FEDERAL MINISTRY OF POWER, WORKS & HOUSING

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LATEST PRESS
17 July, 2018

Third Mainland Bridge To Be Shut For Three Days For Assessment

* Three-day closure begins from July 27 while repairs begin after report of assessment is received to determine extent of deterioration
* “We will try to reduce the period of closure as much as possible. But this is ultimately a choice between peoples’ safety”, says Fashola
* “There was a signed statement from my office and it did not contain 27 months”, he maintains

The Third Mainland Bridge in Lagos will be closed to traffic for three days from July 27, 2018, for investigative work to be conducted to assess the current condition of the Bridge, the Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Mr. Babatunde Fashola SAN, has explained in Abuja.

Fashola, who spoke, Monday, as Guest on the Channels Television breakfast programme, Sunrise Daily in the Federal Capital Territory, said the shutdown was necessary in order to ascertain whether there had been any material deterioration between the period the first procurement for maintenance of the Bridge was approved and now adding that the three days would be used “to really do an examination just to be sure that there has been no material deterioration beyond what we procured”.

The Minister, who debunked the misreporting in some sections of the media that the Bridge would be closed for 27 months, declared, “The first message we sent out was that it was going to be closed for three days from the 27th of July”, adding that the duration of maintenance would only be determined after the report of the investigative work has been received and extent of deterioration known.

He said the investigation would have been carried out earlier but the need to reduce the inconveniences that would accompany the closure compelled government to shift the time to a more convenient period when children would be on vacation and when fewer vehicles were likely to be on the Bridge.

“We thought that if we allowed the children to go on vacation first it would reduce the number of vehicles that needed necessarily to be on the road and ultimately reduce the amount of inconvenience. But now we are torn between maintenance and safety and peoples’ convenience”, Fashola said adding, “Essentially the first three days at the end of this month, as issued in our Press Statement, is for investigative work to be conducted to assess the current condition”.

The Minister, who said it was only after the assessment of the amount of maintenance work involved that government engineers and the contracting firms would lay out the plan of work, added, “I think it is later in the year or early next year that the repairs will then start”, pointing out that some of the equipment and materials have to be imported.

Noting that the repairs would “imminently compel some closure”, Fashola, who recalled that the Bridge had been closed for repairs in the past when he was Governor, pointed out that it was shut down for 12 weeks, adding, “We will try to reduce the period of closure as much as possible. But this is ultimately a choice between peoples’ safety; that bridge must not collapse and it needs maintenance”.

“It has been built now going up to a period of 30 years and if you recall, the maintenance that was done at that time was not completed because the budget was cut and that was why they did it in phases. So we are back to what we should have done before. It is costing more but it needs to be done”, he said.

Reiterating that he was currently not in the position to say how long the maintenance would last until the receipt of the report from the investigation and the amount of damage determined, declared, “For now, the first three days is what I can speak of and it is when we get the report and determine the extent of damage that we will now come back to the public and tell them and say definitively how long it will be”.

“I am not in the position to say it now until that report comes back to us. But what will happen at the end of July is three days”, he said, adding that those peddling the 27 months rumour about the duration of repairs might have mistaken the “July 27th” date mentioned in the government Press Statement for 27 months. “There was a signed statement from my office and it did not contain 27 months”, he said.

Fashola, who admonished the Media, both traditional and social, to endeavour to be more accurate in their reportage especially of such sensitive issues, expressed regrets that many of the nation’s public assets have remained unmaintained for decades citing the Ijora Bridge which he recalled collapsed some time ago due to lack of maintenance after 40 years plus.

Act To Make Discos Deliver On Responsibilities To Consumers, Fashola Directs NERC *Minister asks NERC to enforce DisCos meter supply contract, improvement on their distribution equipment, capacity to take more powers from GenCos *Also directs NBET to work with BPE to improve DisCos collection remittance and  pay their debts to help promote stability in the Sector *Says complaints coming to Government over metering, estimated billing and mass disconnections cannot continue *I remain convinced that privatization is way forward- FASHOLA The Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Mr. Babatunde Fashola SAN, Monday directed the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) to immediately step in to ensure that Electricity Distribution Companies (DisCos) improve on their distribution equipment and increase capacity to enable them optimize the use of electrical resources by the Generation Companies (GenCos). Fashola, who spoke at a Press Briefing on the “Power Sector State of Play, Next Steps and Policy Directives”, also directed NERC to enforce the contract of DisCos to supply meters and act to ensure the urgent speedy supply and installation of meters with a view to eliminating estimated billing and promote efficient industry and market structures. The Minister, who said the improvement in their distribution equipment and increase in capacity would enable the DisCos take up the available 2,000MW difference between the generation capacity of the GenCos and the distribution capacity of the DisCos, also directed the Regulatory Commission to stop DisCos from threatening private entrepreneurs from entering the market to supply consumers whom they are unable to supply. Instead, according the Minister, such entrepreneurs should be licensed by the Commission subject to its terms and conditions “in order to promote competition and private sector participation and avoid a private monopoly of power”, adding that as clearly stated in Section 71(6) of the Electric Power Sector Reform Act (EPSRA) dealing with Terms and Conditions of licenses, “no exclusivity or monopoly was intended for a license holder such as GenCos or DisCos”. The aforementioned Section states that, “Unless expressly indicated in the license, the grant of a license shall not hinder or restrict the grant of a license to another person for a like purpose and, in the absence of such an express indication, the licensee shall not claim any exclusivity, provided that the commission may allow a licensed activity to be exclusive for all or part of the period of the license for a specific purpose, for a geographical area, or for some combination of the foregoing”. Noting that the Regulatory Commission has not issued any such exclusive license to any DisCo, Fashola declared, “If we take into consideration that, after five years of privatization, there are still people and businesses who do not have power or enough power, common sense and public interest demands that we must not resist ordinary people, small businesses like shops and markets from seeking alternative sources of energy”. “The truth is that they already have these sources of alternative energy, in small petrol and diesel generators that cost them about N100 per kilowatt hour. If the DISCOs are not resisting the generator sellers who are contributing to pollution, what is the logic of resisting small entrepreneurs bringing mini gas plants to supply a market need?”, the Minister argued, pointing out that for now, the nation’s developmental needs could not wait “for businessmen who are not yet ready to serve”. Urging NERC “to act with dispatch”, Fashola said the stated policy statements were made in the National interest, public good, the need to support small businesses, provide access to power for ordinary people and increase productivity adding, however, that although he was not unmindful of concerns about loss of market or customers by DISCOs such concerns must be balanced against national interest and that with improvement in their businesses, they would be in a position to use their economies of scale of large volumes of power to buy out or out-price the small entrepreneurs. The Minister implored members of the public who seek more information “to get a copy of EPSRA and read its simple provisions”, adding that the Act confers extensive regulatory powers on NERC “including the power in Sections 73 and 74, to amend or cancel a license if the licensee is unable to discharge  the duties and obligations imposed by the license”. Fashola also directed NBET, the bulk trader, to work with Bureau of Public Enterprises (BPE), to fashion out ways to ensure that the DisCos improve their collection remittance and also start to pay their debts saying this would help to promote stability in the Sector. “This business cannot progress if debtors do not pay their debts”, he said. Stating, however, that it is neither his intention nor that of Government to take over the business of the DisCos, the Minister declared, “On the contrary, it is Government’s desire to see DISCOs thrive and flourish in a competitive environment”, adding, “In the period when they are not yet ready, willing, or able, life must go on and we must find solutions and substitutes as we have seen in other sectors”. Such sectors, he said, include the Broadcasting, Newspaper and Telecommunication Sectors where, according to him, “those who could not compete conceded and left the stage gloriously without breaking down the system”, while those who could compete have brought better living conditions to Nigerians. Saying that the policy directives should not be seen as anti-Privatization, Fashola, who said they were meant to ginger all stakeholders to brace up to their responsibilities to serve the people, added, “I remain convinced that Privatization is the way forward. Privatization has brought us mega value in Broadcasting; it has brought us better value in Newspapers, Telecommunications and Banking and other sectors of our national life and I remain convinced that it will deliver in Power”. “This is not a time to trade blames, because there is enough to go round; rather it is a time to reiterate everybody's responsibility and urge all of us to brace up, to do what we are obliged to do, which is to serve the people, he said, adding, “I suspect that these facts may appear like a red flag to the bulls of anti-privatization, but I remain convinced that privatization is the way forward”.       Recalling that when the public complained about the tariff approved by NERC, he was the one that stood in the forefront of explaining to the public even though it was the Discos who collect the tariff, Fashola declared, “In the face of this picture, where we have power to sell, with more to come, the number of complaints coming to Government for meters, which the DISCOs should supply, and for estimated billings, and mass disconnections when not everybody is owing, cannot continue”. “Government must act, and will do so. The DisCos bought these assets with their eyes opened, and they must compete to deliver or exit”, Fashola declared, adding that Small businesses who need very little power are not getting enough because the DisCos could not take the power to them. The Minister expressed dismay that investment of GenCos was threatened because they could not utilize the capacity they have installed, adding that in order to improve service to small businesses, Government, acting through the Rural Electrification Agency (REA), was linking Small Power Entrepreneurs with markets like Ariaria in Aba, Sabon Gari Market in Kano, and Sura Market in Lagos which, according to him, contain approximately 37,000, 13,000, and 1,047 shops respectively, which are being metered by the small entrepreneurs who have offered to replace the generators of traders with more efficient power and meters. According to the Minister, there are 15 markets in all which if successfully implemented would provide power to 85,485 shops, empower 205,000 SMEs and create 2,000 jobs during the installation and after in operation and maintenance adding, “The DisCos are agitating that this should not happen, yet they offer no solution.” On what government has been doing to assist the DisCos and other operators to deliver power, Fashola said as facilitator of business and enabler of the Private Sector government had, through the Central Bank of Nigeria, made available the sum of N213 Billion to the Power Sector at a concessionary interest rate, below market rate, to GenCos and DisCos adding, however, that some DisCos had shied away from taking the facility. According to him, “Probably because of the source of fund conditions, such as opening of letters of credit attached to the performance, some DisCos have not taken the money”, adding that currently  NERC detected “an unauthorized use of money by the Ibadan DisCo” and was now taking some remedial measures. The Minister said Government has also responded to claims of debts owed by Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) of government to DisCos before the present administration, a debt which, he said, “was alleged to be in the region of over N70Billion adding that at the cost to government, “several hundreds of thousands of bills, amounting to about 450,000 bills, were verified” while government has ascertained that N27 Billion was owed by Federal MDAs to DisCos. Prior to the tenure of this administration, he said, GenCos and Gas suppliers who produce power, were being underpaid by NBET because the DisCos were under collecting or under-remitting such that GenCos were getting only about 20 per cent of their invoices from Power adding that Government intervened and created N701 Billion Payment Assurance Guarantee (PAG)  to NBET to ensure that payment to GenCos improved. Payment of invoices, according to Fashola, has now increased from 20 to 80 per cent “in the hope that if we move production, DisCos will collect and remit”. He expressed regrets, however, that his office still receives daily reports by mail, letters and e-mails of exorbitant bills by DisCos to Consumers without meters while the remittance by DisCos to NBET has not increased resulting in NBET  owing the GenCos N325.7 Billion, a debt which he was certain could be settled if NBET could collect what DisCos are currently owing it. Also, in order to assist in the evacuation of 2,000MW, the difference between what the GenCos can produce and the DisCos can distribute, Fashola said the DisCos were asked to submit their transformer and other equipment requirements adding that, as part shareholders, government has committed to invest N76 Billion for the procurement of equipment and installation to help the DisCos evacuate the 2,000 MW to consumers. Other inputs by government, he said, include settling an inherited court case and making available N37 Billion to Meter Asset Providers (MAPs), under the regulations made by NERC to license meter investors, “to help supply meters that the DisCos are under contract to supply but are yet unable to do so”, adding that the gesture was in order to bridge he metering gap and to promote harmonious relationship and reduced friction between the DisCos and their MAPs. Progress, the Minister said, have also been recorded in the sector between 2015 and 2018 including improvement in the generation of power from 4,000 MW (approx) in 2015 to 7,000 MW (approx) in 2018 averaging an increase of 1,000 MW (approx) per annum adding that additional 455 MW (Azura); 215 megawatts (Kaduna), 240 MW (Afam III); 40 MW (Kashimbilla); almost totaling 954 MW would be added this year while 700 MW (Zungeru), 480 MW (Okpai II) about 1,150 MW are projected for 2019, even as the GENCOs are undertaking various repairs, rehabilitation and expansion that would bring on incremental power. “Transmission has also increased from 5,000 MW (Approx) in 2015 to 7,124 MW (Approx) in December 2017 averaging 1,062 MW per annum increase in transmission capacity. TCN currently has about 90 Transmission projects in various stages of construction and many are to be completed this year”, Fashola said adding, “So, we can transport what the GENCOS generate and there is a Transmission Expansion plan 2018 to 2028 which Government is committed to implement”. The Minister said although distribution has increased from 2,690 MW (Approx) in 2015 to 5,222 MW (Approx) in 2018, averaging an increase of 844 MW per annum “because the DISCOS have also done some work”, adding that from 2016 when the DisCos complained about lack of enough power to distribute, the problem today was that the DisCos could not distribute all of the Power that was available, leaving the sector with an unused capacity of 2,000 MW (Approx), with the approximately 1,150 MW projected to come this year and 2019. In the robust question and answer session that followed, Fashola explained that all the solutions being applied to reform the power sector such as the Payment Assurance Guarantee, among others, were contained in the Power Sector Reform Programme (PSRP) which the his Ministry compiled urging stakeholders, including the Media, to read it for understanding. Also present at the event were the Minister of State, Power, Works and Housing Surveyor Suleiman Zarma Hassan, Chairman NERC, Professor James Momoh and his Vice, Engr. Sanusi Garba, Managing Director, Transmission Company of Nigeria, Mr. Usman Gur Mohammed, Managing Director Rural Electrification Agency, Mrs. Damilola Ogunbiyi, other Agency Heads, Directors and Special Advisers .
10 July, 2018
FEC Approves N230billion For Roads Construction The Federal Executive Council (FEC) presided over by President Muhammadu Buhari on Wednesday approved N230.28 billion for road projects and mining data in the country. The Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed and the Minister of State for Mines and Steel Development, Alhaji Bawa Bwari, made this known when they briefed State House correspondents at the end of Council’s meeting at the Presidential Villa, Abuja. The minister of Information and Culture disclosed that N206 billion of the amount was approved for linking roads and associated infrastructures for the 2nd Niger Bridge linking Anambra and Delta states. Also approved today is a contract for the link road and associated infrastructures for the 2nd Niger Bridge. The link road is about 11.9 kilometers. The contract was awarded to Julius Berger at N206 billion. The bridge is linking Anambra and Delta states. If you remember, the contract was awarded by the last administration under a Public Private Partnership (PPP) arrangement which failed,’’ he added. According to him, N11.58 billion was approved for rehabilitation of a road in Enugu State. Approval for the re-award of the contract for the rehabilitation of Oji-Achi-Maku-Agu-Ndiabi section in Enugu State. What happened in this road was that the contract was awarded earlier to the company that failed and Setraco has now been re-awarded that section of the road, he added. He said another 92 million dollar was approved for engineering, procurement and construction of the OB3 gas pipeline project. The minister explained that the project had been awarded but there was need for redesigning it. The project is important because of delivery of gas from the Eastern part of the country to power turbines and to improve our power supply,’’ he said. According to him, the Minister of Finance, Kemi Adeosun, also presented three memos which were approved by the Council. He said the memos included ratification of the multilateral competent authority agreement on automatic exchange of financial accounting information and ratification of the Africa 50th Articles of Association. The Council also gave the approval for the financial transparency policy guidelines. In his contribution, the Minister of State for Mines and Steel Development, Bawa Bwari, said that the Council approved N12.7billion for exploration and consultancy projects in the mining sector. According to him, the projects will help in getting accurate mining data, which will attract local and foreign investments. Our major challenge in diversification programme of the government in the mining sector has been that of data. Today the Federal Executive Council approved the contract for exploration and consultancy on some of our targeted minerals like gold, industrial minerals, earth metals, iron ore for four companies in exploration and four companies in consultancy side of it and this contract is worth N12.7 billion. "And with this, we will encourage both local and foreign investors to come in. Our Major challenge is the bankable data, most mining companies will not want to come into your country when they are not sure of what they are going to meet. Nigeria has the potential for minerals although we have not been known as a solid mineral destination, we have been known as oil and gas destination. The perception is gradually changing and for us to really encourage this people to come in, we really need to explore because you cannot mine without information and information can only be gotten through exploration. The government today approved for us to start with some of our targeted minerals in line with what we have in the road map,’’ he stated. (NAN)
5 July, 2018
BRF At 55 : Greying Gracefully, Going On With Gusto By HAKEEM BELLO In November 2010, in a tribute to Stephen J. Solarz, a former nine-term New York congressman, Douglas Martin wrote that he was a “torrent of activity” supporting it with a statement issued by the late lawmaker’s office that “during his first six months in Congress, he made 12 speeches on the House floor, co-sponsored 370 bills, held 11 news conferences, made 24 trips to his district and attended 99 events there, visited 23 subway stations, sent constituents 513,720 pieces of mail and took an 18-day tour of the Middle East.” In October 2015, Babatunde Raji Fashola, SAN, was honoured amongst seven distinguished personalities with an award named for Stephen J Solarz by the International Crisis Group. From his eight-year tenure as the governor of Lagos State to his two-year-plus as Nigeria’s minister of Power, Works and Housing, our own BRF has, as the global conflict-prevention organisation acknowledged in conferring the honour on him, been a “relentless fighter for the improvement of people's lives….”  Barely a month after the global recognition of BRF’s “commitment to resolving social, economic and security challenges in one of the world’s most challenging urban environments”, President Muhammadu Buhari tapped him to join him in tackling the nation’s multifarious infrastructural challenges. Ever since, the three-in-one ministry has witnessed a “torrent of activity” towards the making life more meaningful for Nigerians of all strata. Has he lived up to the recognition of the ICG and the confidence reposed in him by President Buhari to deliver? His 55th birthday on 28 June affords us the opportunity to not only answer that question but also look at The Essential BRF.  For BRF, results rather than excuses should count towards measuring a leader’s gravitas. So, not for him any argument which suggests that , comparing an executive position with an appointive capacity within a complex federation such as Nigeria is like comparing apples with oranges. Not even if you illustrate with the now-common fiasco over the national budget as an example of a barrier to effective delivery of much-expected services to the people. Any unbiased but informed observer would, unhesitantly, proffer that, within those constraints, and with the unwavering support from his principal, the minister has demonstrated unflinching commitment to reducing Nigeria’s infrastructural deficit to the barest minimum, one project at a time, across Nigeria’s 36 states. One thing you can’t take away from BRF is his penchant for, to use a favourite word of his, dimensioning any problem, no matter how seemingly gargantuan. He is the master of drilling down. His staff at the ministry will attest to how, from the day of his inauguration, he has been engaging everyone in marathon consultations, sometimes into the night, to be able to put every problem in proper perspective and then ensuring that the job gets done - without any short-cut. A DEVELOPMENT MATRIX For him, nothing should be done superficially. Let’s take work on roads. He starts with the premise that good roads will help reflate and grow the nation’s economy, reduce travel time, cost of transportation of goods and services, and create jobs which will provide the economic means for the worker to live meaningfully. To achieve this, in the short term, would mean starting with roads which can be quickly completed to facilitate connectivity. This should further be guided by choosing first the roads which connect states together and bear the heaviest traffic such as the Lagos-Ibadan expressway, and working the way across Nigeria gradually. By sticking religiously to, and developing this plan, enunciated with his team in the Ministry with necessary policy and budgetary support from the Cabinet led by the President and National Assembly, albeit, with all the “constituency complications,” Fashola has been delivering on his mandate. On Power, Fashola believes that predictable supply achieved through incremental, stable, and, ultimately, uninterrupted supply of electricity, availability will be a critical and defining component of our economic renaissance, job creation, GDP growth and reduction of income inequalities. This has formed the basis of the Federal Government’s Roadmap to Power with the accompanying policies and plans like the Power Sector Recovery Programme (PSRP) aimed at strengthening the responsibility of the Ministry as a regulator through the National Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC), so that the GenCos and DisCos can be held to their contracts with citizens; getting the support needed to complete stalled power projects in the generation, transmission and distribution value chains; and improving the liquidity in the sector. Coming with a practical experience from Lagos, Fashola believes the construction of houses will complement the economic growth drive by direct and indirect jobs in the housing value chain from construction companies, to artisans, labourers, vendors and many more. The Federal Government’s housing project is currently going on in 34 States of the Federation which have provided the required suitable land for the programme, currently at its pilot stage and poised to address the issues of affordability, acceptability and climatic/cultural diversities which have been the bane of the previous housing programmes.  What used to be the standard question about how one man can cope with the leadership of three ministries comes less frequently in its monotony now because Fashola has continually demonstrated that tackling challenges is his second nature. Never mind that he has had to sleep less than the averagely-required hours and do unusual things - for instance in 2017 during an inspection of projects in the North East, he led the team to drive on the road by the dreaded Sambisa Forest in the thick of the night - whilst greying graciously but achieving results. By the way, Hamza Idris of the Daily Trust, who was on the trip, had asked him what gave him the courage to travel at that time, he answered as only a BRF would: “Well, I don’t think it is courage. I have a job to do and it has to be done well. If you are building and managing roads, you can’t manage them from slides, you can’t manage them remotely. You must at least see how good or bad those roads are. It gives a sense, either of urgency, enthusiasm, or a combination of both, to be able to really deal with it. The Ministry of Defence is aware that we are here, but the security arrangement is just precautionary. We have seen ordinary Nigerians travelling in their buses. I have seen the Taraba Mass Transit Services, Adamawa Express, Bauchi Express and others. So, life is going on and we just have a job to do.” There is no better way to end this birthday tribute to this quintessential man who is extremely loyal to his principal, political party and his principles, than quoting his answer to another question on that North East inspection trip:    “I am never satisfied with anything I am involved in; I just keep going. It’s difficult to satisfy me, and if you ask me to assess myself, I would continue to push myself.”
29 June, 2018
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PUBLIC ANNOUNCEMENT
20 May, 2018

Multinational: Benin, Cote D’ivoire, Ghana, Nigeria And Togo And The Economic Community Of West African States (ECOWAS)

Study on the Abidjan – Lagos Corridor Highway Development Project

Notice for Expression of Interest

Recruitment Of A Consultant To Conduct A Corridor Economic & Spatial Development Initiative Scoping And Project Packaging Study For The Abidjan-Lagos Highway Corridor Highway Development Program

The ECOWAS Commission has received Grants from the African Development Fund (ADF) and the European Development Fund (through the African Investment Facility –AfIF) to cover the cost of studies on the Abidjan-Lagos Corridor Highway Development Project, and intends to use part of Grant amount to finance service Consultants Contract for Corridor Economic & Spatial Development Initiative (SDI) Scoping and Project Packaging Study for the Abidjan-Lagos Highway Corridor.

The services under this Contract mainly consist of: (i) defining the corridor’s zone of influence to show direct and indirect beneficiaries (populations, other economic activities, etc.) which the corridor affects and vice versa, using the appropriate technical methodology under the SDI concept; (ii) identifying and analyzing the significant developmental aspects of the various zones along the corridor; (iii) identifying a longlist of economic projects (trade, logistics, industry, etc) within the geographical zone of influence of the Corridor, that are worth developing as part of the multinational highway project to result in a holistic economic development corridor, (iii) data gathering, and scoping (shortlisting) of SDI projects; (iv) developing regulatory and institutional framework for the holistic development of the corridor as an economic development corridor; (v) perform economic and financial analysis of selected projects to determine the nature of investments required for further development and (vi) develop an Abidjan-Lagos corridor economic development investment & marketing plan.

Feasibility and Detailed Engineering Studies are to be conducted per the following lots to cover the entire corridor: (i) Lot 1: Abidjan (Cote d’Ivoire)-Takoradi (Ghana), 295.3 km; (ii) Lot 2: Takoradi-Apimanim  (Ghana)-Accra (Ghana)–Akanu/Noepe Border (Ghana), 466 km; and (iii) Lot 3: Akanu (Ghana)-Noepe (Togo)-Lome (Togo)-Agonmey Glozoun (Togo)-Athieme (Benin)-Cotonou (Benin)-Seme-Krake (Benin/Nigeria)-Lagos (Nigeria), 320.06 km.  All distances provided are indicative and could be more depending on the eventual confirmation of alignments by Member States. 

The overall duration of the Feasibility and Detailed Engineering technical studies is estimated at twenty seven (27) months for each lot and the Corridor Economic and Spatial Development Study shall cover the entire corridor for a period of twelve (12) Months with some interim outputs (impacts from shortlisted projects) that could be taken on board by the feasibility and detailed design Consultants.

The ECOWAS Commission invites Consultants (firms with proven experience in spatial development initiatives, economic corridor development, urban and land use planning, transport infrastructure engineering firms for large-scale infrastructure projects) to submit their candidacy for the services described above. Interested, eligible and qualified consultants must produce information on their ability and experience demonstrating that they are qualified for services of similar nature. The shortlisting criteria shall be: (a) general experience in Economic Corridor Development, urban planning and development services (Studies, Technical Assistance, Project Management,) over the last ten (10) years; (b) specific experience in the field of studies of spatial development and establishment of economic zones along multinational highway corridors during the last ten (10) years; (c) Specific experience in cross-border or multinational land-use planning over the past ten (10) years; (d) availability of key personnel (list, qualification, experiences); (e) logistical and equipment; (f) IT Resources and specialized software, etc. (g) capacity to produce reports and all other relevant documents on the study in English and French.

NB: Each reference will be summarized on a project sheet, and will be considered only if the candidate attaches supporting documents indicating the contact information of the contracting authorities so as to facilitate verification of the information provided: Excerpts of contract (inner cover page and page with the signatures) plus Attestation of good performance.

Consultants may form groups to increase their chances of qualification.

The eligibility criteria, the preparation of shortlist, and the selection procedure shall comply with the African Development Bank’s Procurement Framework for operation funded by the Bank Group as of October 2015 available on the Bank’s website: http://www.afdb.org. The selection procedure will be based on Quality Based Selection Method (QBS), and a shortlist of six (6) firms which present the best profiles shall be drawn up after the expression of interest. Also the firms that are part of an international network are to submit one expression of interest.

Interested consultants can obtain further information at the e-mail addresses mentioned below during working hours: 8:00 a.m. to 12:00 noon (local time) on working days: procurement@ecowas.int with copy to pgueye@ecowas.int; vtulay@ecowas.int; cappiah@ecowas.int ; deklu@ecowas.int ; sbangoura@ecowas.int

Expressions of interest must be delivered in a written form (one (1) signed original plus four (4) copies) in (person, or by registered mail) to the address below, not later than 14th June, 2018 at 11:00 a.m. (GMT+1), Nigerian Time, and must be clearly marked: “Studies on the Abidjan-Lagos Corridor Highway Development Project/Expression of Interest in Consulting Services for Corridor Economic and Spatial Development Initiatives Study”.

For delivery in person or by registered mail to:

Directorate, General Administration, Procurement Division
First (1st) Floor of the ECOWAS Commission Headquarters,
Plot 101, Yakubu Gowon Crescent,
Asokoro District, Abuja,
NIGERIA.

Requests for further information or clarification could be sent by e-mail:
Attention : Commissioner General Administration &Conference
Email : vtulay@ecowas.int

with copies to :

* sbangoura@ecowas.int
* procurement@ecowas.int
* cappiah@ecowas.int
* pgueye@ecowas.int
* deklu@ecowas.int

The working languages shall be English and French. The Expression of Interest will be submitted in English.

OTHER NEWS
31 May, 2018

Abeokuta Substation Gets New 60MVA Transformer To Improve Electricity

The yearning to ensure qualitative and stable power to Nigerians has made the Federal Government to upgrade the 132/33KVA Abeokuta Transmission Substation with the installation of a new 60 Mega Volt Ampere (MVA) capacity transformer to boost electricity supply in Abeokuta and its environs.

Addressing the Minister of State II Power, Works and Housing, Surveyor Suleiman Hassan Zarma, who was on an inspection tour to the substation recently, the Assistant General Manager Transmission, Papalanto Sub – Region of the Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN), Engr. Adeonipekun Adesina said the transformer upon its complete installation would complement the three existing ones at the station.

According to him, the station has 3 transformers of 30MVA each, making a total of 90MVA. But with the new one, the station will now have a 150MVA wheeling capacity.  “It used to be a 90MVA Substation. But with the introduction of the new transformer, there will be more power to deliver to the masses and there will be steady supply of electricity”, Adeonipekun said.

Adeomipekun disclosed that the transformer when energized, would improve power supply to Abeokuta Township, Imeko, and Lagos Road, part of Sagamu and University of Agriculture, Abeokuta. In his address, the Minister re-affirmed the Federal Government’s commitment to increasing power supply in the country. Saying “the Federal Government is investing in the expansion of transmission capacity through the TCN by building more substations and expanding existing ones”, adding that the transformer which is installed by the Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN), under the National Integrated Power project (NIPP) of the Federal Government is aimed at driving the industries, boosting the economy, creating employment opportunities to our teaming youth in Abeokuta and the country in general.

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SPEECHES
12 July, 2018

Keynote Address By The Honourable Minister Of Power, Works And Housing, At The 7th National Council On Lands, Housing, And Urban Development, Held At Gombe State

Protocol

Ladies and Gentlemen, I once again have the honor and pleasure to address this Council. This year, I do so around the theme of our meeting, which is ‘The Provision of Affordable Housing: A Catalyst for Development and Sustainable Economic Growth’.

Permit me to first express our profound gratitude on behalf of the Federal Government to the Government and good people of Gombe State for accepting to host this annual Council Meeting of Lands, Housing and Urban Development.

The event would not have been possible without the exceptional commitment of His Excellency, Dr. Ibrahim Hassan Dankwambo, the Executive Governor of Gombe State and members of his cabinet, especially the Hon. Commissioner for Metropolitan and Urban Planning Development, Mrs. Fatima Abubakar, on whom the responsibility for the organization of this event fell. Permit me, therefore, to wholeheartedly appreciate His Excellency for his resilient leadership qualities.

I wish to start by saying that at all levels of our Government, there is something that can be done about Housing and we should commit to doing so across partisan lines.

Very often, when the discussion about the lack of Housing begins, it either revolves around the size of the Deficit or the Cost of the houses or the pointing of fingers as to who should do what and has not done so.

Very rarely do those discussions bring up solutions or action points.  Problems clearly cannot be solved by simply talking about them.

No matter what we say, unless we begin to act, it changes nothing. Strangely, we have had this conversation daily, and across election cycles of 4 years, each that I shudder to ask whether we take time to reflect.

I have stopped talking many years ago and have started acting, and whether it is at State or National level, I can point to my contribution and that of my Staff and say, “We did something.” Can you?

But before I continue, permit me to indulge those who spend their time on the debate about the size of the deficit and ask how educated and informed that debate is. Who conducted the census that produced the figures in the Deficit?

Who verified the figures that now seem to trap many of our people in a vortex of difficulty?

Does the deficit take into account the empty and unoccupied houses in every State of Nigeria?

Are these housing deficits in sub-urban, rural areas or in the urban centers?

Why is there urbanization, and why is housing shortage a problem of urbanization?
It seems to me that as Policy Makers, before we even start to build houses, the first thing we can do is to address urbanization by policy.

One of the policies is to consciously redistribute wealth and opportunities by strong commitments to programs like Agriculture and Mining.

These are rural-centric economic decisions that take wealth and opportunities to the rural areas, and slow down migration to the urban centers in search of opportunities.

From my trips across the States, I can tell you categorically that President Buhari’s commitment to infrastructure, which is driving mining and the Agricultural focus is already impacting on our urbanization challenge in a positive way.

Work at quarries and on cash crop farms, which are situated in the rural areas, is now getting to the people; instead of them coming to look for it in the urban centres.

All of us, as critical shareholders, can deepen these to the recesses of our States where President Buhari cannot reach.

As we slow down the migration, we must now provide homes to the people, starting in the urban centres where the need is greatest.

This is what President Buhari has done with the National Housing Project Pilot in the 34 States that gave us land.

Once again, the President has asked me to thank all those Governors who gave us land. Because of them, we are able to employ, averagely, a thousand people at each of those sites, and this is only for the pilot stage.

And this is the heart of the matter. The reason for our theme, ‘Why Housing Can and Should be the Catalyst for Development and Sustainable Economic Growth.’

If you have been involved as I have been, you will know that the people employed at housing sites are Builders, Welders, Carpenters, Electricians, Bricklayers, Water and Food Vendors, and other suppliers along with Labourers.

They are the people who are largely paid on a daily basis or on weekly, or at best monthly basis.

These are some of the most vulnerable people in our economy as they are in other economies. Whenever Government can reach these people and provide work for them, you know that such an economy is working.

President Buhari has reached these people. I have met them and we need to do more by multiplying the Housing commitment.

But beyond building houses, there is the problem of affordability and definition.

It seems to me that whether it is to buy or to rent, affordability will always be an issue. But we must start by making clear to our people that not everyone can afford to buy or own a house, but it is ideal to at least seek to shelter everybody who has a job, by rental which is affordable.

The question therefore is that after we have provided work for these vulnerable people, which pays them weekly or monthly in arrears, is it affordable for them when they seek to rent houses, and we ask them to pay one or two years rent in advance.

This is not Government, this is us, the landlords, and we can change this by accepting monthly rent in arrears secured with their employer’s guarantee.

If this happens, we will see how housing will catalyse our economy. When my rent is matched to my income, you and I will be witnesses to a release and relief of millions of people who seek help to pay their rent even though they have a job.

As for those who wish to buy houses, mortgages are the solution and we must issue more.

The Federal Mortgage Bank is mandated to do so, not only by re-capitalisation but also by granting the following exemptions:

A)    0% equity for loans not exceeding N5million
B)     Reduction of equity from 20% to 10% for loans up to N6 – 15million.

This is in addition to a planned re-capitalisation and the opening of the National Housing Fund (NHF) to non-Government employees.

Between May 2015  and July 10, 2018 the FMBN has issued 3,862 mortgages to Nigerians to acquire their own homes.

But this is not all that is happening or can happen in the Economy with an appropriate commitment to Housing.

The Oil and Gas sector can also benefit enormously from Housing if we all commit to implementing the Gas master plan.

At the moment we are under utilizing our Gas resources especially in the area of domestic use for cooking and heating.

In order to take the benefit of this gift of Nature, our Ministry is working with the Ministry of Petroleum Resources to develop standards for pipes and installations that will facilitate domestic use of Gas for cooking and heating.

Ladies and Gentlemen, these are some of the ways that housing provision can catalyze development and economic growth.

The Federal Government can, and has taken leadership by showing the way.

Large scale nationwide impact now depends on what we do at the State, Local Government and private sector levels.

Therefore I will close by urging you to do something – build a house.

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

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Photo News
10 July, 2018

FASHOLA BRIEFS THE PRESS ON THE STATE OF PLAY IN THE POWER SECTOR NEXT STEPS AND POLICY DIRECTIONS

Hon Minister of Power Works Housing Mr Babatunde FasholaSAN middle Minister of State Surv Suleiman Zarma Hassan right and Permanent Secretary Power Engr Louis Edozien left during the HonMinisters Press Briefing onthe State of Play in the Power Sector Next Stepsand Policy Directions at the Ministry of PowerWorks Housing Headquarters Mabushi Abuja on Monday 9th July 2018

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Power News
Photo News
14 July, 2018

7TH NATIONAL COUNCIL ON LANDS HOUSING AND URBAN DEVELOPMENT HELD AT GOMBE STATE

Alh Ibrahim Hassan Dankwambo Governor of Gombe State Center Minister of Power Works and Housing HM Babatunde Fashola SAN right and the Deputy Gvernor Gombe State Hon Charles Iliya

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4Th National Council On Power (Nacopp)
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