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Mambila Power Project : The Fictional Allegations Of Leno Adesanya  Contradict Logic

The attention of the Hon. Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Mr Babatunde Fashola SAN has been drawn to the spurious and unfounded allegations of Leno Adesanya with regards to the ongoing Mambilla Power Project.

It has therefore become necessary to debunk the lies and resist the unjustified and malicious attack on the person of the Hon. Minister, Mr Babatunde Fashola SAN and save the innocent members of the public from the rather misleading and offensive publication widely circulating in various media platforms, authored and sponsored by Mr Adesanya  in order to damage good name and  reputation of the Minister to  claim   undue  credit and attract unwarranted   attention  and  sympathy.

Nothing is more further away from the truth than the claim that the loan negotiations have stalled since 2017 because of an attempt to utilize $600 Million (equivalent of N219 Billion) from the 3,050MW hydropower project for a “pet project” not hitherto considered by the Federal Executive Council.

There is currently no budgetary provision or cash provision of $600 million or the N219 Billion in any budget of the Federal Government for the Mambila Project.

Therefore you cannot attempt to divert what does not exist.

For the avoidance of doubt, the China Exim Bank disburse money to specific projects and on conclusion of negotiations, the loan will be devoted to the construction of the Mambila Power Project, which has been on the drawing board for close to 40 years before the advent of the Buhari administration which is now working assiduously to get the project off the ground.

The latest publication of fictional claims by Mr. Leno Adesanya in a national daily and the social media is the desperate attempt by him and his political sympathisers to destabilize a project that they could not bring to fruition.

The antics of Leno Adesanya and his ilk would readily explain why the project has taken so many years without lift-off.

Since Mr. Adesanya has chosen to go to court, he would be required to prove his baseless allegation in court.

The Federal Executive Council which is the highest decision making organ of the Executive Arm of Government never awarded a contract for the project to Mr Adesanya.

The allegation with regard to stalling the Mambilla project is  untrue , baseless and a figment of Adesanya's imagination .  The events and relevant facts will show that because Mr. Fashola first presented a memo on the Mambilla Power Project to the Federal Executive Council in August 2017; which was the first ever Federal Executive Council approval given to the Mambilla project in favour of a Chinese Joint venture.

The Minister has also accompanied the President twice to China on trips that had the project as one of the headline agenda.

The Hon. Minister in June 2018 attended, alongside officials of the Ministry of Finance, a meeting of the China Exim Bank to negotiate the terms of the loan for the project further.

And only this week, after the Federal Executive Council meeting, he briefed Nigerians about the approval of contracts for surveyors to demarcate the areas for the project.

These are the first contracts to start preparatory work on the project after 40 years delay.

These actions are not consistent with delay falsely being alleged against the Minister by Mr Adesanya.

Indeed, available evidence does not support the claims of Leno Adesanya and well-meaning Nigerians will be well advised to ignore him.

We hereby state, that no amount of negative effort to distract, intimidate or threaten the Hon. Minister in the performance of his duties in line with the pledge of the present Government to the Nigerian people on the provision of adequate infrastructure in all relevant sectors of the economy will succeed.

Fashola Eulogizes Colleague For Outstanding Performance The Honourable Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Babatunde Raji Fashola, SAN, on behalf of the management and staff of the ministry has congratulated the newly appointed Minister of Environment, Surv. Suleiman Hassan Zarma, mnis, who until his appointment by Mr President, was the Minister of State II for Power, Works and Housing. Fashola eulogized the outgoing Minister of State II for his outstanding performance and display of discretion at which he carried out tasks and assignments within the shortest period he served in the Ministry. In his farewell statement, Fashola said ‘you have done very well here and we wish you very well for what you are going to do in the Ministry of Environment, we will miss you dearly, even though you are leaving us in the ministry, we will not leave you alone.’’ He added that the Minister will still be relevant to the Ministry because in building roads, power and housing projects; it will require environmental impact assessment studies, survey planning and social settlements plans. The Minister stated this at the valedictory session held in honour of Surv. Suleiman Hassan Zarma, who is now a substantive Minister to the Ministry of Environment following his pronouncement and appointment by President Muhammadu Buhari. Fashola noted Mr President’s commitment to the cleaning up of the oil spillage in Ogoni Land for the benefit of the people in that region and the country at large and therefore solicited the cooperation of the Ministry of Environment and the newly appointed Minister to achieve this huge project. Earlier, the Permanent Secretary, Works and Housing sector, Mohammed Bukar and his counterpart in the Power Sector, Engr. Louis Edozien noted that Surv. Zarma was an embodiment of managerial competence, hardwork and a model to be emulated, adding that his adaptation to work since assumption of duty is amazing and marked with outstanding achievements. There were good will messages from Directors and Top Management team, attesting and eulogizing the former Minister of State II for his brilliant contributions to the ministry and the nation at large. In his response, Zarma appreciated the Honorable Minister, Permanent Secretaries, Directors of the Ministry and other Top Management for their kind words. According to him, ‘’I have benefited so much from the wealth of experience from Mr Fashola throughout my stay at the ministry,’’ adding that the knowledge and experienced gained in the ministry will certainly assist him in his new assignment to bring about the desired impact. He also thanked the Permanent Secretaries and Directors of the ministry for their loyalty and unwavering support shown to him and prayed for God’s guidance in the discharge of duties in everyone’s various fields of endeavor. The Minister is expected to resume work at the Ministry of Environment with immediate effect.
21 December, 2018
Fashola Reiterates FG’s Commitment To Infrastructural Development The Honorable Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Babatunde Raji Fashola SAN has reiterated the commitment of President Mohammadu Buhari’s Administration to providing basic infrastructure needed for the overall development of the entire nation. Fashola disclosed this Yesterday in his Mabushi Office when he received in audience the Executive Governor of Osun State, His Excellency, Adegboyega Oyetola who paid him a courtesy call. He described Adeboyega Oyetola as a brother and friend whom he shared common ideas with, adding that they never knew that divine providence would have them in exalted positions as Governor and minister respectively While congratulating him for his emergence as the Governor of Osun State, he wished him the very best in Office as Adegboyega enunciates his various programmes to develop Osun State. He also assured him of his readiness to assist the Governor when called upon. Earlier, the Governor disclosed that the purpose of his visit was to plead for the refund on the Federal roads his state has rehabilitated on behalf of the Federal Government. He specifically solicited for the speedy completion of the Iwo –Oshogbo road, the Oshogbo-Ilogbo-Ogbomosho road and the Oshogbo-Ilesha road which are under construction but becoming impassable, stressing that the present condition of the roads has paralysed the economic activities in the state. He further requested for the rehabilitation and upgrading of Dams in the state in order to generate power. He called for the Ministry’s support in Rural Electrification and completion of the construction of Primary Health Centres within the State. The programme was attended by the Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Power, Works and Housing (Works and Housing Sector),Mohammed Bukar and his counterpart in Power and Housing Sector Engr. Louis Edozie, Directors of the Ministry and it’s Agencies.
18 December, 2018
Infrastructure: Buhari Creating Wealth, Securing The Future, Building Foundation For Employment, Prosperity – Fashola * As Minister inspects the Loko  Oweto Bridge, connecting Road amidst praises from beneficiary communities * Says project is uniting people, Loko-Oweto  farming communities, Traditional Rulers, the country * Describes Infrastructure as most dependable fortress against tomorrows bad weather The Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Mr. Babatunde Fashola SAN, has described infrastructure as the foundation for national prosperity and unity saying it is the most dependable fortress against tomorrow’s bad weather, bringing people together and laying the foundation for job creation, economic growth and agricultural development among others. Fashola, who spoke at the Loko-Oweto Bridge and road project site while on the inspection of the project, said by investing in infrastructure renewal, President Buhari was creating wealth and securing the future of Nigeria as well as building a solid foundation for employment and for prosperity. The Minister, who had earlier inspected projects in Anambra and Benue States,  told the large and excited gathering of the Loko and Oweto Communities, including Traditional Rulers, who gathered at the project site as early as 8.00 a.m. to receive him, “President Buhari has demonstrated commitment to infrastructure renewal, building roads and bridges like the Loko-Oweto Bridge, the Loko – Oweto Road, the Enugu-Otukpo Road, the Township Road in Otukpo, the Second Niger Bridge, the Federal Secretariat in Awka. That is the foundation for prosperity”. “Infrastructure built the American Nation out of the Great Depression and Recession; whether it is the Second World War or Marshal Plan in Europe; whether it is the ascent of the Chinese Empire today, the backbone is infrastructure-Road and Rail and Airports. It was after that they could host the Beijing Olympics to show off what they had built”, the Minister said. Reiterating that infrastructure is the foundation of unity, Fashola declared, “It is an unfailing foundation. It is the most dependable fortress against tomorrow’s bad weather, tomorrow’s oil prices going back and forth. Once you invest in what President Buhari is doing, that is what creates wealth, that is what secures the future; that is the foundation for wealth, for employment, for prosperity”. The Minister thanked the contractors, Messrs Reynolds Construction Company (RCC), and Federal Controllers of Works for Benue, Engr.  Celestine Shausu and Nasarawa State, Engr. Wasiu Adetayo Taiwo  as well as the Director North Central, Engr. Dayyabu Mamman for their untiring work in helping to rebuild the country adding, “Work continues here. If you hear those (politically opposed) people tell you that the country is divided tell them they divided it. If they had built this road, there would have been unity”. “This road unites two traditional rulers-the Ada Agatu (of the Agatu Community of Oweto in Benue State)  and the Mai Loko (of the Loko Community in Nasarawa State) . It is uniting farmers; so infrastructure is the basis for national unity. It brings people together, it brings prosperity, it is the foundation for jobs, it is the foundation for Agriculture, it is the foundation for industry and this is what President Buhari is committed to. Very soon and very soon this road and this bridge will connect and unite Nigerians forever irrevocably”, he said. Earlier, while welcoming the Minister to the site, the Federal Controller of Works, Nasarawa State, Engr.  Wasiu Adetayo Taiwo explained that the Loko-Oweto Bridge connects Nasarawa State at Loko with Benue State at Oweto adding that the Bridge has reached 91 per cent completion; the main bridge is 1.835 kilometre length while the smaller bridge is 220 metres bringing the total length to 2.055 km. He said the contractor has been doing a good job on the project pointing out that the Loko bound (Eastern) portion of the bridge had been completed including the parapet walls and the walkways and other accessories while the Oweto (Western) portion has just about three pier axis to be connected to round off work on it. According to him, the two smaller bridges had been completed structurally leaving only the connecting roads from Oweto and to link it to the Loko Road coming from the other side. He said the road, when completed, would reduce travel time to the South Eastern part of the country by not less than two hours adding that it would be the best road linking the South Eastern borders with people of the Northern Central and the entire Northern zone. “It will also increase agricultural produce and, as you know, the people of this area are agrarian. So it is going to be a very big achievement for the Federal Government and the Loko and Oweto people”, the Controller said adding that trade would be enhanced especially in agricultural produce as traders across the country would have reduced travel time and better travel experience connecting the communities to purchase the commodities. Other community leaders who spoke at the brief but impressive briefing of the Minister of Power, Works and Housing and his Agriculture and Rural Development counterpart, Chief Audu Ogbe, were the Traditional Ruler of Loko, Mai Loko Abubakar Ahmed Sabo, the Chairman of Oweto Community, Mrs. Achoda Comfort  Alhassan and the President, Oweto Farmers, Ada Agatu Chief Godwin Onah all of whom testified that the project has impacted positively on the two communities and commended the Buhari administration’s resolve to complete the Bridge. The contract for the construction of Loko-Oweto Bridge was awarded to R.C.C. Nigeria Limited on November 2, 2011 with an initial completion period of 48 months but take off was delayed by issues bordering on change of project alignment which affected the original design. The change in alignment/design was aimed at relocating the bridge closer to Loko-Oweto communities with the attendant economic benefits, reduce length of approach roads from 22.4 kilometres to about 6 km and its diversion from swampy terrain, reduce proximity to Guto-Bagana Bridge and increase the original bridge height necessitated by the impact of the 2012 nationwide severe flooding during the rainy season of that year which presented a new High Water Level. Aside the bridge construction, the works also include the construction of 3,850 metre-long approach road at Loko end, 3,090 metre-long approach road at Oweto end, and 550 metre-long road linking the two bridges at the Island separating the Southern and Northern bridges. The overall progress is 91per cent.
17 December, 2018
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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

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.

OTHER NEWS

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

OTHER NEWS

Minister Proffers A“Change Of Attitude” To Tackle Wastes In Nigeria

The Minister of State I, Federal Ministry of Power, Works and Housing, Hon. Mustapha Baba Shehuri has proffered a ‘change of attitude’ as a prerequisite for managing for municipal solid waste in the country.

This was contained in a Keynote Address delivered at the flag off ceremony to commemorate this year’s Urban October, a vehicle established by the United Nations to mark the World Habitat Day (WHD) and World Cities Day (WCD), held in at the NAF Conference Centre, Abuja.

Hon. Baba Shehuri disclosed that tackling municipal solid waste was a common challenge to urban dwellers, governments and communities andhas continued to create a great toll on public funds, as well as health due to the huge complexities surrounding the processes of generation, collection and disposal.

He decried the effects of solid waste had on the health of citizens, climate and the environment as a whole, indicating the need to clearly separate different aspects of waste management and for citizens to adopt attitudinal change towards tackling them.

The Minister further disclosed that municipal solid waste management is embedded within the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and has strong linkages impacting on various areas of the SDGs, such as living conditions, sanitation and public health.

Speaking earlier, the Honourable Minister of State II, Surv. Suleiman Hassan Zarma opined that peoples’ lifestyles and consumption patterns could greatly reduce waste. He left stakeholders with a “food for thought” when he quote dthe British Economist, Sir Josiah Stamp, “It is easy to dodge our responsibilities, but we cannot dodge the consequences of dodging those responsibilities”.

He then urged urban dwellers to adopt more environmental friendly habits of taking active roles in environmental education for all, reverse the use of polythene, plastics to natural life and avoid exposing the environment to disasters.

The UN Under-Secretary General and Executive Director of UN-Habitat, Ms. Maimunah Mohd Sharif, represented by Mr. Jean Bakole, UN Resident Coordinator recommended the 3Rs - Reducing, Re-using and Recycling waste as alternative measures to tackle solid wastes.

Mr. Bakole reported that the UN-Habitat was carrying out its role to support cities to turn them into Waste-Wise Cities, ensuring wastes are properly disposed and managed. According to him, Plans are under way to recognize cities that are leading in waste management.

He said that effective waste management starts with individuals through taking corrective actions; and with this, “we could achieve a world that is cleaner, greener safer, healthier and happier for us to live, work and play in”.

The Chairman, Senate Committee on Housing and Urban Development, Senator Barnabas Gemade expressed delight to be part of the commemoration, stating thatas municipal solid wastes management poses a critical issue for Nigeria, he would urge the Parliament and other policy makers to have adequate representation at all levels of government to ensure that all municipal solid wastes management-related policies were properly covered and adapted.

The Minister of State I, Hon. Baba Shehuri presented gifts and awards to the outstanding school’s performance and participation in the World Habitat Day tothe following schools: Fine Trust Comprehensive College, Jikwoyi Phase 3, Anglican Comprehensive Secondary School, Kubwa and Fouad Lababidi Islamic Academy, Wuse, Abuja.

World Habitat Day (WHD) is usually marked every first Monday of October, while World Cities Day (WCD) is deliberated every October 31st worldwide. Their objectives are to reflect on the state of our towns and cities, and on the basic human right of all to adequate shelter.

It also reminds us we all have the power and the responsibility to shape the future of our cities and towns. This year’s WHD has as its Theme: Municipal Solid Waste Management and Building Sustainable and Resilient Cities for WCD.

OTHER NEWS

Remarks By The Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry Of Power, Works And Housing, (Works And Housing Sector), Mohammed Bukar, At The 24th National Council Meeting On Works, Held In Birnin-Kebbi, Kebbi State

Protocols,

I am pleased to welcome you to the 24th Meeting of the National Council on Works holding in Birnin-Kebbi, Kebbi State.

2. As you are aware, the theme of this year’s National Council Meeting is “Ensuring Value-for-Money in Nigerian Highways Development”. The theme is apt and timely, considering our collective resolve to address the challenges in road development in the country within available resources.

3. In order to ensure that this target is achieved, it has become necessary for all the critical stakeholders to consider and provide contemporary policies that will support the attainment of the above target.

4. It is quite instructive that the theme was carefully chosen to ensure prudent spending of available financial resources in Highways development in the country due to the huge investment governments at all levels are making in road development.

5. The Meeting is significant as it will afford us the desired opportunities to identify challenges in the highways sector and develop strategies towards addressing them.  We are therefore, expected to explore various realistic means of proper utilization of funds and other resources meant for road projects, to enable quick service delivery, which in turn will fast-track national growth and sustainability. May I also stress on the need to ensure that all our recommendations align with the objectives of the Economic Recovery and Growth Plan (ERGP) of 2017-2019 which focuses on restoring economic growth, ease of doing business, investing in our people and creating a competitive economy.  The achievement of these objectives largely lies on the availability of good road network across the country.

6. Distinguished delegates and officials, the timing of this meeting therefore, is very significant as it affords us the opportunity to think through and make necessary provisions in our various Budgets for the year 2019 and beyond as well as take necessary steps that will ensure money spent on roads impacts on the Nigerian economy, positively.

7. On this note, I once again welcome you all and wish you fruitful deliberations.

8. Thank you.

 

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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

SPEECHES

Ensuring Value For Money In Nigerian Highways Development Being Remarks By Babatunde Raji Fashola, San At The National Council On Works, Held In Kebbi

On behalf of the State Commissioners and other Members of Council, I express the appreciation of the Federal Government of Nigeria to the Government and People of Kebbi State for hosting our Council Meeting and for doing so under very hospitable circumstances, in Birnin Kebbi.

Apart from being the home of famous Emirates like Gwandu, Yauri, Zuru, Argungu to mention a few, Kebbi State has come to the centre stage in Nigeria’s developmental history, especially at this time when Governor Atiku Bagudu is providing visionary, developmental and progressive leadership.

Statesmen, not big men, as former Governors, former Chief Judges have rallied around their Governor and Government to pursue a common goal of development.

From Agriculture, to Roads, Housing to Power, whenever it is partnership for Development, Atiku Bagudu will be found making the strongest case for why Kebbi must be involved. This remarkable and inspiring leadership must be acknowledged.

It is in this environment of developmental focus that we converge for the 24th National Council for Works to discuss development around getting “Value for Money in Nigerian Highways”.

Ladies and gentlemen, I found this topic appealing to this Council because of some of the assumptions that have been made about Cost of Roads in Nigeria, the questions I have had to answer, posed by people who ought to know, and because I hope to generate a more informed conversation about the matter.

It is my expectation that in each State, we will be sufficiently interested to interrogate issues like the source of value, where it lies and how to get the best out of it.

Therefore, I would like to start by asking the question why Nigeria has bad roads after almost a decade of prolific receipts from oil boom when oil prices were at $100 per barrel.

The answer is partly because we did not invest our money in Roads in the way that the United Arab Emirates, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and Brazil, to mention a few oil-exporting countries, have done.

To the extent that Roads are assets that live for longer periods of time and deliver collective National Benefit in terms of movement of goods and services and contribution to the GDP, clearly, it is doubtful that we got optimum value for those oil incomes between 2007 and 2015.

In other words, instead of investing our oil receipts in Roads, and long-term assets, of infrastructure, we spent the money on recurrent items of expenditure.

This is clearly discernible from the Annual Federal Budgets of that era, where the maximum provision for Capital Expenditure struggled to exceed 20%, when they seldom went beyond the threshold of 15%; and what was ultimately released by way of cash was scarcely ever in excess of 50%.

The result of these, of course was that by 2015 when I took office, there were over 200 roads whose contract values were in excess of N2 trillion and for which payments had only cumulated to about N500 billion.

Some of these roads had been awarded for upwards of 10 (ten) years. Inadequate budget and funding had delayed their completion. Many sites had been abandoned, workers laid off, equipment grounded.

This was where the Buhari Government picked up. With significantly lower oil incomes, we got the contractors back to site one after the other. We raised the budget size from N4 Trillion to N6 Trillion in 2016 and increased capital spending to 30%; which was funded by borrowing to finance the deficit.

For those who wanted roads to be fixed and those who did not want the nation to borrow, there is no middle ground. You either borrow to invest in tomorrow’s infrastructure at today’s prices, or wait until you can do it tomorrow at tomorrow’s price.

Our reality today is that the roads that were awarded 10 years ago and were not funded then have to be funded at today’s prices of money, interest rates, and at today’s prices of cement, iron rod, laterite and labour wages.

Clearly, we lost not only the value of money not properly invested, we lost value in the cost of doing business without good roads. We lost value in productivity by men and machine that became redundant.

While we cannot recover what is lost, we must not lose what is ahead; in this regard, I am happy to say that the Buhari Government is investing wisely and sensibly in the infrastructure that will drive Nigeria’s tomorrow.

From Rail to Ports, Power and Roads, this administration is resolute in its determination to complete ongoing or abandoned projects. Today, there is no State in Nigeria where the Federal Government of Nigeria is not executing one Road Project.

Hon. Commissioner has confirmed in his address Roads being executed in Kebbi. He wants more , the Buhari Government is ready to do more. It is in your hands to bring him back.

Undoubtedly, we have done more with less. This is the meaning of value. But there are other challenges that we must work together to improve upon in order to remove avoidable costs from Road and related infrastructure development.

A) Land issues, compensation, and court cases compound the cost of construction.

B) Conflicts, security breaches, pose risks to construction workers, which escalates costs in many ways, such as insurance, payment of security personnel, delays to project completion, to mention a few;

C) The absence of uniform Public Sector Procurement Prices;

D) Proper project planning, development and supervision;

E) Post-construction maintenance of scheduled and unscheduled natures to achieve asset life cycle expectation and performance; ( Bridges – Tamburawa, Tatabu, Third Mainland, Niger Bridge, Koton Karfe , Ijora, Isaac Boro).

F) Dispute resolution mechanisms as a means of achieving cost efficiency in road construction and achieving value for money, must be interrogated;

G) Government Treasury Operations and Payment Systems, review and reform will contribute to achieving better value for money in Road Development Project.

H) Increasing local content in Nigeria Road Construction and implementing Presidential Order 5.

Ladies and Gentlemen, these are only some of the items of avoidable costs around which we should have a conversation and a resolution if we are to achieve better value for money.

Each one of them is a full subject of debate in itself.

It is my expectation that many sections of the construction industry will rise up to the challenges inherent in improving each of the areas I have highlighted.

I make myself ready to contribute and participate upon reasonable notice.

Thank you for listening and I wish us very fruitful deliberations.

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

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Photo News
30 December, 2018

FASHOLA DELIVERS KEYNOTE ADDRESS AT THE ETOMI LEADERSHIP CONFERENCE 2018

Hon Minister of Power Works Housing and Keynote Speaker Mr Babatunde Fashola SAN right Principal Partner GEPLAW Mr George Etomi midle shortly after the Etomi Leadership Conference 2018 with the theme If Not Us Who If Not Now When at the Grand Junction Room Landmark Towers Water Corporation Rd Victoria Island Lagos on Friday 28th December 2018

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Photo News
18 December, 2018

FASHOLA RECEIVES GOVERNOR STATE OF OSUN MR ISIAKA GBOYEGA OYETOLA ON COURTESY VISIT IN ABUJA

Hon Minister of Power Works Housing Mr Babatunde Fashola SAN right Permanent Secretary Power Engr Louis Edozien left and Governor State of Osun Mr Isiaka Gboyega Oyetola middle in a group photograph shortly after a meeting on State of Osun s infrastructural development at the Ministry of Power Works and Housing Headquarters Mabushi Abuja on Monday 17th December 2018

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