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16 December, 2017

Programme To Provide Uninterrupted Power Supply For University Students, Not A  Mere ‘Streetlighting’ Project - Ministry

The Ministry of Power, Works and Housing wishes to restate that the Energizing Education Programme (EEP) of the Federal Government is aimed at rejuvenating the nation’s education system by providing uninterrupted power supply to a total of 37 federal universities and 7 university teaching hospitals.

This clarification has become necessary in the light of the misrepresentation of the Programme as a mere “solar –powered streetlight project in nine universities across the country valued at N10bn,” by the Punch newspaper while purportedly reporting the proceedings of the 2018 Budget Defense Meeting of the Senate Committee on Power, Steel Development and Metallurgy attended by the Managing Director of the Rural Electrification Agency on Thursday, 14th December 2017.

The Punch Newspaper in a report, which first appeared in its Online version , claimed that the Senate “criticized a solar-powered streetlight project” thereby deliberately misrepresenting the Energizing Education Programme (EEP).Far from being a “streetlight” project, the EEP in fact seeks to rejuvenate the education system through electrifying a total of 37 federal universities and 7 university teaching hospitals, with Independent Power Plants (IPPS), which will boost effective learning, innovation and advancement through uninterrupted power supply.

In addition to helping to extend electrification to rural and underserved areas in which the institutions are located ultimately, the Programme will enable the institutions benefit from world-class training schools, for the training of students in renewable energy, as well as provide optimized security, for the safety and well being of students and staff, through the installation of streetlights on campus which is only a small component of the Project.

Although implementation of this programme is led by the power sector, through the Rural Electrification Agency, the Vice Chancellors and the Ministry of Education have signed onto this as a critical investment in the education sector.

The deliberate attempt to water down the significant impact this Programme will have on the enhanced education of Nigerian students is outright unpatriotic as it seeks to prevent the socio-economic development of our nation.

In addition to the open and transparent coverage of the milestones attained preparatory to the take off of the Project like the Meetings and signing of the Memorandum of Understanding between the REA and the first set of participating tertiary institutions, the Ministry holds itself ready to provide further details to the media and any other interested entities to stem any further misrepresentation.

HAND OVER OF PRESIDENTIAL LODGE TO LASG : FG KEEPING ITS PROMISE AS DONE WITH BODO-BONNY BRIDGE, MAMBILLA HYDRO POWER PROJECT - FASHOLA * It s in fulfilment of commitment and promise by the President of Change   Minister * Ambode expresses appreciation to Buhari, Osinbajo, Fashola * Says asset will be turned into National Monument, Tourist Centre The administration of President Muhammadu Buhari, on Tuesday further improved its rating as one that keeps its promises as the Federal Government signed and exchanged the documents that finally vests the ownership of the historic Presidential Lodge on the Marina in Central Lagos to the Lagos State Government almost two decades after the process began. In a brief but impressive ceremony at the Conference Hall of the Ministry of Power Works and Housing, the Minister, Mr. Babatunde Fashola SAN, said the event was taking place in fulfilment of the promise made by President Muhammadu Buhari at inception adding that the formal handover had brought to an end a journey that had lasted almost two decades. Reiterating that successive Governments of Lagos State had made strong representations to the Federal Government for the handover of the asset and others like it to the State, Fashola added, “This is a long journey that has come to an end. It is a journey that has taken almost two decades during which the Lagos State Government has asked that the ownership of this property be vested in it”. The Minister, who noted that events in the past had made it seem as if the handover would not happen, declared, “But the President of Change, the Promise Keeper, has made it possible”, adding that while the Lagos State Government has already taken possession, the event of the day was to formally sign and hand over documents that would establish the rights of the State Government to the ownership of the property. Congratulating the State Government on the occasion, Fashola, who also congratulated Governor Akinwumni Ambode for the 2018 Trillion Budget which he recently presented to the State House of Assembly, said the event was “consistent with President Buhari’s promise to respond to those many other things that had been left undone”. The Minister, who named such things that had been left undone to include the Bodo-Bonny Bridge, that waited for over 20 years and the Mambilla Hydro Power Project added that like Bodo and Bonny “which has brought hope to the people of Bonny” and the Mambilla Power Project to the people of Taraba, Lagos State had become a beneficiary of ä promise kept”. Responding, Governor Ambode acknowledged the spirited efforts made by the Minister, who was his immediate predecessor in Government, when he was Governor of the State, to get the ownership of the property back to Lagos adding that the State Government’s intention was to turn the asset to a National Monument as National Centre for Leadership and also a Tourist Centre. Expressing delight at “this historic day”, Ambode, who was accompanied by some members of his Cabinet, added, “This day actually finalizes the intention of Mr President to actually bring positive change to Lagos. We want to sincerely appreciate Mr. President, Muhammadu Buhari who has graciously approved that the Presidential Lodge be released to Lagos State”. The Governor also expressed appreciation to the Vice President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo and the Chief of Staff to the President, Mallam Abba Kyari as well as everyone that played a role towards the realisation of the handover. “We have been trying to get this particular asset back to Lagos, just like the Minister had said, for the last 20 years”, the Governor said, describing it as both delightful and significant that “on this particular day, it is my Predecessor, and now the Minister of Power Works and Housing, who is now actually doing the final handing over of the property for which he, as Governor, fought hard to get back to Lagos State”. Also describing as, “actually gratifying” that the Minister was the one “positioned to happily do the documentation and handing over of the asset to Lagos State”, Ambode said it was “a sign of greater things and greater collaborations between Lagos State and the Federal Government”, adding, “We believe strongly that this singular gesture will improve the economy of not only Lagos State but that of the whole country”.  Also present at the event were the Minister of State, Hon Mustapha Baba Shehuri, the Permanent Secretary Works and Housing, represented by the Director Finance and Accounts, Mr Ibrahim Tumsah, the Director Highways (Planning and Development), Engineer Uzo Chukwunwike , Director, Human Resources, Mrs Motunrayo Alimi, Director, Legal Services, Mrs Justina Shuwa, other Directors, Special advisers and other top functionaries in the Ministry as well as members of the Lagos State Executive Council such as the Secretary to the State Government, Mr Tunji Bello and Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Mr Steve Ayorinde  among others.
15 December, 2017
We Have Clearest Pathway to Reform Power Sector – VP Osinbajo *  World Bank’s Senior Director praises FG for Ease of Business Ranking Feat The Buhari administration has now devised a clear pathway to achieving its power sector reform objectives, according to Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, SAN. The Vice President stated this today at the State House in Abuja when he met with a delegation of officials from the World Bank (WB) and the International Finance Corporation (IFC) led by Mr. Riccardo Puliti, Senior Director of the Bank’s Global Energy Practice. Speaking to the delegation at the meeting which had in attendance the Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Mr Babatunde Fashola and the Minister of Finance, Mrs Kemi Adeosun, the Vice President assured “we are completely committed to ensuring that we play our part in the arrangement and we think that this possibly one of the clearest pathways in a long time” He lauded the partnership between the Federal Government and the World Bank team for the commitment and support shown to the implementation of the Power sector recovery programme. Prof. Osinbajo noted that the partnership with the World Bank has “helped us a great deal with the timelines and milestones that have to be achieved and also a great deal in refining our own approach to the entire reform process”. During his remarks, the leader of the delegation and a Senior Director on Global Energy Practice at the World Bank, Mr Riccardo Puliti expressed satisfaction with Federal Government’s cooperation and commitment to the reform of the power sector. He noted that the partnership between the World Bank and the Federal Government is a model which would add great value to the power sector in Nigeria. Mr Puliti equally praised the Buhari Presidency for the remarkable feat achieved in the ease of business ranking released recently by the World Bank, noting that it is a major milestone for the country’s economic reform programme. Meanwhile, the Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Mr. Fashola told journalists after the meeting, that the delegation was in the State House to brief the Vice President on the progress made by the Federal Government working with the World Bank on the Power Sector Recovery Programme. He assured that the reform programme is intended to solve various problems confronting the sector and would make the sector effective, as well as make it responsive to consumers and customers who will be ultimate beneficiaries of the on-going reform programme.
28 November, 2017
FG’s Massive Investment In Construction, A Pinnacle To Economic Growth And Recovery The Vice President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, SAN, has stated that the Administration of President Muhammadu Buhari adopted one of the most effective strategies to drag the nation’s economy out of the woes of recession through massive spending and investment in the construction industry. Professor Osinbajo noted that the present government understands very clearly the critical role the construction sector plays in a nation’s industrial and economic development. He added that ‘’apart from providing houses for the citizens and roads to facilitate societal integration and movement of goods, the construction sector creates formation and wealth in the economy.’’ According to him, the multiplier effect and employment generated by the on-going construction of National Housing Programme, covering all the 36 states of the federation and FCT is as a result of massive spending on construction by government. Speaking at the 27th Biennial Conference and General Meeting of the Nigerian Institute of Quantity Surveyors in Abuja, the Vice President, represented by the Honourable Minister of State II for Power, Works and Housing, Surv. Suleiman Hassan Zarma, mnis, said the theme of the conference: ‘’Developing the Economy for Sustainable Growth- The Construction Industry as an Effective Stimulant’’ is a key component of the Change Agenda of Mr President. He commended the President and members of the Institute for demonstrating responsibilities to contemporary issues relating to government for the growth and development of Nigeria, adding that Government will sustain the collaborative efforts with key stakeholders like the professionals, contractors and manufacturers to bring about the much desired transformation in the industry. Earlier in her opening remarks, the President of the Nigerian Institute of Quantity Surveyors (NIQS), QS Mercy Iyortyer stated that the choice of this year’s theme is part of the Institute’s ongoing efforts in contributing to the change mantra of the present administration in the area of sustainable economic growth and national development. QS Iyortyer on behalf of the Institute commended the government of the day for taking the bull by the horn in getting the country out of recession thereby reducing dependency on oil revenues and diversifying the economy by harnessing other industries such as agriculture, manufacturing and solid mineral as well as tackling other macroeconomic factors. The president of NIQS appealed to the government to consider reformations in the sector by constituting a Construction Industry Board or Council comprising key players in the Industry who will advise, plan and execute reforms that will galvanize the Industry into the needed stimulant for sustainable economic development and growth. There were keynote addresses by the FCT Minister, Muhammad Musa Bello, past Presidents of NIQS and other major stakeholders in the sector that graced the occasion. The meeting is expected to issue a communiqué at the end conference which will be forwarded to the appropriate authority for necessary action.
17 November, 2017
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4 December, 2017

National Housing Programme: In Tandem with the LOCAL CONTENT POLICY

The National Housing Programme (NHP) Project Team Leader in Enugu State, Architect. Tina Eneh, has revealed that the Policy on local content of the Federal Government has started yielding result, saying that except the locks fixed on the doors, all other materials , as well as, personnel at the Enugu site of NHP, are locally sourced.

The Team Leader, said this in Enugu while receiving the Minister of State I for Power, Works and Housing, Hon Mustapha Baba Shehuri, who was on working tour of  sites under the National Housing Programme (NHP) in the South- East geo-political zone.

Earlier in Owerri, the Imo State Capital, the Minister had called on the Governor, Owelle Rochas Okorocha, to intervene in a land dispute between the Federal Government and the Federal University of Technology, (FUTO) ,which is threatening the scheduled delivery of houses under the NHP, in the State.

He stated that a total number of 68 houses are presently under construction, which comprises 16 units of three-bedroom flats, 28 two-bedrooms and a three-storey condominium block of 4 units of one-bedroom, 16 of two-bedroom and 4 of three-bedroom.

The Minister, having expressed his concern over the slow pace of work at the site in Owerri, promised that government will pay the contractors their money as at when due, while urging the contractors to put in more efforts in order to deliver within agreed time frame.

Similarly, in Anambra State, the Minister assured the government and the good people of the State of  Federal Government’s readiness to complete all on-going projects including those started by  previous Administrations.

The Minister also appreciated the government and the people of Anambra for making land available for the project, adding that the NHP, in the State, comprises of 3 blocks of 3 storey condominium block of 24 units (1bedroom-4 units, 2 bedroom-18units, 3bedroom -4units) He reiterated that the project being one of the campaign promises of the present Administration, the Federal Government will do all that is necessary to provide Nigerians with affordable houses and gainful employment.

In his Welcome Address, the Governor of Anambra State who was represented by the Secretary to the State Government, Prof Solo Osita Chukwulobelu, expressed his gratitude to the Federal Government for finding Anambra worthy of this laudable project, promising that the state government would do the needful in providing accessible road to the construction site. He enjoined the Federal Government not to abandon the project as it will add value to the economic prosperity of the state, adding  that the commercial activities of the host community will be highly enhanced.

While in Abakaliki, Ebonyi State, Hon. Shehuri urged the state Governor, Egnr. David Umahi to expedient action on the release of Letters of Exchange for National Housing Programme’s land and that of the Federal Secretariat.

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30 November, 2017

Keynote Speech By Babatunde Raji Fashola, SAN At United Nations Sponsored FRSC Capacity Building For Implementation Of The United Nations Road Safety Legal Instruments

I welcome this opportunity to be your Keynote Speaker at the United Nations-sponsored Capacity Building Program for the Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC).

This opportunity provides me with a very important public platform to share my thoughts about the direction in which I think FRSC should be heading, and what we, the Government of Nigeria, should be doing to enable her towards that direction.

I will also use this opportunity to address some assumptions and explode some myths about road traffic accidents in Nigeria, and what we should be doing to reduce the incidents of road traffic accidents, and the attendant loss of life, limb and property.

The technical capacity which the facilitators from the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe Road Safety Secretariat will offer the FRSC is only one side of the capacity issues that FRSC needs.

The other side of FRSC’s needs is in the nature of equipment, tools, infrastructure and financial resources necessary to give them a visible and responsive presence on all Federal Highways in Nigeria.

Thankfully, the Corps Marshal, Mr. Boboye Oyeyemi, who is very passionate about his work, has responded to my request to him to submit an inventory of needs like bikes, patrol vehicles, and medical equipment that can help save lives. This is in the region of N16 billion in the first instance, and I have directed our Ministry to send this to the office of the Secretary to the Government, who supervises the FRSC on behalf of the Presidency, to whom FRSC reports.

I made a case for support for this funding to the Senate Committee on FERMA when I appeared before them recently, and not only are they well-disposed to the idea of appropriately resourcing FRSC, they expressly committed to taking action to sensitise their colleagues to the necessity.

This is as it should be, because if security and safety of lives and property is a most important duty, agencies like FRSC, who are our first responders at scenes of road accidents must be well-equipped to respond within the Medical Golden Hour, to ensure that accidents, when they inevitably occur, do not result in loss of life.

Not only must FRSC therefore have the necessary complement of vehicles and bikes to track down over-speeding drivers and bring them within control, they must have Mobile Intensive Care Units on wheels (not mere ambulances), with doctors, nurses, paramedics and other medical personnel at strategic points nationwide, to administer First Aid , and other life saving measures until victims are successfully moved to proper hospitals.

Really and truly, investing in at least one helicopter with medical evacuation capacity and well-trained staff for FRSC in each geo-political zone, if it is just to save one Nigerian life (which may be anybody), is consistent with one of the 3 (three) pillars of the Economic Recovery and Growth Plan (ERGP) which is “To invest in our people”.

While there is a lot more that can be said about building the capacity of FRSC, I will leave the details to the FRSC. I think the most important point has been made: we must invest to save lives.

The other point, which lies at the heart of FRSC’s existence, the UN capacity building program, and everything that FRSC stands for, is Road Safety, Road Traffic Accidents, the causes, and what we must do more of to reduce the incidents.

First, let me speak to the conditions of our roads.
I will classify them into 3 (three) broad categories, namely:

A. Those that have outlived their design life;
B. Those that are within their design life; and
C. Those that are just being built.

For those that have outlived their design life, they should have been replaced and rebuilt, but they have not. Roads like the Calabar-Itu-Odukpani fall within this category.

They were built in the 1970s, and not only have they outlived their design life, they have had to deal with tonnage and capacities well beyond what their design intended.

Can such a road be truly expected to stay intact and deliver a pleasant motoring experience? Put differently, can anyone of us today wear the same clothes we wore as teenagers and expect it to fit and not rip apart?

Thankfully, these type of roads are now receiving attention under President Buhari, as the Calabar-Itu-Odukpani, Gombe-Biu, Ilorin-Jebba and other roads that fall within this category are being awarded for reconstruction, along with the third class of roads which are just being built (like Oyo-Ogbomosho Bye pass, Loko-Oweto Bridge, 2nd Niger Bridge, Kaduna Bye pass, Kano Bye pass), where contractors have returned to site, after demobilizing for non-payment for up to 3 years.

As for the second category of roads, which are within their design life, they have been victims of overloading, right of way abuse, and lack of maintenance as depreciation sets in.

Members of the public must know that roads are depreciating assets. They do not last forever, and require regular maintenance and, with time, replacement, if they are to serve their intended purpose.

These factors of abuse and lack of maintenance combine to reduce the quality of our motoring experience on the roads. With this background, I will now pose the questions: How bad are our roads?

Some have repeatedly said, “All the roads are bad.”

That is not true.

We have good parts, and bad parts caused by abuse and lack of maintenance.

Can you sleep in your office suit and shirts, refuse to wash and iron them, and really expect them to look good on you?

A recent survey that I directed should be conducted produced instructive and educating results about the degree and extent of bad portions of our roads.

Otta-Abeokuta road in Ogun State, with a length of 64km, has failures at:

A.     KM 20 + 775 to 23+275 (2,500 metres) at Sango-Otta flyover to Tipper Garage;
B.     KM 24+275 to 24+725 (550 metres) at Owode to Ifo;
C.     KM 44+113 to 53+147 (9,034 metres) at Papalanto to Itori

A total failure length of 12,084 m out of 64,000 metres, which is 18.75%

While 1 meter of failure is not acceptable, and we are mobilizing the contractor back to this road shortly after 4 years without a budget, the point is that 18.75% out of 64KM does not support the conclusion that “all” of the road is bad.

A similar survey on the Asaba-bound sections and Benin-bound sections which I asked to be carried out on the Benin-Asaba Dual Carriageway last week, also showed that the total aggregate of potholes and failures on the Asaba-bound section amounts to 3.02% of the total road length, while the total aggregate of potholes and failures on the Benin-bound section is 1.51%.

We are preparing remedial action to restore these sections.

The same is true of the Asaba-Illa-Ebu-Edo State border road, which is one of 44 roads across Nigeria and the 6 (six) geo-political zones where remedial work will start in a few weeks time once we conclude procurement.

These roads are the inherited legacy of road abuse and lack of maintenance, which President Buhari intends to change. This is why President Buhari has recently reconstituted the management of FERMA, the statutory agency responsible for maintenance of our roads.

They assumed office in the first week of October 2017, and from my interactions with the team, I am optimistic that Nigerians will experience change on their roads when they begin to implement their maintenance plan, which they constantly review with the Ministry.

Many of us, some of whom have not used the roads, readily describe our roads as a Death Trap. Really?

I undertook a tour of our roads earlier this year to see things for myself. We went by road and travelled in two coaster buses, driving for at least twelve hours everyday. We left at 8a.m daily and drove until 8p.m at the least. On one occasion, we drove for 18 hours, from 8a.m to 2a.m the following day.

We drove through different sections of roads that had outlived their design life, those that are within their design life with failures in some cases, and those that are currently under construction, where the drive was smooth.

We were not trapped, and we did not die. The only incident we had as we traversed 34 states (with Jigawa and Kebbi left to tour) was a tyre change on the Numan-Jalingo road. We drove at a maximum of 100km per hour. We had no accident.

How many people remember that there is a speed limit on our roads, in spite of FRSC’s efforts to introduce speed-limiting devices? How many people know or remember that there is a braking distance in driving?

FRSC will be 30 years next year, and they have acquired enormous experience and data that we must use if we are to reduce road traffic accidents and save lives.

Every month, my office receives a copy of the road traffic incidents Report across the country from FRSC, which I read, and direct that the Ministry respond to the findings and recommendations as they relate to road conditions, and causes of accidents.

Between June 2015 and August 2017, the report and data gathered by FRSC reveals indisputably that the biggest causes of Road Traffic Accidents on our roads are as follows.

A.     Speed violation - 26.63%
B.     Loss of Control - 23.04%
C.     Dangerous Driving – 9.37%
D.     Sign light violation – 9.57%
E.     Tyre Burst – 6.25%
F.     Wrongful overtaking – 5.92%
G.     Bad road – 0.55%

Of course there are other causes like Brake failure, sleeping on the steering, poor weather, overloading, which are not indexed above because they are not necessary to make the point that bad roads are not the primary cause of accidents.

Based on this data collated by FRSC, whose sector commanders in all 36 states and the FCT are our first responders at accident scenes, can anybody still make the argument that bad roads are the cause of Road Traffic Accidents? It seems not.

However, while I am willing to agree that bad roads may contribute, an unlicensed driver (and, presumably, an incompetent one); a driver with bad sight (without corrective glasses); an over-speeding driver; one who does not know the appropriate pressure to inflate his tyre; or who does not know that he should not overtake at a bend, does not help his own safety or that of the other road users.

Poor sight and these other factors must be addressed as we saw recently at the accident scene that occurred on Kara Bridge in Lagos, where there was no pothole and people still died in an accident.

Ladies and Gentlemen, I will now conclude by restating some of the things that we need to do, which are easy, in order to reduce incidents of Road Traffic Accidents and loss of lives.

As we prepare for the high volume of traffic that will characterize end of year movement for Christmas, FRSC has been mandated to undertake random checks for drivers without driver’s license, who must be taken off the roads to reduce the threat they constitute to themselves and other road users.

FRSC will also take steps to curtail over-speeding and reduce incidents caused by over-speeding. They will also, within the limit of their resources, ensure observance of traffic rules, restrict drivers to their lanes, reduce incidents of wrongful overtaking, and, hopefully, reduce accidents.

This undertaking of protecting lives and preventing loss of property is not that of FRSC alone. All of us, as road users, employers, have a role to play.

It will help us if those who own transport businesses play their part by ensuring that all their drivers undertake mandatory eye test and get corrective glasses to help their vision, improve their judgment, and reduce driver errors.

All my own drivers have been subjected to those tests and so have I. I do not need my glasses to read.

I need them to see better because I am short-sighted.

All those who drive over long distances must invest in their own safety and get enough rest before undertaking long journeys; and where necessary, fleet operators must recruit relief drivers.

Finally, in all that FRSC has to do, I have met with all the sector commanders and impressed upon them the ‘S’ in their name is the most important reason for their existence.

It stands for ‘Safety’.

They must remember that whatever they do must be in aid of safety and not contrary to it.

I wish you all a safe motoring experience and a Merry Christmas, as our Government continues to improve safety on our roads and give you a better motoring experience.

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

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Photo News
16 December, 2017


Managing Director Nigerian Bulk Electricity Trading PlcNBET Dr Marilyn Amobileft and Chief Executive Officer Kingline Development Nigeria Limited Mr Sean Kimright during the Execution of the Power Purchase Agreement for a 550MW Gasfired Power Project in Ondo State between NBET and Kingline Development Nigeria Limited at the Ministry of Power Works Housing Headquarters Mabushi Abuja on Thursday 14th December 2017

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Power News
Photo News
12 December, 2017


Hon Minister of PowerWorks Housing Mr Babatunde FasholaSAN2nd right Minister of State SurvSuleiman Zarma Hassan2nd left Permanent Secretary Power Louis Edozeinleft and Governor of Kogi State Mr Yahya Bellorightduring the 22ndMonthly Meeting with Power Sector Operatorshosted bytheKogi State Government and Geregu Power Plc at the Geregu Power 1 Plc ItobeAjaokuta Expressway Ajaokuta Kogi Stateon Monday 11th December 2017

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