 1999, it means that we are averaging 1000 MW per annum of incremental power Generation every year since 2015 when we took office.

This is change for the better, compared to 4,000 MW after sixteen years  (which as I said did not start from zero in 1999), which is an average of 250 MW per annum.

Our policy of Eligible Customers to provide power to industrial customers working with the Manufactures Association of Nigeria is bearing encouraging results, with 5 industries already connected to reliable power and 14 more industries are being processed while many more new applications are coming in.

The policy of Meter Asset Providers to facilitate increased supply of meters excited 103 applicants, out of which 80 no objections have been issued.

As you all know, the only thing that stands between Policy, Impact and Results is time. We can only now wait to see how the solutions we have designed trickle down and bear fruit. But this is only one side of the Power story. The on-grid side.

On the Off-grid development side, another policy outcome of our Government will imminently bear fruits in 9 Federal Universities which are the pilot phase of supplying independent power to our children‘s places of learning.

Two markets, Ariaria in Abia State with 37,000 shops and Sabon Gari market in Kano with 13,000 shops are the pilots of 15 markets comprising 85,000 shops and 255,000 micro small and medium Enterprises that will get reliable and uninterrupted power.

Last week Friday, the Vice President was here in Lagos to inaugurate the Sura Independent Power Project , a product of our Mini Grid policy that has delivered uninterrupted power to 1,047 shop owners in Sura market. The feedback from the shop owners, that they have not used their generators for the last 70 days since the project was completed and that their businesses are growing , they are employing more people , confirm to me that we are on the right track.

It is because of these hardworking Nigerians who need the support of Government that I offer to serve again.

I could not conclude this address without a mention of our progress with regards to Security.

During my campaign for office in 2014, we were in a situation where insurgents had actually captured local governments and hoisted flags with a view to setting up their own parallel government.

We have retaken all of that from them.

But because crime is rewarding to its perpetrators, they do not give up easily.

They now attack soft targets and we will not stop our pursuit of them until they give up their nefarious acts and are brought to justice.

As we deal with new challenges and the dynamic nature of crime and indeed life as a whole, I understand that it is sometimes easy to forget what we overcame and have achieved when we face new challenges.

We overcame a situation where government activity like National day parades could not hold in the open.

They were held inside the villa in Abuja. That has changed since my assumption of office.

We rescued 107 children from Chibok incident and reunited them with their families, although 112 children still remain to be rescued, as very painful reminders that our work is not done.

We had a set back with the abduction of our children in Dapchi, but our response was quicker than Chibok, as we recovered all the children except unfortunately Leah Sharibu, the young girl for whom I will not rest until we bring her home, to the care and love of her anxious and traumatised parents.

I wish there is a crime free world; but sadly this world exists only in the ideal and it is my responsibility in this part of the world to lead the search for that ideal world.

Like the history of the Island Club to which I have referred, where the road to overcoming her challenges took more than one term of the chairman, it is obvious that we cannot solve all the problems we are faced within one term of my Presidency or one term of any President.

Change is not an event, it is a process and requires time.

This is another reason why I am offering myself to serve again. I believe that these problems can be solved and our choices are moving us in the right direction, which is forward.

Mr. Chairman, members of the management committee, Eminent body of members, invited Guests, Ladies and Gentlemen, like the Island Club, I believe Nigeria must move forward, consolidate on progress and seek to achieve more. We cannot afford to go back.

This is what I offer and promise, that we work together to build the Nigeria that we desire, and I invite all of you to join me, because it is possible, as we consign our difficulties to history and embrace a future of prosperity.

Let us consolidate and move forward together, because going back cannot be a choice.

Muhammadu Buhari, GCFR
President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria

SPEECHES

Speech Delivered By H.E, Babatunde Raji Fashola, SAN At The South West Town Hall Meeting

We must first commend the Hon. Minister of Information and Culture for inaugurating this series of town hall meetings that have been held across Nigeria over the past 3 years.

This in itself is something that has changed in how the FGN communicates with citizens and is quite different from the previous attempts that were targeted to react to crisis or to catch votes at the 11th hour.

I will start my presentation by giving you an overview of what the government of Nigeria is getting done through my ministry (Power, Works and Housing) across the country and then I will come to the specifics as it affects the South West zone.

Of course, I cannot pretend that politics is not in the air, and that elections are a few weeks away. This means that all Nigerians including those of us in the Southwest have to make a choice about who to choose and which party to vote for.

I am mindful of the fact that this is the first time where we have had two major parties manage our affairs.

One for 16 years and another for 3 and a half years thus far.

I am aware that we still want more service from Government, and therefore decision-making will require deep reflection.

Do we go back to those who have served you for 16 years since 1999; or do we move forward with this government that has had only three years and five months to serve us?

So the next election might well be a choice between going back and moving forward.

Let me start by saying that my ministry is responsible for delivering some of Nigeria’s critical infrastructure for transport, electricity and housing.

In 2015 when you elected this government, the budget for these three ministries, left behind by the previous government, was N19 billion for works, N5 Billion for power, and N1.2 Billion for housing making a total of N25.2 Billion.

In the year 2017, the budget for works was N394 Billion; Power was N69.96 Billion and Housing was N64.9 Billion (Total N529 Billion).

In a country where the population is growing faster than the infrastructure, the difference between these budgets must tell you that this government is more serious about providing infrastructure to support you.

So, if you need more roads, more bridges, more power, more housing and the Job opportunities and prosperity that their delivery will bring, your choice in the next election should be easier.

Don’t go back to a budget of N25.2 Billion for Infrastructure , move forward with a budget for Infrastructure which has grown to N543 Billion in 2018.

Another feature of the difference between these two budget sizes is that the last government was spending less on infrastructure for almost one decade when oil prices stayed at $100 per barrel during that decade.

This government is spending more on infrastructure when oil prices largely hovered between $40-$60.

So, in making your choice, please consider who is the better manager. The one who did less with more or the one who did more with less.

Again I urge you to reflect. Do you want to go back to doing less with more, or move forward with doing more with less.

And before I leave this point, let me just inform you that over the last 10 years, from the proceeds of oil, Saudi Arabia spent $420 billion on infrastructure.

But it is not about spending money alone, it is about what we did with it; and what was left behind for us.

What was left behind were massive debts owed to contractors who had not been paid for 3 to 5 years and who had laid off thousands of workers and shut down equipment and plants.

That was one of the reasons why the economy first went into recession, and, I suspect, one of the reasons they quickly conceded defeat.

They also left behind debts owed to state governments who were forced to intervene on federal infrastructure especially roads and bridges. That figure stands at about N450 Billion.

What we spent the money on, was to pay contractors and today I can tell you that there is no state in Nigeria where we are not building at least one Federal Road.      

We are constructing houses in 34 states in a pilot scheme to determine affordability and acceptability; and we have 90 transmission projects aimed at improving connectivity between the GenCos and the DisCos who serve you.

Those 90 projects are largely resuscitated because this government has recovered 690 containers of power equipment out of over 800 containers left at the Port for almost a decade because they did not pay contractors, who then could not pay the shippers and warehouse companies.

The Buhari government has paid, the projects are making progress. (Adamawa) (Odogunyan) (Ejigbo) (Apo) (Damaturu) are some of those completed Transmission Sub-stations.

Those of you from Ondo and environs will agree that although the work is not finished, your travel time on the Benin-Ore-Sagamu road has reduced.

Our contractor is on site and has to work while you use the road.

The same is true of the Lagos-Ibadan expressway that connects 3 states of Lagos, Ogun and Oyo; and links to Ondo and beyond.

Those of you who use the road will acknowledge that you no longer have to spend the night on the road.

You can go to Ibadan from Lagos and be sure that you can return on the same day.

Yet we have not finished. Please as you prepare to choose next year, remember those long hours on Benin-Ore, Lagos-Ibadan that sometimes stretched into the Night. Do you want to go back ?

Ask yourself if progress on these roads in 3 years is better than what you have seen over 16 years.

It will help you decide who to choose to ensure that the road is finished, and you can move forward.

Also remember those who presided over the cuts in the budget of these roads in the 2017 budget.

As they plan to frustrate and slow down the Buhari government, the president innovates and finds solutions.

There is now a Presidential Infrastructure Development Fund to ensure that the Second Niger bridge, the Abuja-Kaduna-Kano Road, Lagos-Ibadan expressway and some other projects are not deprived of funding again.


Major roads in the Southwest like the Lagos-Otta-Abeokuta Road, the Ikorodu-Sagamu road, which had been deserted and left to decay, now have contractors at work. Do you want to go back to that ?

The Apapa- TinCan - Mile 2 -Oshodi- Oworonshoki road has been awarded and work should start sometime in November this year as the construction equipment are being readied.

This will give a final solution for the gridlock that was inherited from the last government.

These are some of the examples of what has changed and is changing for the better.

Those who ran it aground for 16 years now say we are not quick enough.

The question you right thinking and well-meaning citizens should ask is which Nation has been rebuilt in 4 years?

It is going to take more than one election cycle to consolidate on the progress I have shared with you; and if you do not choose wisely you can reverse it.

A choice to go back is a choice to reverse this progress and a choice to move forward is a sensible choice to consolidate and progress.

Those same people who caused the problem cannot now be trusted to fix it.

You will hear from them that the country has problems as they try to weaponise our challenges to deceive Nigerians.

The infrastructure decayed under their watch; insurgency and bombings started under their watch; the grand corruption under their watch makes it impossible to identify one item of critical infrastructure that Nigeria can point to in a decade during which oil price averaged over $100 per barrel. (1976; 1980s)

On the housing side, as I said we are in every state including all the states of the South West except Lagos. Each site employs not less than 1,000 people made up of builders, artisans, fabricators, and vendors and we plan to do much more.

Through this infrastructure commitment, the President and the government is driving the economy vehicle in the right direction.

The last quarter report of the National Bureau of Statistics for Q2 of 2018 shows the following rate of growth in sectors affected by my ministry:

Transportation – (Road, rail, water and air)  – 21.76%

Construction – 7.66%

Electricity- 7.59%

But it is not just travel time reduction, and economic growth that is impacted, the number of road traffic accidents, injuries and loss of lives are reducing month by month as FRSC figures from June and July 2018 show. While the biggest cause of accidents remains speed violations.

Let me close with some specific comments on power in the South West :- Magboro, Mowe, Ibafo, Ondo (North and South) are communities who were never connected to power supply before.

That story has changed. They are now connected and experiencing power supply. That is change.

This is because we increased generation from 4,000 to 7,000 MW; averaging 1,000 MW per annum; Transmission from 5,000 to 7,000MW averaging 660MW per annum, and distribution from 2,690 MW in May 2015 to 5,222MW in January 2018, averaging 844 MW per annum.

We have not finished and we have not reached everybody yet; but many of you can tell the difference now and attest to the fact that things have changed for the better.

Ask yourself if you use your generator longer today than in 2015 or if you spend less money on diesel today than in 2015, or if you are getting power supply longer today than in 2015.

Please choose next year according to that answer.

Also ask yourself who has done better: 4,000 MW over 16 years at an average 250 MW per annum? Or 3000 MW over 3 years at an average of 1000 MW per annum?

I have addressed the choice before you between going back and moving forward.

Let me end my contribution on another issue that is critical to the decision you have to make about your future.

That issue is TRUST.

Who will you trust to better manage your affairs . The one who did less with more; or the one that is doing more with less.

Without a doubt, we have done more with less time and with less money. That is change and we remain committed to doing more.  

Babatunde Raji Fashola, SAN
Honourable Minister of Power, Works and Housing

SPEECHES

“The True Situation Of Electric Power In Nigeria Today And The Prospects For The Future”  Speech By H.E Babatunde Raji Fashola, SAN At The Nigeria-South Africa Chamber Of Commerce (NSACC) Breakfast Forum

Thank you for inviting me to be your speaker at this Breakfast meeting and for choosing the topic, that seeks to know where we are, and where we are heading as regards power supply.

I think I will like to start by setting a context as to why I feel qualified to speak here and also about the subject without sounding immodest.

First, I think you deem me qualified by your invitation. Next reason of course is that, by virtue of my current office as Minister for Power, Works and Housing you expect me to know.

Furthermore, for those of you who live in Lagos, my tenure as governor heralded the development of  Independent Power Plants in Iju, Lagos Island, Alausa Secretariat, Ikeja GRA, Lekki Phase 1 and Lekki Free Zone, all of which were targeted at supplying power to public institutions and facilities like the water works, courts, schools, and street lighting, except the Free Zone which was for commerce.

Most importantly I have visited almost all of Nigeria’s power plants in operation and those under construction, the National Control Centre, all the Distribution Companies, Major Transmission Sub-Stations and I know their current state of operation.

In addition, for 29 months, I had monthly meetings with all the operators in the power value chain across Nigeria’s states and commissioned not a few transmission and distribution assets.

Of course, I am not an engineer, but I have many brilliant Engineers  who work with me and advise me.

I am also not an arm-chair analyst. I speak about what I have seen and experienced.

This background is important as context to the matter which you wish me to speak about, which is the real status of progress in the Power Sector.

So too are two other items of context; namely, where we were in 2015, and what we promised.

If you do not define your Goal against your reality, progress will be difficult to recognize.

As to where we were in 2015, power generation was averaging 4,000 MW; transmission was averaging 5,000 MW and distribution was averaging 3,000 MW.

As to what we promised, I stated in my very first public briefing in November 2015 that contrary to previous practice, we were committing to a journey; first of getting incremental power, with the plan to proceed to steady power, and ultimately get uninterrupted power.

I made it clear that our intention was to improve your power supply experience gradually rather than discuss the megawatts as quantum of power, and that any reference to the megawatts would be measuring milestones of our progress in the journey of incremental power.

As to where we are today: from 4,000MW, generation has reached 7,000MW, averaging incremental generation of 1,000 MW every year since 2015;

Transmission has reached 7,000MW from 5,000MW, averaging 666 MW of incremental transmission every year; and

Distribution peaked at 5,222MW in January of this year, from about 3,000 MW in 2015, averaging 740 MW incremental distribution capacity every year.

We have moved the needle forward – I  see progress.

This was the essence of my promise to you that we will increase the available capacity and your experience will get better; however, we have not finished our work.

How far we can go depends on what those of you who will decide who forms the next government do when you vote.

You will compare our record of three years with what we met after the previous 16 (sixteen) years.

If you compare our performance record in three years with the 16 - year record of the previous administration in the areas of Generation, Transmission and Distribution you will get the following instructive results:  Incremental Generation of 1000MW per year against 4000MW in 16 years which amounts to 250MW per year; Transmission capacity improvement by 666MW per year against 5000MW in 16 years which amounts to 312.5MW per year ; and Distribution capacity improvement by 740MW per year as against 3,000MW in 16 years which amounts to 187.5MW per year.

You will also compare the resources available to us in the last 3 years, with what was available over the previous 16 years.

In addition, you will have to ask yourself whether you are running your generator for longer or shorter periods today, than in 2015; and also whether you are spending more to buy fuel for your generator than three years ago.

Those of you who are well-meaning and right thinking know the answers.

The feedback from Consumers also reflect the impact of the results being underscored. I will share some of these with you. In the opening piece to the Law Section Pull-Out of October 16th , 2018 titled “ Lessons from Rome”  Onikepo  Braithwaite writes:

“… With regards to power supply in Nigeria, I had to encourage the Learned Silk and congratulate him, because the power supply in my area of residence, has been extremely steady in the past one year, to the extent that my generator is lying there unused, not even connected. I have been able to live comfortably, without a generator or an inverter, for almost one and a half years. However, we are eager to see this feat performed throughout the country, so that Nigerians can enjoy a better quality of life.”

Another Consumer gave the following feedback via sms :

“Just say I let you know in ajah now people worry more about buying meter card than petrol for generators.  I was in the store in my neighbourhood and people were actually having the conversation I just smiled. And it's also economic growth for this axis  as an home owner, cause more people are moving here I can say that boldly for my estate...well done Sir…”

Also, a Consumer who resides in the Mowe area of Ogun State, Steven Shobiye, gave the following testimonial which he titled, “ Mowe Comes Alive”:

“Since 2014, power supply in Mowe was dead until last year when hope was renewed and the town came alive again. This good news is not only for Mowe but all the neighbouring towns and villages like Ofada, Owode, Ogunronbi to mention a few. Thanks to tireless Minister for Power, Works and Housing, Mr Babatunde Raji Fashola SAN and his formidable team…”

The story of Magboro and its environs which got connected to power  after 17 years of non – supply  also remains a glowing testimony to progress in the Sector.

Of course, there are people still unserved or not well served. However, the good news is that there is a mechanism put in place by the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) to monitor complaints by Consumers. A total of 166,543 complaints were resolved out of 262,096 from January to June 2018.

You will also have to compare our plans for tomorrow with the plan of the others, and this takes me to the other part of the topic about PROSPECTS FOR THE FUTURE.

Today I can tell you that by the end of this year another 945 MW will be ready for supply from the following power plants;

(i) Azura 450MW (which is finished and producing)

(ii) AFAM IV 240MW (which is finished and awaiting commissioning)

(iii) Kaduna 215MW (which is undergoing pre-commissioning testing)

(iv) Kashimbilla 40MW (which is nearing completion).

Between 2019 and 2020 (Q1) Zungeru 700MW, Okpai II 450MW, totalling 1,150MW should come into operation.

These do not include about 7,000MW of installed but inoperative power plants that are constrained either by Gas supply or transmission capacity or both, about which action is being taken.

It does not include independent power plants now under construction in 9 federal universities with a plan to scale to 37 , neither does it include 15 independent power projects targeting major markets now under construction to power 85,000 shops and small businesses.

On the transmission side, we have finalized a 10-year transmission expansion plan from 2018 to 2028.

We have recovered 690 containers of power equipment abandoned at the Port as part of the legacy of the previous 16 years, and deployed them to the sub-stations they were originally meant for.

Currently, there are not less than 90 transmission sub-station projects at different stages of construction.

This year we have completed a few, and last week we commissioned Damaturu sub-station in Yobe, and Ejigbo sub-station in Lagos will be commissioned today , and so will the Ilase tourist beach in Lagos, which will soon be connected to grid power for the first time in its history.

On the distribution side, first let me remind you that all the eleven companies that distribute power were sold to private investors.

It is their responsibility, not that of Government to supply distribution equipment like breakers, transformers and meters.

So, if there is any problem there, as indeed there are, it is private businessmen who should solve this problem.

Of course their ability to respond partly depends on what government does. So, to the question what is government doing ? I say:

We have 7000 MW of power operationally available but distribution can only take 5000.

We have engaged with Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN) to offer the rights to take the 2,000MW and enunciated the Eligible Customer Policy for consumers who take up to 2MW and beyond.

The policy took effect recently, 5 major industries have connected and we have dozens of new applications being processed;

For meter shortages, we have enunciated a policy of licencing Meter Asset Providers, independent of the Discos but who will be supplying their customers. 180 applications have been received.
Discos are also investing in meters and supplying them.

Off-grid supply – we have enunciated a Mini Grid Regulation that allows people to build and distribute up to 1MW under licence, and up to 100kw without licence.

Distribution Expansion- In order to support distribution equipment capacity, government as a shareholder of the Discos is investing about N72B in distribution equipment at the 33kv and 11kv points of the value chain.

In summary, incremental capacity is heading in the right direction, we are planning to solve today’s problems, liberalize participation in the sector, and enable private sector undertake the business of generating and distributing power, which it contracted to do with the privatization programme that took place in 2013.

The prospects for the future are clear, they portray hope, and I am optimistic that today’s problems represent opportunities in the power sector for tomorrow.

Thank you.

Babatunde Raji Fashola, SAN
Honourable Minister of Power, Works and Housing

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Photo News
15 February, 2019

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

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Power News
Photo News
1 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

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