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.
Remarks By Babatunde Raji Fashola, SAN At The 22nd Monthly Power Sector Operators Meeting, Lokoja, Kogi State On Monday, 11th Of December 2017
I welcome you warmly to this monthly meeting holding in Kogi state; which incidentally is our last meeting for the 2017 calendar year.
Therefore, it provides us an opportunity to reflect, not only on what has happened last month but also to assess how far we have progress through the whole year with our road map of incremental, stable and utilmately uninterrupted power.
Please recall that in January 2017, up till March 2017, power production was significantly low, largely as a result of the lack of gas and the disruptions in the Niger Delta.
By collective action of Government and all of you, many of these challenges have either been fully overcome or brought under control and management.
Government has responded with policies and actions like the N701 Billion payment assurance guarantee which has brought confidence to the production side of the power business and resulted in increased power production taking us to an all-time high of over 7,000 MW of power availability.
Government action in Transmission service expansion through TCN, and your feedback about service points where you require service from TCN, has helped to increase Transmission capacity which took us to over 4,000MW grid available power, that was relatively steady.
In the course of the year, slowly but steadily, the incidents of total and partial grid collapses have began to reduce.
Last month, at our meeting in Asaba, we resolved to maintain the progress even though the rains had gone.
I am happy to report that in the last month, reports and feedback confirm that we have surpassed not only our peak of grid supply during the rains, we have surpassed Nigeria’s highest ever peak grid supply.
As at Tuesday 5th of December 2017, the peak supply reached 5,019 MW, which was below the 5,074 MW we achieved in January 2016.
However, on Friday 8th December, 2017, grid supplied power peaked at an all-time high of 5,155 MW, over the January 2016 figure of 5,074 MW.
It is a major milestone in our journey of incremental power and if we keep our feet on the ground and we remain focused and unexcited, we will improve on it, and hopefully get to the second leg of our journey which is steady power.
No one person can claim individual credit for this progress. It is the product of teamwork starting from the leadership provided by President Buhari, many people in Government and in your companies who the public will never see, but all of whom I salute for their service; and of course the hard work by all of you.
While I value the work that you have done, I will implore you to remember that Nigerians expect more and there is still a lot of hard work ahead.
The fact that we can produce over 7,000 MW and can now only put over 5,000 MW on the grid means that we have 2,000 MW of unused power left in a country where many still require power.
This is a new problem that we must resolve.
We must get that 2,000 MW out to the people who need it, because more power is coming in 2018 from places like Azura (450 MW); Katsina wind (10 MW); Gbarain (115 MW); Kashimbilla (40 MW); Afam III (240 MW); Gurara (30 MW); Dadin Kowa (29 MW); and Kaduna (215 MW) to mention a few.
All of these do not include mini-grids and solar systems that are in various stages of development.
This may appear to be a lot of work. Yes, that is one way to see it.
But I see it as a momentous opportunity and privilege to be part of a revolution that will change the course of Nigeria irreversibly for the better.
If you see it this way, you will brace yourself for the exciting journey that lies ahead to solve the problem of lack of meters, estimated billing, and other service related issues.
You will be in a position to put a smile on the faces of Nigerians who trust in our ability as a Government and a team to deliver on their power expectations.
This part of the journey requires us to think about what we can do individually and collectively about how to make it better.
It requires us to jettison our fixed positions and prejudices, it requires us to offer solutions not disagreements and to demonstrate a willingness to try out new things.
Therefore, as we set out on this new phase of our exciting journey permit to address some of the things we must do quickly from now into the new year of 2018 and beyond.
On Thursday, 7 December 2017, I was listening to a radio program where a small business operator was discussing her fish business and the problems she was encountering.
She was one of the many people whose lives President Buhari is committed to changing for the better.
As you would expect, she complained about power supply but she did not say where she was or where her business is located.
This happening at a time when, as I have announced, that we are now able to produce up to 7,000 MW of power and able to transport a similar capacity.
It happened 48 hours after we successfully reached the peak supply of 5,019 MW put on the grid and distributed on 5th December 2017 and before the peak of 5,155MW.
It happened while the mini grid summit, the largest ever attended in Africa, with 600 participants from about 40 countries holding in Abuja, was coming to its closing stages to decide how to deploy mini grid electric supply to those unserved and under-served places and small businesses in Nigeria.
It showed clearly that there is a gulf between the location of the need and the location of supply.
If we can produce 7,000 MW but we can only distribute about 5,000 MW, the problem has changed from lack of power to locating where the need is and designing a solution that takes the balance of 2,000 MW to those who need it, who can use it and who can pay for it.
We must act to build the bridge that connects this gulf of supply and demand.
That bridge is a bridge of data and information about finding the location of the businesses and industries that need power and getting the 2,000 MW that is waiting for deployment to them.
The conversation clearly must change from there is no power, to what needs to be done to connect to the 2,000 MW that is available, and the additional power, which will come into production in 2018.
I have taken the first steps towards collecting the data.
I called the DG of the Lagos Chamber of Commerce and the President of Manufacturers Organisation on the need to meet with them to do some of the following:
Identify the location of their members who need power and do not have it;
Determine the quality and power rating of their equipment as the basis for an energy audit that tells us what each business or manufacturer needs and what the estate or industrial cluster will need;
Identify the closest connection point to the company from they can be connected to part of that unused 2000 MW power.
D. Determine the cost of the upgrade and equipment and how it can be financed on a win-win basis between the Genco - Disco and the factory or cluster.
This is the action that my team and I are convinced is necessary to connect supply with demand.
We want to supply power, but everybody must help us by letting us know where they are, especially the big consumers.
This is what the eligible customer seeks to do.
We should stop resisting it and instead embrace it to see what it offers in terms of problem solving.
Policy initiatives such as this take time to settle and they do not come without challenges.
But we cannot understand the challenges, talk less of overcoming them without first trying.
I expect that very early in the New Year, we will be able to achieve a collaboration with Manufacturers Association of Nigeria and other Chambers of Commerce and Industry to jointly take this momentous step.
Thank you for your attention.
Babatunde Raji Fashola, SAN
Honourable Minister of Power, Works and Housing
Monday 11th December 2017
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