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4 December, 2018

Nigerians Will Remain Grateful To The Fallen Heroes - Fashola

The Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Babatunde Raji Fashola SAN has Stated that Nigerians will remain ever grateful by remembering the supreme sacrifice paid by our brothers and sister who laid down their lives for the service of our father’s land, Nigeria.

Fashola made the statement, on Monday, in his Mabushi office when he received in audience the National Planning Committee of the Armed Forces Remembrance Day Celebration (AFRDC) 2019 who decorated him and also commended him for his immense contributions during the 2018 Armed Forces Remembrance Day celebration.

While been decorated alongside the Minister of State 1 for Power, Works and Housing, Hon. Mustapha Baba Shehuri, Fashola noted that the seeming peace which is being enjoyed in Nigeria is as a result of commitment and sacrifices of our fallen heroes who fought gallantly and fearlessly to defend the integrity of our father land. He however commended the Nigeria Armed Forces for being combatant ready and for exhibiting professionalism at all times.

The Minister maintained that the Armed Forces Remembrance Day Celebration is an important event which should be made more elaborate by calling on all well-meaning Nigerians, friends and well-wishers to contribute generously to an endowment fund that will cater for the families who lost their beloved ones. He also suggested for an improved production and redesigning of the Emblem so as to be more appealing to the eyes while the basics and the fundamental messages remains.

Earlier , Major Issa Abdulhamid who represented the Chairman , National Planning Committee of the 2019 Armed Forces  Remembrance Day Celebration, Major General Edward Chijioke Obi, disclosed that the reason of their visit was to identify with the Ministers in order to raise funds for the families of our fallen heroes and by so doing alleviate their plight and predicaments.
Major Abdulhamid also thanked the Ministers for attending to members of his committee in spite of their busy schedules.

Prospects For Incremental Power Brightens As Fashola Inspects AFAM Power Plants *  Calls for peace in the area as important precondition for successful completion of projects *  All of the turbines and equipment needed for the completion of Afam III are now in the country, says Fashola *  Assures Shell, other major gas suppliers that product supplied to the plant henceforth will be paid for Given the availability of sufficient gas to power it, the Afam Thermal Power Plant in Port Harcourt, Rivers State, will before December this year, deliver 340 Megawatts of electricity to the National Grid towards the consolidation of the Federal Government’s drive to achieve Incremental Power for the country. The Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Mr. Babatunde Fashola SAN, who disclosed this in Afam in the Oyigbo Local Government Area of the State at the weekend, said with the work on the 240MW capacity Afam III Plant at   advanced stages and the burnt transformer for the 100MW Afam 1V now repaired, the two should deliver a combined 340MW energy to the grid before the end of the year subject to the availability of sufficient gas to fire them. Interacting with newsmen after inspecting the Power Station, Fashola, who said all of the turbines and equipment needed for the completion of Afam III were already in the country, added that the only problems left included the provision of access roads and logistics while the burnt transformer that would evacuate the 100MW from Afam 1V had been repaired and in good condition with the turbine. The Minister, who noted that Government has been working at the Plants in the past 17 to 18 months to restore the place back to its optimum capacity, expressed delight at the progress of work assuring that before the end of the year, 340MW would be added to the National Grid from the facility. “That is part of our Incremental Power Initiative”, he said. He told the newsmen, “What we have behind us is the Afam III and that is the Fast Power programme in collaboration with General Electric to restore 240MW to that place. All of the turbines and equipment needed for that project is already in Nigeria. So the only challenge we have now is roads, logistics and a few other problems; those are the things I have come to assess here”. Noting that Afam 1V, “is the only surviving generation unit”, Fashola, who said the surviving Generation units 17 and 18 have a combined output of 100MW, added, however, that the power could not be evacuated due to the damaged transformer which, according to him, got burnt in January 2015. “That was what was handed over to the Buhari government. So we have worked, we have restored and we have replaced the transformer and it is ready to go”, the Minister said adding, “We are here to assess the progress of the work that we have been doing here in the past 17 to 18 months to get this place back to its optimum capacity. But we now have issues with gas“. On the steps taken by Government to solve the gas issue, the Minister, who said that the Buhari Government inherited a lot of debts owed to all the gas companies who, according to him, said they would no longer supply gas without payment, recalled that Government recently approved N701Billion under its Payment Assurance programme to ensure that henceforth all suppliers of gas to the nation’s power plants were paid. He disclosed, “So we are telling Shell to let us separate the previous debt and create a programme to deal with it under the Central Bank of Nigeria programme”, adding, “And now that we have a Payment Assurance programme, we are assuring them that every gas they supply to this place now will be paid for”. “We have already paid for power produced in January; we have got approval to pay for power produced in February because the bills come in arrears. So they are looking at that and they will come back to us; so hopefully we should add another 100MW to the grid from here (Afam 1V) very soon.” For Afam V, which, he said, was the last one to be built, Fashola said the plant could not be maintained for four to five years after it was built resulting in so many things being damaged inside it adding that Government was now trying to get it into procurement and fix that. Assuring that the project would be completed next year, the Minister added, “I think they both have 276MW combined; that is a lot of power again to the grid and that will happen over the next 12 to 15 or 16 months if we can start quickly”, pointing out that he was at the site to assess progress of work in order to deliver the project as soon as possible. Responding to a question as to how soon the facility would be restored to optimum power delivery, the Minister declared, “As soon as the gas issue is sorted out, Afam 1V, with the capacity to deliver 100MW behind you as soon as we sort out the gas issues; it is the 240MW Afam III behind me if we meet our deadline, we want to finish before December; that will give you 340MW.” “Then at the back there, Afam V, that is 276MW that will roll into next year; we can’t finish that this year. By December, we should get to 340MW; these are now engineering issues and time tabling and also, of course, continued peace. We have 100MW now that we can’t evacuate because there is no gas to fire it, we have fixed the problem which was a burnt transformer. It has been repaired; the turbine is good, the transformer is good, now we have to go and get fuel to fire the car”, he said. On the plan of Government for the implementation of the Economic Recovery and Growth Plan recently launched by the President as it concerns the Power Sector, Fashola declared, “Now the programme to deliver this is the Power Sector Recovery Programme which again was approved by the Federal Executive Council”, adding that the programme involved a lot of policies and actions including payments. “Again you see Government is beginning to implement some of it. The Payment Assurance Programme is one of them; my trip to Washington to negotiate with the World Bank is one of it, the constitution of Boards- the new Chairman Designate of NERC which is pending before Senate is part of this, the constitution of the Rural Electrification Agency’s management and board is part of it; so we are beginning to implement all of the actions and policies”, the Minister said. Describing the development of the Power Sector as a journey rather than an event, Fashola again declared, “If you are looking for an event, then you are not looking for power. We will get to many bus stops; good bus stops. One bus stop is 100MW behind you; another bus stop is 240MW behind me; another bus stop is 276MW somewhere behind the line. And we will do more of this”. Responding to a question on the Bonny Road project, Fashola, who assured that it was on the Government’s programme, pointed out that the partnership was on explaining that some issues with the Budget which had apparently delayed the project, had been resolved at a meeting with the leadership of the National Assembly to enable the Federal Government contribute its own counterpart funding with the Nigerian Liquefied Natural Gas (NLNG). “So we are working with the contractor; I still met the contractor last week. People should be patient; we will deliver on the road to Bonny. The contract hasn’t been awarded. We need to see the final framework when the contract is awarded and that won’t happen until we have a budget. We can’t award contract without a budget. Hopefully we should start this year”, he said. Earlier, in his opening remarks Fashola had called for peace in the area as an important precondition for successful completion of the Afam Power and other projects saying for people to leave their countries far away and come and build a facility that they could not take away in another country was a leap of faith. Explaining how it would benefit the community, Fashola said aside the economic benefit to the country, the first investors who experienced a peaceful and safe environment for their assets would spread the word round the investing and business world that the environment was peaceful and safe for investment and the communities would be the better for it. The Minister assured that the major gas supplier to the plant – Shell- would soon resume supply adding that he had a very intense discussion with the company over the modalities to henceforth pay for gas supplied and how to arrange for the payment of the backlog. He told members of the host communities, “I have spoken to Shell and explained that under the Payment Assurance programme they will now be paid for any gas supplied while government sequences the old debts and work out plans to pay them. I told them that they should not allow payment of the old debts to stand in the way of new transaction”. “I have had an extensive discussion with them. We cannot allow 100MW of electricity to stand idle. If 1MW can power as much as 200 to 250 homes, you can imagine what 100MW can do. That is the case I have had to share; they are responsive to that case, they will come back to me on the way forward, “ he said. On the demand for good roads, hospitals and schools by the host communities, the Minister pointed out the Federal Government has prioritised the roads based on those that carry heavy traffic and beneficial to more people hence the focus on the completion of the Enugu – Port Harcourt Highway traversing the five states of the South-East of the country. Noting that the Enugu- Port Harcourt Highway was another road that had fallen into disrepair for many years due to lack of maintenance, Fashola declared, “That is the Nigeria that this administration inherited and we are trying to change. So our focus first is on building the highways that even lead to Rivers State before we now start going into the heart of Rivers State”. He added, “But we will get there if we are allowed to systematically implement our plans”, adding that the challenge of resource allocation and resource mobilization has made it necessary to prioritise. “Those are the hard choices that we have to make and we have started by dealing first with the road that comes into Rivers State first, that connects Rivers State with other States in the South Eastern Nigeria so that more people can benefit and if you are patient I am sure it will happen”, he said. The Minister while noting that there is a procurement plan to fix the road that leads to the Afam facility added that it would be better to wait until the project was completed before working on the roads to avoid damaging them when the heavy equipment for the project would be brought in. As to the hospitals and schools, Fashola asked the communities to identify the sites to build and forward the survey plans to him promising to see what he could do to assist adding that it made “eminent common sense” that the people that were going to settle in the area would have families who would need the facilities. On allegation of ill-treatment, Fashola declared, “I don’t think any government sets out to deliberately ill-treat its people. It may not have responded as adequately as you want. Even in our own homes that we don’t always have what we ask for from our parents does not mean that they set out to ill-treat you. So, I think that the understanding of why those gaps exist is important in how we communicate it”. Giving a brief history of the Afam Power project, Fashola who said the privatisation of the Plant was not completed, added that the plant was developed in 1962, started life with 20MW, grew to almost 1,000MW but was now struggling to deliver only 100MW. “This is what the Buhari Administration met. Even Afam V that was built in 2001 worked for just a few years and collapsed. Those are the things that this administration is determined to change by a regime of maintenance, by a regime of professionalism”, he said adding that government intends to develop a programme of maintenance so as create jobs from there.  Also in his welcome remarks, the Member representing the Constituency in the House of State’s House of Assembly, Hon. Promise Chisom Dike expressed delight at the visit of the Minister, commending him for his commitment and dedication towards revamping the nation’s Power Sector. Praising the achievements so far recorded by the Minister, the Honourable Member declared, “I am delighted to say that after more than 50 years of electricity in this country, we are blessed as a community, as a people, to have you here at so short a notice. “This is an opportunity to meet with you first to say that the community is very happy with your efforts, your bold efforts in the Power Industry in this country. Personally, Honourable Minister, I have been following all the efforts you are making in terms of intervention funds to ensure that this time around we are going to have a sustainable power generation that would be sustained”, he said.
12 June, 2017
FG’s National Housing Programme To Achieve Affordability And Acceptability.......Fashola The Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Mr. Babatunde Raji Fashola, SAN, has said that the on -going National Housing Programme is a new Housing Policy conceived by the present administration with the aim of achieving acceptability and affordability by Nigerians. The Housing policy is geared towards providing affordable housing for Nigerians in both private and public sectors. He said this in an interview on Sunrise Daily, Channels Television, while appraising his performance in the housing sector in the past two years of President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration. The Minister further noted that for houses to be appreciated by Nigerians, they must pass the test of acceptability because Nigeria is a country with multifaceted ethnic and cultural background and climatic conditions. What is acceptable to a Northerner may not be to a southerner. Fashola noted that the Ministry is currently constructing about 2,000 pilot scheme Housing Units in 33 States of the country with targeted beneficiaries within an income bracket of grade level 8 - 14 in both private and public sectors. He also disclosed that the Minister of State, Mustapha Baba Shehuri, had undergone inspection tour of houses under construction in the 33 States and expressed satisfaction at the work done so far, adding that some of the housing constructions are at the roofing and lintel stages. The Minister advised Nigerians to embrace and key into the concept of mortgages as a means of financing home ownership because that is the practice in other countries. He said the Federal Mortgage Bank of Nigeria (FMBN) and Federal Housing Authority (FHA) being Parastals of the Ministry    are alive to their responsibilities of meeting the housing needs of Nigerians with construction of Housing Estate across the nation.
1 June, 2017
Reconcile Nation’s Land Evaluation System With Economic Realities, Fashola Charges Estate Valuers *  As Minister inaugurates reconstituted Estate Surveyors and Valuers Registration Board *  Urges them to make the practice of estate valuation simple enough and responsive to the man on the Street *  Tasks new Board to spearhead development of open, nationwide valuation for real estate in different parts of the country The Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Mr Babatunde Fashola SAN, Tuesday inaugurated the reconstituted Estate Surveyors and Valuers Registration Board of Nigeria (ESVARBON) with a charge on the Board to reconcile the disparity between the country’s land evaluation system and the current economic realities. In his remarks before the brief ceremony at the Ministry’s Headquarters in Abuja, Fashola also urged the professionals to develop an open evaluation for the different parts of the country as well as evolve means of making the practice of estate valuation simple enough and responsive to the man on the street. Noting that because of the global economic slowdown property owners in some other jurisdictions were offering discounts on their properties to ensure optimum occupancy, the Minister wondered why the reverse was currently the case in the country where, according to him, the economy was being greatly challenged by tight capital. He told his guests, “For me, I think the most important lessons that I like to share at this inauguration is to pose the question to you whether the current land evaluation system and values are consistent with the realities of our economy. You, as experts, must answer that question”. “In a very challenging economy where cash is clearly tight, is the market value really responding appropriately? Are these values consistent with reality? Why are we not seeing rates and rents and values drop? Why are we having many houses unoccupied where people are looking for accommodation?”, Fashola further asked. The Minister, who noted that property owners in the country had often argued that the properties were valued higher so they could have an “impact on percentages and commissions”, added, “As we reconstitute the new board and as we work together to rebuild our economy, those are the questions that I would like to leave you with to respond to”. Recalling recent news that property sellers in the United Kingdom were, because of BREXIT, offering discounts to citizens, Fashola, who cited as proof that markets react to policies, added, “Many years ago our Stock Market was immune to policies. But you see today that we have a stock exchange that ranks with some of the best in the world because it reflects the realities of our economy in many respects”. The Minister charged the Board, “So I will like to see, therefore, that as you take up the mantle of leadership today after inauguration, these are issues that I think you should put into the front burner agenda in terms of how you regulate the practice and also  the quality of people that you admit to the practice”, expressing regrets that in real estate transactions in the country the customer was clearly not king even with his money. Emphasizing the importance of Estate Surveyors and Valuers in the economic growth of the country, Fashola declared, “These are people whose core professional mandate is really putting value on land. The main business that they undertake is the business of how land is turned from a dormant asset really into a valuable asset”. According to him, “All of those who are involved in one form of enterprise or the other must first of all appreciate the value of land as a major capital formation asset; whether it is for small businesses, whether it is for large corporations, whether it is for markets or motor parks. I can’t really think of a business that one wants to undertake where land is not a critical part whether it is just to own a small office or a small kiosk where you can sell very basic things, even to roast corn”. He continued, “The Ministry of Power Works and Housing employs a number of Estate Valuers for many reasons, as you all know. Whether you are building new roads where we need to acquire Right-of-Way, sometimes compensations have to be paid for farmlands and all of that, you are the people we turn to for evaluation”, adding that some of the members were currently involved in the Second Niger Bridge project as valuers for the government. Some of the members, the Minister said, have also been recruited to the Power side now in the development of the Mambila Hydro Power Dam in terms of assessing the land that needed and ultimately quantifying for compensation to be paid while some were employed in the new Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN) where the Ministry had to acquire Right-of-Way for its transmission lines. Charging the Board to ensure greater transparency in the Built Industry, Fashola further charged the members to evolve means to make the practice of Estate Valuation simple enough and responsive to the man on the street pointing out that other jurisdictions have evolved property calculators where all one needed to do was to index one’s location and that of his property to have a fair value of what his asset was worth. The Minister said one of the areas where Nigeria’s Ease of Doing Business ranking could improve was in the area of real estate valuation, “especially how to develop a harmonised code of charges” adding, “We had this problem back at state level where we found out that we were charging about 10 per cent gross on fees and taxes while other countries close to us were charging one and two per cent. But the truth was that the values were not real”. “They were not market values and the solution was to invoke market values so that within its jurisdiction you have a fair market value of what the rate applicable to each piece of real estate, whether it was developed or undeveloped, there was a floor and a ceiling per square metre and on that basis, we crashed the rate to about three per cent”, he said. The Minister argued that although it may look profitable to charge X values as fees today, when considered that out of every ten possible businesses, the competition would take about six, “because of more competitive rates”, adding, “Are you really doing good business?” He challenged the members “to develop a very open and possibly nationwide valuation for real estate in different parts of the country”, adding “So that at least in Jabi, for example we can know what is the minimum rate of undeveloped property is per square metre and what the maximum rate should be if it is not developed”. “If it is developed, at least we will have an idea as distinct from Maitama, Asokoro; as distinct from may be GRA Ibadan or GRA Kaduna and so on. At least there will be some database and I don’t think that this in any way imperils your ability to continue to render professional service”. Congratulating the Chairman and members of the reconstituted Board, Fashola who noted with pleasure the broad mix of experience and value that were brought to the Board, Fashola declared, “This Board has, among many other responsibilities, the responsibility for registering persons who are fit and qualified to serve and practice as Estate Surveyors and Valuers and also to the responsibility to regulate the standard and the knowledge and the general practice of the profession in our country”. “These are the people whose core professional mandate is really putting value on land. The main business that they undertake is the business of how land is turned from a dormant asset really into a valuable asset and then all of those who are involved in one form of enterprise or the other must first of all appreciate the value of land as the major capital formation asset”, he said. In his remarks, Chairman of the of the Board, Mr. Olayinka Sonaike, thanked the Minister and the Federal Government for the opportunity and privilege given the members to serve on the Board adding that the members of the profession were in a fit position to contribute to the economic growth of the country. Requesting that the budgetary allocation to the Board be released to it expeditiously after the signing of the 2017 Appropriation Bill, the Chairman pledged that with the collaboration of the Ministry of Power, Works and Housing, the Board would carry out its job effectively. He said the Institute of Estate Surveyors and Valuers of Nigeria had already completed a database of properties in Lagos State with the intention to work in other states of the Federation promising that the Board would continue to work toward reconciling the disparity between land evaluation system in the country and her economic realities. Also at the brief ceremony were the Director for Land and Housing Development, Rev. Olurotimi Onabanjo and Director Information, Mr Adebisi Agbonhin, Specially Advisers as well as other top officials of the Ministry while the Chairman of the newly inaugurated Board was accompanied by the Vice Chairman of the Board as well as other top officers and members of the Board.
30 May, 2017
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PUBLIC ANNOUNCEMENT
5 October, 2018

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
11 December, 2018

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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SPEECHES
16 November, 2018

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

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Photo News
11 December, 2018

FASHOLA NGIGE INSPECT THE ZIK MAUSOLEUM AND CONFERENCE CENTRE BUILT IN HONOUR OF THE FIRST PRESIDENT OF NIGERIA LATE RT HON NNAMDI AZIKIWE IN ONITSHA ANAMBRA STATE

Hon Minister of Power Works Housing Mr Babatunde Fashola SAN 2nd right Hon Minister of Labour and Employment Dr Chris Ngige 2nd left the Federal Controller of Housing in Anambra State Mr Nwachukwu Achebe and others during the inspection of the completed Zik Mausoleum and Conference Centre built in honour of the first President of Nigeria Late Rt Hon Nnamdi Azikiwe in Onitsha Anambra State on Monday 10th December 2018

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Power News
Photo News
11 December, 2018

FASHOLA INSPECTS THE ONGOING REHABILITATION OF OUTSTANDING SECTIONS OF ONITSHA ENUGU EXPRESSWAY ENUGU AMANSEA STATE BORDER IN ENUGU STATE AND UMUNYA AMAWBIA SECTION IN ANAMBRA STATE

Work in Progress Hon Minister of Power Works Housing Mr Babatunde Fashola SAN right speaking to media men shortly after inspecting the ongoing Rehabilitation of Outstanding Sections of Onitsha Enugu Expressway Enugu Amansea Enugu State border in Enugu State and Umunya Amawbia Section in Anambra State on Monday 10th December 2018

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