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 21st Monthly Power Sector Operators Meeting Held In Asaba, Delta State On Monday The 13th Of November 2017
Dear members of the Nigerian Electricity Sector Industry:
I welcome you once again to our monthly power meeting, the 21st monthly meeting we have held without fail.
This meeting is being hosted by Benin Electricity Distribution Company in Asaba, the capital of Delta State which falls within the franchise of Benin DISco.
As it has now become customary, I am happy to announce again some progress that we have made in the last one month in our journey of incremental, steady and uninterrupted power.
Within the last month:
A. Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN) expanded transmission capacity in Zaria, Kaduna State and Funtua, Katsina State by adding 40 and 60MVA transformers to the Transmission sub-station to increase the TCN capacity to transmit power in those areas;
B. The Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) completed consultation and issued the Regulations needed to guide the operations and implementation of the eligible customer declaration that I made, to increase our capacity to distribute power;
C. Rural Electrification Agency (REA) completed the guidelines for the operation of the rural electrification fund that will help vulnerable groups and communities gain access to funding to support their electricity development program;
D. The Ministry of Power, Works and Housing, on Friday the 10th November 2017, signed the EPC contract for the Mambilla Hydro power project, over 40 years after the project was first conceived.
By way of explanation the Rural Electrification Fund was created by Section 88 of the Electric Power Sector Reform Act (EPSRA) of 2005 to promote support and provide rural electrification access.
The fund will provide a partial single payment capital subsidy and or technical assistance to eligible private Rural Power Developers, NGOs or communities to invest in options such as hybrid mini grids or solar home systems to scale up rural access to electricity.
Those who will be served are the unserved and underserved Rural Communities.
What they are likely to get are minimum amounts of $10,000 (N3.5m) and Maximum amounts of $300,000. (N106m) or 75% of project cost which ever is less.
The REA will publish details of guidelines and eligibility.
These are only headline items of developments that characterize the progress we are making month after month, especially since March 2017.
They do not represent, or pretend to fully report, all of the progress that is going on at distribution levels, which is highlighted by the New Asaba Mains 2x15MVA injection substation completed and commissioned today by Benin DisCo.
This is expected to improve service to Okwe, Akuebulu, Jarret, Ogbeofu, Osadebe Way, Okwe Housing Estate, Oduke, New Jerusalem, Malbovil and more by reducing load shedding and increasing the hours of supply.
Minute by minute, hour by hour, day by day, week by week and month by month we have not only gained momentum, we are seeing progress that inspires us not to flag, progress that inspires us to continue, because the power problem can be successfully managed by Nigerians.
Not even your worst critic can deny that his experience has improved; even if he is reluctant to acknowledge it, which is his prerogative.
Our work is certainly not driven by a quest for acknowledgment; on the contrary it is driven by our belief in our collective abilities to change what we do not accept.
We remind ourselves that we are not immune from what we do. If we make it work as we intend to, it will also serve us.
We thank well-meaning Nigerians who are gracious to acknowledge that their experience has improved and who ask us to do more. Your honesty inspires us to continue.
Dear members, we all know that the progress this year was due to many things we have done and the peace in the Gas producing regions which enabled us to get the gas stations and the Hydro stations to work together.
Now that the rains are coming to an end we expect some minor, not major, reduction in the production from the Hydro, and we must work now to keep all the gas stations well maintained and operational.
I am sure that we can do this, if there is peace in the gas producing areas and gas supply is not interrupted.
There are other challenges that we must also overcome together:
A. Estimated billing and metering, and in this regard we anxiously await the Regulation from NERC to open up meter supply Business.
B. Similarly I am happy to report that following the approval of the Federal executive Council (FEC) earlier in the year, the dispute over meters supply contract that started since 2003, was resolved by a Court approved settlement on Thursday the 9th day of November 2017.
C. This means that there will be N37 billion available for meter supply by the contractor to DisCos who want to partner and can reach their independent agreement with the contractor. While we await the regulations by NERC, a lot of preparatory work can be done.
D. To the communities in Ondo State around Okitipupa, Onitsha, Nnewi, Ihiala in Anambra State, Mowe in Ogun State, and others across the country, we have not forgotten you.
E. The problems of right of way for 11Kv and 33Kv distribution lines within the states is one that we must overcome together. I have signed letters last week to all 36 state governors and the FCT minister, with copies to each DisCo asking them to support you in protecting and recovering the right of way for your distribution lines so that you can serve their states and residents better.
I will conclude my remarks by referring to the local communities under the Benin DisCo and address the issues that affect you while you host us:
1) Asaba - Benin 330KV line was energized to service on 3rd November 2017. Asaba 330kv substation is now being fed from both Benin and Onitsha. The line also raised the number of circuits from Onitsha to Benin to 3 (THREE).
2) Presently a 40mva 132/33kv mobile transformer is undergoing installation at Auchi with in-house capacity to be commissioned in 2 (TWO) weeks time.
3) A new 330/ 132kv substation is to be constructed at Okpai with a 132kv line from the station to service a proposed 132/33kv substation at Kwale. The procurement of the projects are ongoing.
4) Installation of a new 60mva 132/33kv transformer is to commence at Irrua transmission station any time from now.
On a final note, I am happy to announce that we have recovered $64,630,055:00 from our international customers in Benin Republic and Republic of Niger. The Nigerian Bulk Electricity Trader, (NBET) will work out the modalities for distribution.
Thank you for your attention.
Babatunde Raji Fashola, SAN
Honourable Minister of Power, Works and Housing
Monday 13th November 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