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23 April, 2018

Indigenous Construction Contractors Commend FG For Transparent, Stress-Free Payment At Works Ministry

* This is one of the things that Change means to us - FASHOLA
* Says Indigenous Companies comprise all companies registered under the Nigerian law to do business in the country
* Advocate improvement in the capacity of the local contractors in terms of equipment  and specialization in order compete
* AICCON President says there is no member that did not receive at least two payments last year without lobbying anybody

The Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Mr. Babatunde Fashola SAN, was on Monday presented an award of recognition by the Association of Indigenous Construction Contractors of Nigeria (AICCON) for the regular payment of Federal Government construction contractors in the last one and a half years even as the Minister described the development as one of the pointers to the Change philosophy of the administration.

President of AICCON, Otunba Lekan Osifeso, who led the Association on a courtesy visit and presentation to the Minister, said the award was in recognition and appreciation of the fact that for the first time in many years, the Contractors were getting paid after submission of their invoices without having to lobby anybody or come to the Ministry to canvass for it.

In his brief remarks before the presentation, Otunba Osifeso said, “There is none of our members working with the Federal Ministry of Works, for the first time in a very long time, who did not receive at least two payments last year and none of us came to the Ministry to talk to anybody or lobby anybody. So in that respect, Sir, we think you deserve an award and recognition”.

Receiving the award, the Minister, who thanked the Association for the gesture, expressed delight that some people appreciate the “modest” contributions the Ministry was making in rebuilding the country adding that while the gesture showed that there were right-thinking and well-meaning Nigerians who value service, it also challenged the Team to do more.

The Minister, who handed the recognition plaque to the Permanent Secretary Works and Housing, Mr. Mohammed Bukar, noted that every member of the team has a role to play in the work being done.  “Our sense here is to build a team and show that Change means something. So this is one of the things that Change means to us; that Contractors don’t need to lobby our government to get paid for the work that they have done and we will continue to do more of that”, he declared.

Earlier, while responding to the opening remarks of the AICCON President, Fashola commended the Association for the contributions they have made and are still making in the overall effort to rebuild the country, which, according to him, is at the core of President Buhari’s commitment and undertaking as made clear by the President in his New Year Address.

Fashola recalled that Mr. President had in his New Year Address made it clear that as part of its diversification strategy for the economy, his Government would be focusing, not only on Agriculture and Mining but also on Infrastructure adding that as already acknowledged by the AICCON President, the Executive Order Five issued by the President placed high priority on local content and local capacity, which, according to him, is where the Indigenous Construction Contractors come in.

He, however, observed that given the general conception and use of the word ‘Indigenous’, there was need to throw more light on the conception adding, “It is important to define who really is an indigenous company; because to the best of my knowledge, I doubt whether there is any company that is not registered under our laws that does business here.

He declared, “Unless we intend to change our laws, once you are registered as a Nigerian company with certain amount of shareholding, I think about 51 per cent, you are a Nigerian company. So with that background, who chooses the Managing Directors of the companies?”

Pointing out that if a Nigerian owns a company and takes a foreigner as Managing Director, it was not the responsibility of the government to choose that for him, the Minister told the Association, “So I think you should look into the mirror and ask yourselves some of these questions”, adding that some of the Nigerian owned companies register and employ foreigners as their Managing Directors while they sit as Chairmen with the role of leveraging business to the companies while the Managing Directors and Technical Partners do the execution.

“If a company registers and wins a bid to do construction work in the country, it was not in the rights of the government to now say it could not execute such project for any other reason other than it was not registered as a Nigerian company”, he said adding that even if there was such a provision, there was also the consideration for specialization.

Using the Medical and Legal Professions as examples, Fashola posited that there are certain projects that require specialized execution and would, therefore, need the handling of a company specialized in that area adding, “You cannot rule out specialization in any industry, even in football”.

“So let us understand that within the realm of open and competitive bidding, that certain specifications will require us to ask for certain specialization”, the Minister said adding that even among the members of the AICCON, there were differentiations in terms of experience and equipment.

He added, “What I want to see and what Mr. President wants to see is a continuous improvement in capacity. We want to see more buildings, we want to see more roads, we want to see more infrastructure built by Nigerians and that means then that you must have the right equipment”.

Fashola suggested to the contractors that they should look seriously into the idea of equipment leasing that would help in providing easy access to equipment adding that it would enable the indigenous contractors to then compete adding that sometimes the difference between one company and another was the difference in equipment and sometimes equipment and previous experience.

The Minister, however, assured the Association of Government’s support in areas where they have capacity adding that government would appreciate it more if they get the right equipment . He noted that another area where massive scope exists for partnership was in the Maintenance sector where, according to him, the Ministry was already working on setting up a maintenance framework. “Whatever we build is built to a design life subject to certain types of maintenance and that is an area that we haven’t really done enough”, he said.

Fashola, who disclosed that the Ministry was working to develop a pilot maintenance framework starting with government buildings and from there build out, adding, “Hopefully may be in 2019 Budget, if we are lucky, we will be able to put a sizeable global Maintenance Budget for the first time and see how to engage labour and contracting companies to help grow the economy”.

Advocating improvement within the framework of the indigenous companies, the Minister declared, “You have to compete and you have to improve your capacity”, adding that in defining who was really an indigenous company, there was need for the AICCON to research the existing construction companies who, he noted, have Nigerians on their boards.

Earlier in his opening remarks, President of the Association, Otunba Lekan Osifeso, said the Association was on the courtesy visit to the Minister to both commend him for the paradigm shift within the construction industry under his watch in terms of regular payment of contractors, a situation which, according to him, was an experience coming after so many years.

Otunba Osifeso, who put the size of the Construction Industry in Nigeria at one Trillion Naira annually with the Federal Ministry of Power, Works and Housing contributing in excess of N200 Billion  annually, noted that unfortunately most of the sum was lost through capital flight as a result of non-patronage of local contractors over the years.

He posited that if the indigenous contractors were adequately patronized and made to participate increasingly in the industry, capital flight cases would drop by as much as 60 per cent and would boost the economy and increase employment opportunities within the country adding that it would impact the Gross Domestic Product of the country and boost government investment.

He declared, “Our mission is in line with Mr. President’s Executive Order Five that clearly supports the participation of the indigenous construction contractors by the government by way of commitment to patronage”, adding that on the long run, the Association’s aim was to build a formidable indigenous construction industry that is capable of attracting funding from financial institutions locally and internationally.

Accompanying the AICCON President on the visit included the General Secretary of the Association, Otunba Muyiwa Ibeun, Head of Public Relations of the Association, Mr. Ibrahim Sukobir, Mr. Chinedu Igwonye (Member), Chief Mrs. Essien (Member) and Mr. Yomi Obitola, among others while with the Minister to host the visitors were the Permanent Secretary Works and Housing, Mr. Mohammed Bukar, Director Highways Construction and Rehabilitation, Engr. Oluyemi Oguntominiyi and Director Highways Planning and Development, Engr. Chuks Uzo represented by Engr. Funso Adebiyi. Others are Director Highways, Designs, Engr. Adetokunbo Sogbesan, Special Adviser Works, Dr. Femi Hamzat and Special Adviser Housing, Mr.  Biodun Oki, among others.

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PDP's Apology To Nigerians: Move To The Next Step, Return Looted Funds - FG The Federal Government has asked the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to go the whole hog with its apology to Nigerians by returning all the funds looted from the public treasury under its watch during its 16 years in power. In a statement issued in Abuja on Tuesday, the Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, also challenged the party to show the genuineness of its apology through a discernible change of.attitude. ''The PDP presided over an unprecedented looting of the public treasury, perhaps the worst of its kind in Nigeria or anywhere else in the world. Therefore, the best evidence of penitence for such a party is not just to own up and apologize, but to also return the looted funds. Anything short of that is mere deceit. ''Even with the paucity of funds, this Administration has spent anunprecedented amount of money on infrastructural development and Social Investment Programme, among others. Returning looted funds will provide more money for these programmes and make life more meaningful for Nigerians. There is no better apology than that,'' it said. Alhaji Mohammed also reminded the PDP of the quote: ''If you find your self in a hole, stop digging,'' saying it applies to the PDP at this time. ''PDP, press the reset button. Stop sabotaging the work of this Administration, which is packing the mess you left behind, through your reckless statements and unfounded allegations. Play responsible opposition politics. Put Nigeria's interest over and above partisan interest. Temper your desperation to return to power. Spend quality time in the purgatory and you will be forgiven,'' he said.
27 March, 2018
Stakeholders Laud FG For Improvements In Nation’s Road Sector * As Fashola presents Federal Highways (Control of Dimensions, Weights and Axle Load) Regulations 2018 * NURTW, NARTO, PTD, other transport unions applaud FG for the on-going rehabilitations and reconstruction of roads across the country, pledge support * The road sector in the country never had it as good as is being currently experienced despite the shortfall in the nations revenue generation NURTW National President * From 2015 to date, my administration has constructed several hundreds of kilometres of inter-state federal roads and bridges- Buhari Stakeholders in the nation’s road sector, Monday in Abuja lauded the improvements on the roads across the country, commending the Federal Government, the Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Mr. Babatunde Fashola SAN, and his team for the innovative approach to road management since the inception of the Buhari Administration. Speaking at a One-Day Public Enlightenment on the Developments in the Road Sector, the stakeholders, who included the National Association of Road Transport Owners (NARTO), the National Union of Road Transport Workers (NURTW), and Petroleum Tanker Drivers Association among other road users, noted that the Minister has done a lot to restore confidence of Nigerians on the nation’s road sector. In his goodwill message at the Nigerian Air Force Conference Centre venue of the event, President of the National Union of Road Transport Workers (NURTW), Alhaji Najimdeem Yasin, congratulated the Minister for his  efforts in executing the 2017 budgetary proposals as regards to the development of road network across the country. Represented at the occasion by Alhaji Nasiru, the NURTW President also expressed appreciation to the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari for the prudent management of the nation’s scarce resources noting that since the beginning of the present administration, the road sector in the country never had it as good as is being currently experienced despite the shortfall in the nation’s revenue generation. The NURTW boss, however, pointed out that as the efforts and actions of the government to improve the roads were being applauded, it was also necessary to direct its attention to a lot more of the roads that still needed urgent attention  urging the Minister to put in place a mechanism to institutionalize the culture of construction, rehabilitation and maintenance of Federal roads as well as putting necessary instruments that would guide against the abuse of the roads by the road users. Such mechanisms, the Union leader said, included weighbridges, transit parks and provision of other road furniture adding that as a transport workers’ union occupying the leadership of the International Transport Federation (ITF) and the Global Vice President, the leadership of the National Union of Road Transport Workers had taken the sensitization and training of its members very seriously as it could not afford to operate short of international standard. Disclosing that the NURTW, in collaboration with the Federal Road Safety Commission (FRSC) and Vehicle Inspection Officers (VIO) regularly organized series of enlightenment campaigns for the union members in order to encourage them to maintain good driving culture, the Union boss declared, “I want to assure you of our continuous support and loyalty to every initiative that will improve the safety and sustenance of roads in the Federation”. In his goodwill message on behalf of his association, the President of the National Association of Road Transport Owners (NARTO), Alhaji Kassim Bataiya, expressed appreciation to the Minister for matching his words with action recalling that on the first of February 2018, the Minister, at a meeting with the various transport unions in his office, did promise that he would convoke such an enlightenment Workshop. Represented by the Executive Secretary of the Union, Mr. Aloga I. Okpobo, the NARTO President, who was last week elected President of the African Road Transport Union in Marrakech, Morocco, commended the Minister for keeping his words applauding him for the on-going rehabilitations and reconstruction of roads across the country. Noting that the government was currently raising  funds from various sources to meet the required funding of roads in the country, the union President declared, “This has demonstrated that in a very short time  Nigerian roads will meet the expectations of Nigerians”. He also recalled that during the last meeting with the Minister, the unions made various recommendations including the issue of Axle Load, which, according to him, was on the front burner of the discussions adding that the recommendations which were both in the short, medium and long terms, included the banning of the importation of 60,000 litres capacity trucks into the country as they were negatively impacting the roads in the country. Alhaji Bataiya also recalled that the Unions recommended to the Minister that those constructing such trucks above 60,000 litres in the country should be warned to desist forthwith adding that the Unions also asked government to give a five year moratorium to enable owners of such vehicles to recoup their investment before the final phase out. Other recommendations, he said, include that the Federal Government should ban the use of steel trucks and replace them with aluminum trucks “because aluminum trucks are lighter in terms of weight capacity” and for the Government to continue the road rehabilitation and expansion it has earlier started as, adding that while the ban of the use of steel trucks would address the issue of axle load, the rehabilitation and expansion of roads would “go a long way in bringing relief to Nigerian roads”. Pledging the support of the association to the Federal Government “in all its efforts to put Nigerian roads on course”, the NARTO boss declared, “We are also here to say that we are totally in support of this workshop and to commend the Hon. Minister for putting the workshop together because in doing so he has matched his words with action”. In his own goodwill message, the National Chairman of the Petroleum Tankers Drivers Association, Mr. Salimon Akanni Oladiti, commended the Minister for “his courage” in organizing the Workshop pointing out that it is only when one is courageous and doing something right that such a person could invite the public to brief them of such action. Noting that the workshop would give participants a further insight into the developments in the road sector, the Chairman declared, “As major stakeholders in the Nigerian road sector, we have in recent times witnessed tremendous efforts on the part of the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and the Minister of Power, Works and Housing which has made us to believe that the dark and horrible days of bad roads will soon be over”. “It is also important to use this opportunity to commend the Federal Ministry of Power Works and Housing under the headship of Mr. Babatunde Fashola SAN, for the increased strides his Ministry has been making since he mounted the saddle as the Hon. Minister in his stride to improve the road network. His efforts to reactivate road signage for the safety of road users is unparalleled in the history of Nigerian roads”. Others who gave good will messages included the President Road Transport Employers Association of Nigeria,  High Chief Musa Shehu Isawere, represented by Comrade Henry Ejioffor, who also commended the Minister for the innovations he has introduced into the management of the nation’s road sector and the Minister of Labour and Employment, Senator Chris Ngige, who said in identifying with the convocation of the Workshop, he would be the ultimate beneficiary pointing out that the impressive turnout of the trade unions only signified the fact that they were in full support and in alignment with the Minister adding, “ It means less agitations and strikes”. In his Keynote address, President Muhammadu Buhari, who was represented at the occasion by the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Mr. Boss Gida Mustapha, said the convocation of the Workshop was an indication of the important role that road transportation plays in the nation’s economic development adding that the critical place of road transportation in the country’s evolution and the national life had never been more alive than presently. “Presently the haulage of industrial goods, agricultural produce and industrial raw material, petroleum products, power plant components and other economic materials required in the manufacturing sector, are carried out using the road network”, the President noted adding that it was this realization that underscored the promise of change by the present administration in May 2015 with infrastructure as a priority. Pointing out that this has been fulfilled by the administration “by policy and action, President Buhari further declared, “It is on record that this administration has raised the budgetary allocation for Capital project from 15 per cent to a minimum of 30 per cent and committed to physical stimulus targeted at infrastructure”. “The result is the revival of construction activities and other projects nationwide. From 2015 to date, my administration has constructed several hundred kilometres of inter-state federal roads and bridges to ease the movement of persons, goods and services”, he said adding, however, that in order to take the full benefit of the projects, when finally completed and get value for the investment “we must change our ways and this government has signed on for that change”. Earlier in his welcome address, the Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Mr. Babatunde Fashola SAN, said the Workshop was meant to reflect and agree on the need for change about how Nigerians have used their Road infrastructure adding that the country’s Economic growth, National productivity and job opportunities would be impacted by the conclusions and resolutions of the meeting. Noting that there are now existing treaty obligations within the West African sub region and beyond that regulate the amount of load any goods vehicle can put on an axle and by extension on the road in order to do business within ECOWAS and beyond, Fashola said the only way to optimize the opportunities that lie in road networks like Trans-Saharan highway that connects Nigeria to Chad, Niger, Tunisia, Mali and Algeria; the Lagos- Abidjan Highway through Benin, Togo and Ghana, or the Enugu- Cameroon Highway through Abakaliki – Ogoja , Ikom and Mfum was to sensitize road transporters and imbibe the existing treaties. The Minister, who thanked the President for finally signing the instruments of ratification as soon as it was brought to his attention, after many years of delay prior to his tenure, added, “This meeting is critical to the achievement of our common goal for shared prosperity. Our compliance with these regulations will open a massive door of opportunity and prosperity of cross-border trade to Nigerians engaged in the transport business”. “This is why this meeting was convened; because when President Buhari once said that “we will change our habits and we will change Nigeria,” I believe this is one of the things he had in mind. While it is true that we could have done better by way of massive investment in our transport infrastructure during the windfall of income from oil, this Government is now rapidly and aggressively addressing road transport infrastructure repairs, rehabilitation and construction as many of you who travel regularly will attest”, he said. Fashola, who noted that there is no state in Nigeria today, where contractors would not be seen busy at work, added, “The crux of this meeting is to first acknowledge the President is only one man who cannot be everywhere, and secondly to recognize that we are the actors of the change that is required to take us to prosperity and thirdly to recognize that, the way we use the roads when finally completed will determine how long they last and whether they deliver prosperity or not”. In a Communiqué issued after the Workshop, participants expressed appreciation to the Federal Government for the on-going rehabilitation and reconstruction of roads across the country, affirming the need for enforcement of axle load limit to safeguard the nation’s road infrastructure while also emphasizing the reintroduction of toll gates on federal highways as a means to improve revenue generation for the maintenance of roads. Realizing the damaging effects of overloading on the nation’s road network, participants advocated that all Heavy Goods Vehicles (HGVs) owners and operators should abide by the the new Axle Load limit regime in Nigeria in line with the ECOWAS Supplementary Act/SP.17/02/12 relating to the harmonization of standards and procedures for the control of dimensions, weight and axle load of goods vehicles within the ECOWAS Member States. Other highpoints of the Communiqué are reaffirmation of need to operationalize the weighbridge stations on Federal roads to check overloading, recognizing the need for adherence by motorists to road signage for safety, need for all stakeholders to join hands to halt the abuse on Nigerian roads and agreement that tank farm owners and sea port operators should comply with the axle load limits by installing weighbridges at their depots/ports. Also present at the occasion were the Minister of Transportation, Right Hon. Chibuike Amaechi, represented by Dr. (Mrs.) Anthonia Ekpa, FCT Minister represented by the Executive Secretary FCDA, Engr U.G. Jibrin, Corps Marshal of the Federal Road Safety Commission (FRSC), Dr. Boboye Oyeyemi, among other dignitaries and stakeholders
20 March, 2018
FG Inaugurates Governing Council For Federal School Of Surveying The Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Babatunde Raji Fashola, SAN has urged the newly inaugurated Governing Council of the Federal School of Surveying, Oyo to be mindful of the purpose for which they were nominated and ‘be problem solvers, solution finders and peace builders” in the onerous task ahead of them. While inaugurating the Governing Council on Tuesday, March 13, 2018, Fashola explained that the Council will be responsible, as provided by the Act establishing the School, for the general management of its affairs, control of its properties and finances. He added that the purpose of the Schoo, is to “provide instructions, training and research in survey and related courses”. The Minister explained that the objective for which the School was established, which is to produce technical, professional and other skilled manpower necessary for surveying and  mapping, requires it to function properly in carrying out its mandate. He further added that part of the Ministry’s mandate to formulate and implement the policies of the Federal Government of Nigeria is to survey and map out both internal and international boundaries and this, he said would require appropriate contributions from skilled manpower, without which the task will be difficult to achieve. Fashola urged members of the Governing Council to always deal with the challenges of producing skilled manpower and professional surveyors. He reiterated President Buhari’s commitment to infrastructure development, citing the security challenges facing some schools as there would be need to plan how to rebuild, merge and protect such schools, especially those destroyed by the Boko Haram insurgency in the North East. He encouraged them to cultivate the spirit of team work, reflect transparency and accountability so as to properly represent the Federal Government. In his remarks at the occasion, the Honourable Minister of State II, Surv. Suleiman Hassan Zarma stated that as an Alumus of the School, its standards has drastically dropped, thereby charging the newly inaugurated members to do their utmost zest in restoring the past glory of the School. The Chairman of the Governing Council and Surveyor-General of the Federation, Surv. Ebisintei Awudu, in his acceptance speech, on behalf of other members, thanked Mr. President as well as the Ministers for the confidence repose in them, while promising that the Council will not disappoint the Ministry in carrying out its assignment. The Permanent Secretary of the Ministry, Mohammed Bukar, Directors of the Ministry and family members of the newly inaugurated Governing Council were in attendance at the occasion.
14 March, 2018
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PUBLIC ANNOUNCEMENT
8 March, 2018

Federal Ministry of Power, Works and Housing (Power Sector)

In conjunction with

Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN)

General Procurement Notice

The Federal Government of Nigeria (FGN) intends to collaborate with licensed Distribution Companies and Eligible Customers to invest in the construction of new distribution lines and substations to expand the capacity of the distribution networks by an additional 2000MW. 

2.    The principal objective of the project is to deliver currently unutilized generation capacity to metered customers thereby strengthening the distribution networks and improving customer services, collection efficiency and financial viability of the Power Sector.

3.    The projects require procurement of the following components from Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEM):

* 33kV transmission substation busbar extensions;
* 2.5MVA, 33/11kV packaged substations;
* 2.5MVA, 33/0.415kV packaged substations;
* 1MVA, 33/0.415kV packaged substations;
* Modular 0.415/11/33kV steel towers;
* 150mm ACSR conductors; and
* 120mm 1-core armoured conductors.

4.     Detailed advertisement to guide interested bidders will be announced shortly in two (2) national newspapers and one (1) relevant internationally recognized publication, Federal Ministry of Power, Works and Housing (Power Sector) and Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN) official websites and Federal Tenders Journal.

Signed
Permanent Secretary
Federal Ministry of Power, Works and Housing (Power Sector)

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OTHER NEWS
31 January, 2018

FG Moves To End Housing Deficit: Initiates Family Homes Fund Housing Project To Deliver Affordables Housing Accross The Nation

The Federal Government in a bid to finding lasting solutions to the huge national housing deficit in the country, the Economic Management Team of the Federal Government hasset up a Family Homes Fund Task Force to facilitate the implementation and delivery of the Family Homes Housing Project across the nation.

Speaking during the in augural meeting of the Land and Infrastructure and Off –take Sub – Committees for the project, the Chairman and Minister of State II for Power, Works and Housing, Surv. Suleiman Hassan, mnis, stated that the project is a new widow intended to deliver more affordable houses to Nigerians. He noted that the essence is to consistently deliver about 100 housing units annually and create more jobs to the teaming unemployed Nigerians.

The Minister added that the Land and Infrastructure sub-committee is to engage with relevant state governments and stakeholders on prime locations of land in the various states of the Federation. Also, the Offtake Sub - Committee is to determine a model for the participation of staff housing cooperatives, adding that this will be able to take care of retired civil servants, officers and personnel of the security forces.

The Minister enjoined members of the sub-committees to bring their wealth of experience to bear in order to actualize this laudable initiative of the Federal Government geared towards the delivery of affordable mass housing.

In her response, representative of the Head of the Civil Service of the Federation and Permanent Secretary, Service Welfare Office, Mrs Didi Walson-Jack stated that affordable and quality houses is a key issue that the government is pursuing, adding that members of the Offtake sub-committee will do the needful in meeting up with the task ahead.

Also speaking at the occasion, the Special Adviser to the President on Economic Matters, Dr. Adeyemi Dipeolu noted that one of the most important aims of the Family Home Project is to identify the financing requirements, draw up a sustainable financing of the models, structure of financing and buy-in of relevant Agencies including the Nigerian Mortgage Re-Financing Corporation for the continuity of the programme.

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Speeches
9 April, 2018

Remarks By H.E, Babatunde Raji Fashola, SAN At The 26th Monthly Power Sector Operators Meeting At The Ohiya Transmission Substation, Umuahia, Abia State  On Monday The 9th Of April 2018

I am pleased to chair this month’s Power Sector meeting and to welcome all of you here present.

This is the 26th meeting we are holding and its continuing nature is consistent with our road map of incremental, stable and, eventually, uninterrupted power.

We are on a journey to a destination of promise and eventual prosperity and I use this occasion to salute the efforts and contributions of all those who have brought us this far.

Even if those who were most vocal in condemnation when the situation appeared very dire are now uttering some muted acknowledgment that it has improved, we must continue to draw inspiration from well-meaning and right thinking Nigerians who were gracious enough to publicly acknowledge that:

They are saving some money from Diesel they used to spend for generators;

They are running their generators for fewer hours; and

They are getting comparably more power than before.

It is because of those gracious and well-meaning and right thinking Nigerians that we must dig deeper, work harder and be more determined to improve service delivery.

In order to improve service, we must accept our respective responsibilities and this is important for the purpose of identifying our respective roles and tasks.

At the risk of repetition and for the sake of clarity, let me state that since the privatisation process of 2013, Generation of Power and Distribution, which is supply to homes, offices and markets, factories and consumers generally is now a private sector business.

The exceptions are the NIPP Projects, which the Federal Government is trying to complete and dispose of, and Yola Distribution Company, which the investor surrendered.

Otherwise, the role of Government is to buy Bulk Power through NBET and vest in Distribution Companies to retail to consumers, and to transport the power from the generation companies to the distribution companies.

Government, through NBET and TCN, is executing these tasks by signing Power Purchase Agreements (PPAs) with Prospective Power Generators, where the terms are agreeable.

It is investing in the expansion of the Transmission Capacity through TCN, by building more Substations and expanding existing ones, to improve service capacity where the Consumer demand has increased, and reinforcing the capacity of existing transmission lines.

At the moment, there are over 90 (ninety) TCN projects for transmission expansion, which TCN will be commissioning nationwide in the next few weeks and months. Some are completed and some are nearing completion.

Today, we will commission two of such projects, namely:

a. The expansion of Umuahia sub-station with a new 40MVA transformer to increase transmission capacity from 80 MVA to 120MVA to  serve  Umuahia, Isikwutor, Isukwuato, Bende, Umunneochi, Ikwano, Obowo, Ohafia and parts of Arochukwu  among other places ; and

b. The expansion of Aba Sub-station with a new 60MVA to increase service capacity from 127. 5 MVA to 187.5 MVA to serve Aba North and South, Ukwa East and West, Osisioma, Obioma-Ngwa,  Isi ala Ngwa  and environs.

And these are examples of our commitment to service delivery.

The same is also true of NDPHC, who have over 100 (one hundred) Distribution Projects in various stages of completion, under the NIPP.

Over the next few weeks and months, they will be going out to commission and energize those projects.

They will help the DisCos improve power supply and service delivery to those communities, and I appeal to the DisCos involved to take ownership of these facilities and put them to use.

On my part, I will do my best to keep track of developments and report them to the meeting.

NBET, on its part, must also improve on the timelines it takes to process payment to the DisCos and, in addition, adopt a business orientation of ensuring that it collects as much as it can from the DisCos, who help her to retail the Bulk Power.

The truth is that if NBET cannot pay her bills to the GenCos, the DisCos will have no business because the bulk of their power comes from NBET.

Therefore, the DisCos must, in their own very best interest see NBET as the goose that lays their golden egg, who must not die.

While NBET, TCN and NDPHC act for Government to implement its enabling role, the immediate tasks of the DisCos, in my view, are to:

A) Improve the quality and capacity of the distribution equipment to improve power supply and service to stimulate consumer willingness to pay;

B) Improve collection of revenues without extortion through estimated bills or hostility;

C) Remit what they collect in accordance with the agreement with NBET;

D) Take ownership of the Meter Asset Provider Regulations to improve supply of meters; and

E) Respond to consumer complaints and resolve them in a business-like manner.

On this last matter of consumer complaints, let me say that we are getting a number of them in the ministry in Abuja, from different parts of the country.

They should appropriately go to the DisCos and the private investors who own them.

Government has handed over these assets as a business and no longer collects revenue for power from consumers since the sale of PHCN in 2013.

Those who bought the DisCos and bill consumers must rise up to the responsibility of resolving consumer complaints.

Ladies and Gentlemen, these are some of the things that we all must do to improve service delivery, but they are not exhaustive.

Citizens and communities where we are building transmission lines must help to give us access to land.

I am happy to say that some Governors have responded admirably across party lines.

While it will be invidious of me to try to catalogue what different Governors have done, let me here acknowledge what Governor Okezie Ikpeazu of Abia State has done with his team to help us link a power provider with the traders and consuming business community in Ariaria Market, comprising of 30,000 shops.

Progress is being made on that project, under the joint supervision of Rural Electrification Agency and Abia State Government, and it should be completed this year.

The same is true in Sabon Gari Market in Kano, and Sura market in Lagos.

For these traders, stable power supply for their businesses will no longer be a mirage. It will happen.

It will happen because President Buhari is prepared to work across party lines to serve the ordinary people who work very hard daily and contribute to the task of building Nigeria.

Ladies and Gentlemen, my closing comment in these remarks is to the DisCos.

Get your employees out on the field.

Get them to inspect lines, breakers, transformers and other distribution equipment.

Get them to visit consumers and ask if they have problems, and fix them.

Get them to do preventative maintenance and notify your consumers in advance if it will result in disruptions of service, and state very clearly how long it will take.

I know that it may be difficult, but that is why we took our jobs; to do difficult things and improve people’s lives against the odds.

I know that you can do it, and I wait eagerly with other Nigerians as you roll out to prove us right for vesting these assets in you.

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

Monday 9th April 2018

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Photo News
16 April, 2018

FASHOLA JAPANESE AMBASSADOR KUSAOKE AT THE COMMISSIONING OF 60MVAR CAPACITOR BANK IN ABUJA

Hon Minister of Power Works Housing Mr Babatunde Fashola SAN middle Managing DirectorCEO Transmission Company of NigeriaTCN MrUsman Gur Mohammedleft and Special Guest of Honour Japanese Ambassador to Nigeria Mr Sadanobu Kusaokerightduring the commissioning of 60MVAR Capacitor Bank funded by Japanese International Cooperation Agency JICA at Apo 13233kV Transmission Substation Apo Abuja on Thursday 12 April 2018

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Power News
Photo News
23 April, 2018

FASHOLA RECEIVES THE ASSOCIATION OF INDIGENOUS CONSTRUCTION CONTRACTORS OF NIGERIA

Hon Minister of Power Works Housing Mr Babatunde FasholaSANmiddle andPermanent SecretaryWorks Housing Mr Mohammed Bukar left being presented a plaque by thePresident Association of Indigenous Construction Contractors of Nigeria Otunba Oluwaranti Lekan Osifesoright in appreciation of the transparency and ease of payments to Contractors shortly afterthe Hon Ministers meeting with theAssociation of Indigenous Construction Contractors of NigeriaAICCONat the Ministry of PowerWorks Housing Headquarters MabushiAbuja on Monday 23rd April 2018

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