FG Denies Plans To Stop Payment Of Shortfalls To GENCOS
Following a report in a national daily newspaper, the Ministry of Power, Works and Housing Wednesday denied that the Federal Government has stopped the payment of shortfalls to Electricity Generation Companies (GenCos), describing the report as both false and unfounded.
The report, contained in the Wednesday edition of Punch Online media, held that the Federal Government on Tuesday ordered power generation companies to find customers and sell their power directly to the identified customers as, according to the report, “plans are on the way for it to ultimately exit the monthly payments to Gencos to help cushion the revenue shortfalls on the books of the power generators as a result of the poor remittances from the power distributors”.
The report titled, “FG to stop payment of shortfalls to Gencos” and attributed to the Permanent Secretary (Power) in the Ministry, Engr. Louis Edozien, emanated from the remarks of the Permanent Secretary at a Workshop organized by the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) on Tuesday, 12th February, 2019 on the Eligible Customer Regulation.
But in a Statement signed by the Permanent Secretary in person, the Ministry asserted that at no point in his remarks did the Permanent Secretary state that "FGN is to stop payment of shortfalls to Gencos", pointing out that the Payment Assurance Programme of the Federal Government that authorized the Nigerian Bulk Electricity Trader (NBET) to guarantee payment for any power it has contracted from generation companies on the national grid had not been reversed.
The Statement read in part, “The Payment Assurance Programme of the Federal Government of Nigeria that authorized NBET to borrow N701.9 billion to guarantee payment for any power it has contracted from generation companies on the national grid and their gas and other suppliers has been in operation since January 2017. The amount NBET is authorized to borrow is not yet fully drawn. The Federal Executive Council (FEC) approved the programme. FEC has not taken any decision to stop it. FEC is the appropriate authority to comment on the Programme’s tenure and borrowing ceiling”.
In order to set the records straight, the Statement clarified that at the workshop organized by NERC on the Eligible Customer Regulation, the Permanent Secretary urged generation companies to more aggressively take advantage of the regulation to sell the power they can generate, of which 2,000MW is now stranded, to Eligible Customers who need it and are willing and able to pay for it.
Insisting that it would be better than waiting for NBET to pay for it or to guarantee it, for which NBET needs support from the Federal Government due to shortfalls in payment by distribution companies, the Permanent Secretary decried that though the Minister issued the policy direction to NERC that gave rise to the regulation in May 2017, and NERC has issued the regulation, none of the interested consumers and their generation company suppliers have been given licenses to buy and sell power as Eligible Customers. He encouraged NERC to accelerate and simplify the licensing process.
He further stated that the Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN) should continue to support the regulation by making targeted investments in the national grid, as needed to service specific contracts with generation companies and Eligible Customers to transmit the power, with penalties for failure to transmit, adding that TCN could finance such targeted investments with the expected revenue from such bilateral transmission contracts.
Encouraging electricity distribution companies (DisCos) to embrace the policy, the Permanent Secretary argued that if the DisCos were satisfying the power supply needs of their consumers of bulk power adequately such consumers would have no reason to generate the power by themselves or to want to become Eligible Customers adding that by embracing the regulation, the DisCos could partner with investors and generation companies to build new distribution infrastructure to better serve specific paying customers.
“They can buy power directly from generation companies and contract with TCN to deliver it, and give premium service to selected customers or customer groups”, the Permanent Secretary said adding that in such cases the distribution company must be willing and able to guarantee the payment for the power they buy, “because the shortfalls in payment which characterizes their power purchases from NBET, would not be possible in such bilateral contracts”.
The Permanent Secretary then enjoined dissatisfied consumers to take advantage of the Customer Care platforms set up by all the distribution companies in compliance with the provisions of their license, and escalate unresolved complaints to the NERC Consumer f Forum offices, as provided for in regulations, emphasizing that dissatisfied consumers could take advantage of the Mini-Grid Regulation, NERC's up-coming Franchising Regulation and the Eligible Customer Regulation to get premium power that meets their needs.
The Workshop revealed that the Ministry has received forty four (44) expressions of interest with a total demand for 600MW from underserved and unserved consumers desirous of becoming Eligible Customers. Of these, 14 have submitted license applications to NERC, two have fulfilled all NERC's conditions and expect to be licensed imminently.
The Ministry enjoins the public to discountenance the false report, and requests that the news outlets purveying such fake news cease and desist.
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
FG To Erring Contractors, Up Your Games Or Face Sanctions
The Zonal Director of the National Housing Programme in the North- West, Federal Ministry of Power, Works and Housing, Architect Joseph Toluhi, has urged erring contractors handling the on going construction of housing project in Kebbi State to step up their games or face necessary sanctions.
He noted that contractors, who fails to perform diligently on the job will have to give way for others to be engaged, adding that relevant clauses in the contract agreement can be invoke for appropriate sanctions.
This was contained in a statement by the Zonal Director on Wednesday in Biriin Kebbi during the North-West inspection tour to the project site.
Toluhi stated that the federal government is committed to provide decent and affordable housing to its teeming population and reduce the housing deficit in the country, adding that the NHP project is designed for the medium income earners who have the affordable means to acquire these houses across the nation.
The National Housing Programme, Kebbi State consist of 76 housing units of 1bedroom, 2 bedrooms and 3 bedrooms semi-detached bungalows, are being handled by 19 indigenous contractors.
In a similar development, the zonal inspection team led by Toluhi also visited the National Housing Programme site in Sokoto State to have on-the-spot assessment of the on going construction works which has reached 95 per cent completion stage.
“I must say that I am pleased and happy with the level of progress of work on this site because we have a very high level of competition. Most of the building here have been completed”. He noted that out of 20 contractors engaged, 12 of them have already been completed while four are yet to be roofed.
According to him, “this means, we are ready to move into these buildings. The infrastructure such as water supply, road arterial and water supply have reached a very high level of completion”.
The Team Leader in Sokoto State, Mr lliya Kastuda also confirmed that construction work has reached 95 percent completion, adding that there is provision of worship centers, school, market to give necessary comfort and police post to ensure adequate security within the housing estate.
The zonal Director and other officials of the Ministry inspected a similar project in Gusau, Zamfara State, which is put at 65% completion stage. He however expressed disappointment in the poor quality of job done, stressing that government will not tolerate sub-standard jobs from any contractor.
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
COMMISSIONED 60KW GRID CONNECTED HYBRID SOLAR PV MINI GRID POWER PROJECT IN TORANKAWA VILLAGE YABO LGA SOKOTO STATE
The recently commissioned 60KW Grid Connected Hybrid Solar PV Mini Grid Power project in Torankawa village Yabo LGA Sokoto State Initiated by the Ministry of Power Works and Housing Power Sector under the Renewable Energy Micro Utility REMU Programme which was commissioned on Tuesday 12th February 2019
FASHOLA ADDRESSES THE PRESS ON THE NATIONAL PUBLIC BUILDINGS MAINTENANCE POLICY RECENTLY APPROVED BY THE FEDERAL EXECUTIVE COUNCIL IN ABUJA
Hon Minister of Power Works Housing Mr Babatunde Fashola SAN 2nd left Permanent Secretary Works Housing Mr Mohammed Bukar 2nd right Chairman Committee on Housing House of Representatives Hon Mahmud Mohammed right Deputy Chairman Committee on Works Hon Dr Abubakar Kannike left shortly after the Hon Minister s Press Briefing on the National Public Building Maintenance Policy recently approved by the Federal Executive Council at the Ministry of Power Works Housing Headquarters Mabushi Abuja on Thursday 31st January 2019