Nigerians Will Remain Grateful To The Fallen Heroes - Fashola
The Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Babatunde Raji Fashola SAN has Stated that Nigerians will remain ever grateful by remembering the supreme sacrifice paid by our brothers and sister who laid down their lives for the service of our father’s land, Nigeria.
Fashola made the statement, on Monday, in his Mabushi office when he received in audience the National Planning Committee of the Armed Forces Remembrance Day Celebration (AFRDC) 2019 who decorated him and also commended him for his immense contributions during the 2018 Armed Forces Remembrance Day celebration.
While been decorated alongside the Minister of State 1 for Power, Works and Housing, Hon. Mustapha Baba Shehuri, Fashola noted that the seeming peace which is being enjoyed in Nigeria is as a result of commitment and sacrifices of our fallen heroes who fought gallantly and fearlessly to defend the integrity of our father land. He however commended the Nigeria Armed Forces for being combatant ready and for exhibiting professionalism at all times.
The Minister maintained that the Armed Forces Remembrance Day Celebration is an important event which should be made more elaborate by calling on all well-meaning Nigerians, friends and well-wishers to contribute generously to an endowment fund that will cater for the families who lost their beloved ones. He also suggested for an improved production and redesigning of the Emblem so as to be more appealing to the eyes while the basics and the fundamental messages remains.
Earlier , Major Issa Abdulhamid who represented the Chairman , National Planning Committee of the 2019 Armed Forces Remembrance Day Celebration, Major General Edward Chijioke Obi, disclosed that the reason of their visit was to identify with the Ministers in order to raise funds for the families of our fallen heroes and by so doing alleviate their plight and predicaments.
Major Abdulhamid also thanked the Ministers for attending to members of his committee in spite of their busy schedules.
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 Commends Contractors On Quality Of Roads; Advocates For Alternative Funding Sources
The Federal Government has commended contractors handling various road and housing projects in the South South region for doing a good and quality job.
2. The Honourable Minister of State I for Power, Works and Housing, Hon. Mustapha Baba Shehuri expressed satisfaction on the quality of road rehabilitation and construction, as well as the construction of mass houses under the present administration, since its inception three years ago. He added that contractors are now fully back to sites with attendant effects on rejuvenating the economy and enhancing human capital development.
3. Shehuri noted that in tackling infrastructural deficits across the country, there is a dire need for alternative and innovative sources of funding beside the usual annual budgetary allocations, adding that government is presently using the SUKUK (bond) funding option and Public - Private - Partnerships (PPP) to bridge infrastructural gaps in the country.
4. The Minister stated this in Yenagoa, Bayelsa State during a working tour to the South South geopolitical zone to inspect ongoing projects being embarked upon by the Ministry.
5. Earlier in his tour, the Minister inspected the Dualisation of Lokoja – Benin road, Section II: Okene – Auchi, Section III: Auchi – Ehor, as well as Section IV: Ehor – Benin City.
6. He also visited the ongoing Dualisation of Sapele - Ewu road, sections I and II, Sapele - Agbor and Agbor - Ewu, respectively.
7. The Honourable Minister expressed satisfaction in the level and quality of work being carried out, especially in Bayelsa state inspite of the difficult terrain. He said this while inspecting ongoing construction works on Yenegwe – Okaki – Kolo road and the Dualisation of Yenegwe Road Junction – Kolo – Otuoke – Bayelsa Palm road.
8. While in Rivers State, the Federal Controller of Works, Engr. J. O. Fadire briefed the Minister on the progress of work on the Rehabilitation of Enugu – Port Harcourt Expressway, Section IV, Aba - Port Harcourt, as well as the 39 - kilometre Bodo – Bonny road with bridges across Afa, Opobo and Nanabie Creeks, the only one to link the Ogoni people with Bonny Island.
9. Engr. Fadire stated that though there are challenges affecting the pace of work such as the environment, compensation and youth restiveness, he, however, commended the contractor, Messrs Julius Berger (Nig.) Ltd. for the progress made within a short period of time. He further assured the Minister that the project will be delivered as scheduled because funding is not an issue as the major financiers, Messrs NLNG Ltd. is committed.
10. The Minister visited the construction sites of houses under the National Housing Programme (NHP), the second of its kind in the history of the nation since the President Shagari Low Cost Housing of the early 1980s, in Benin City, Edo State, Asaba, Delta State, Uyo, Akwa Ibom State and Calabar, Cross Rivers State. He also inspected the ongoing construction of the Federal Secretariat in Yenegoa, Bayelsa, where the Federal Controller of Housing in the State assured the Minister that the project will be completed by February, next year.
11. Hon. Shehuri noted that with the construction of these affordable Mass Housing Estates across the country, the present government is delivering on its campaign promise of bridging the housing deficit in the country, creating jobs and generating wealth.
12. The Phase I of the NHP projects, according to the Minister, have reached advance stages of completion and will be due for commissioning in the first quarter of next year, stressing that the houses are for all interested illegible Nigerians.
13. The Minister further disclosed that the procurement processes for the second phase of the Programme will soon be concluded and contracts awarded for its commencement in all the states that have provided the Ministry with land.
14. During the course of the Tour of Duty, the Honourable Minister also visited the 132 KVA Transmission Substations at Uyo and Calabar in Akwa Ibom and Cross River States, respectively, where the present Government installed and commissioned an additional 1 * 60 MVA Transformer each, in April.
15. While conducting the Minister round the Uyo Facility, the General Manager, Port Harcourt Region of the Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN), Engr. Solomon Uyouko lamented that out of the 144 megawatts capacity of the transmission infrastructure, the DisCo utilise a meagre 2% daily, leaving most of the generated and transmitted power idle.
16. The story is almost similar at the 132 KVA Transmission Substation in Calabar, where the Acting Assistant General Manager, Engr. Nasiru Bello stated that out of the 192 megawatts transmitted daily, the DisCo evacuates between 20 - 30%.
17. Commenting on the unfortunate state of power distribution infrastructure in the country, Hon. Shehuri said the present scenario is unacceptable, while admonishing the DisCos to up their game or pave way for those with requisite capacities. He further urged Nigerians to start blaming the DisCos for lack of electricity, not the Federal Government.
Remarks By Babatunde Raji Fashola, SAN At The 15th Monthly Power Sector Operators Meeting Held In Jos
I would like to start my opening remarks at this 15th Monthly Power sector meeting by expressing my sympathy, and that of the Electricity Industry represented by the participants at this meeting, to the families of our brothers and sisters who were victims of the unfortunate electrocution accident in Cross Rivers state.
While we pray for the full recovery of the survivors who suffered various forms of injuries, we pray for the peaceful repose of the souls of the departed and may I request that we all rise to observe a moment of silence in honour of our dear departed brothers and sisters.
Whilst the accident is regrettable and the consequences very saddening, they were clearly man-made and avoidable, and if we must learn any lessons from the accident, it is to honestly and truthfully admit that it occurred as a result of non-compliance with laws and regulations. And if there is a time to learn the lesson, there can be no more auspicious moment than now.
Yes, I know that there are difficult challenges and people are struggling to eke out a living. But every business set up in a place of danger is a threat to life,that ultimately defeats the essence of survival.
We must admit as a People that the time to stop cutting corners and violating regulations has come upon us, and the time to change those non-compliant conduct is now, for our own long term benefit.
This is because the situation in Calabar, where a building was located under or close to an electricity line, exists in almost all cities in Nigeria and they are all accidents waiting to happen unless we prevent them.
The burden of preventing them, rests with all of us - Government and the governed.
TCN, the Discos and NEMSA all have roles to play. Their success however will depend on the will, support and collaboration of state governments who have the responsibility for granting construction permits and removing illegal structures.
For the information of the general public and the benefit of the state planning authorities, the applicable regulations for set back and approval of structures are as follows:
* For the 330 KV lines the set back is a total of 50 meters, that is 25 meters on both sides from the centre of the line.
B. For the 132 KV the set back is a total of 30 meters, that is 15 meters on both sides from the centre of the line.
* For the 33 KV lines which come close to our homes the buildings should observe at least 3.5 meters from the closest line and For the 11 KV lines, it is at least a 3-meter set back.
* For 415 volt lines it is 1.5 meters.
* For underground cables they should be buried at least 3 meters below the ground surface.
I know that there may be a debate about whether or not it is fair to relocate those noncompliant structures. Indeed, there will be arguments about whether it was the transmission line that got there before the buildings were erected or vice versa.
My response is that we need to keep people alive and we also need the electricity to improve our lives.
Therefore logic dictates that it is those non-compliant structures that must give way to save lives and to keep electricity on.
It is this logic that ensures there will be no repeat of the Calabar incident and that those who lost their lives would not have done so in vain.
I will now return to the subject and agenda of the meeting proper first by thanking our hosts the owners of the Jos Electricity Distribution Company for hosting us.
I will like to recall your attention to the purpose that I set out to achieve when I mooted the idea of these meetings.
The first was to provide an opportunity for me to visit one power asset or installation at least once a month to familiarize myself with their status, capacity, challenges and requirements in order to enable me make proper decisions without the need to be on the road for days on end.
I can say that this objective for me has been largely achieved. I now know most if not all of the power assets and I can visit and inspect the remainder at my convenience.
The second objective was to provide a monthly meeting for 2 (TWO) representatives each of every power distribution and generation company who could make decisions.
You will have to decide whether this objective has been achieved, because whilst I, the Honorable Minister of State and the Permanent Secretary have endeavored to attend all meetings some of you have sent junior officers who had no powers to bind your company to the meetings.
Nevertheless, I acknowledge that some problems have been solved and we remain committed to solving more as proof of our commitment to enabling businesses.
The third object was to provide a monthly forum where accurate information could be disseminated to the members of the public about what we are doing to resolve the problems of electricity and provide service to them.
I regret to announce that at best this objective is not being fully achieved or at worst is being frustrated by the Distribution Companies who have formed themselves into an Association of Distribution Companies, and have persistently issued statements on issues they either did not present for discussion at the meetings, or which contradicts the communiqué that is jointly agreed and released after each meeting.
The latest of such statements, which are wholly misleading and substantially untrue, because they conceal facts from the public, was issued and published on April 18 in the This Day newspaper.
I will come to the content of the statement shortly; but before doing so, I wish to state very clearly that while the right of association is a constitutional right which you are entitled to exercise, as is the right to free speech, the Ministry of Power, Works and Housing reserves the right to recognize or deal with you as an association.
As head of the Ministry, I regret that I will not deal with an association because the Bureau of Public Enterprises (BPE) acting for the National Council on Privatization (NCP) did not contract the asset sales and performance agreements with an association and neither did Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission grant you licenses as an association.
The Government contracted with 11 (ELEVEN) investors in the distribution companies and the Commission licensed 11 (ELEVEN) distribution companies. Government will continue to relate with you as such, through meetings such as this, or individually to ensure that you discharge your duties to consumers.
I am certain that NBET (the Bulk Trader) and the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC), your regulator, will communicate a similar position to you.
Now I will address some of the issues raised in the statement you issued.
A. Centralization and escrowing of Disco revenues and Regulations to guide your procurement
Under this heading the statement alleges that attempts to escrow your accounts amounted to “nationalization or expropriation” of the Discos, and that attempts to make regulations to guide the pricing of your procurement was at best an intrusion into your business.
What you failed to say in the statement was that the escrow condition was agreed by you with Central Bank as a condition for offering you stabilization funds by way of loans to fund the business you invested in because commercial banks were reluctant to do so.
What you also failed to state was that the loan was at 10% interest which is well below commercial rates.
What you also failed to state is that you also agreed under that arrangement to establish letters of credit to guarantee future payments to NBET and TCN Market Operations, that the agreed commercial terms of the letters of credit authorizes NBET and TCN Market Operations to draw on the letters of credit for any default in payment to them, and that such defaults have occurred and continue to occur.
Any right-thinking person will accept the principle that any person lending you money must have the right to know what you are doing with the money especially when under collection and under payment has been a major feature of many Disco performances.
As far as the regulation on your procurement is concerned, what the public needs to know, which your statement was silent on, is that you are entitled to fully recover your costs and investment by law and this is the function of how tariffs calculated.
Since Government holds 40% of the shares of Discos on behalf of states and local governments and the Nigerian people, it has a duty to ensure that you buy parts and other equipment at reasonable and competitive market prices and not through inflated contracts to relatives as we have seen in some Discos in respect of which NERC will take action in due course and sanction those who are involved.
Declaration of eligible customers
Your statement claims that this provision, which allows certain classes of consumers to deal with the generation company directly is premature and results in extra cost to consumers.
Your statement is silent about the inability of some of your members to invest in feeders and distribution equipment to get power to consumers.
This has led to the emergence of the terminology of load rejection for an economy that does not have enough.
As you rightly acknowledge, the power to declare eligible customers is provided by law, and what it does is to entitle certain types of customers to deal directly with their power provider or Genco once they can bear the cost of constructing the distribution facility in cases that we currently have, where their Discos cannot or will not invest the money to do so.
Your statement does not address the ill-logic of standing in the way of a consumer seeking to get by himself what the service provider Disco has failed or is unable to give them.
As for the alarm and panic which your statement seeks to raise about increased tariff, eligible customer declaration is not compulsory and applies only to those who elect to benefit from it, and they are in a position to decide whether a tariff of over N60 per Kilowatt hour of generation by diesel which they currently use is preferable to investing in a distribution asset that gives them power at a lower tariff.
What is important is that the law is followed, consultations are held with prescribed and decisions are taken.
No Disco has exclusive rights over any area and its ability to retain an area must be consistent with the ability to provide service to the area.
Corporate Governance at Disco level
Your statement alleges that the complaint about lack of corporate governance in the Discos is not as important as other issues like payment of MDA debts, ensuring cost reflective tariffs and so on.
The statement is silent on the efforts being made at these monthly meetings to help you ascertain and prove the debts that you claim that Government owes you.
The statement is silent on your failure to provide up-to-date audited financial statements as required by your licenses.
If a company cannot produce all the records of its transactions and accounts does that not allude to gaps in its governance?
Your statement is silent about the number of times your consumers have contacted the ministry in Abuja about failure of service.
Does the fact that consumers go beyond their service provider who collects the money monthly to complain to Government who does not collect money for their power not call for a look in the mirror about your corporate governance?
If corporate governance was not an issue, your statement will not be silent about plans to improve service to consumers that by supplying them meters and rebuilding the trust that has been damaged by estimated billing.
Good corporate governance will ignite the conscience of an electricity business to first provide meters to its customers before seeking tariff increases so that a metered consumer will at least have the ability to fairly measure from his meter how he is being billed.
In order not to take any more time than I have done, I will only say about the other issues addressed in your statement relating to:
* The N701.9 Billion intervention
* Load rejection
* The Nigerian Electricity Market stabilization fund and;
D. Disco performance under which you allege the power infrastructure you inherited is old and that some progress has been made by you that I am the first to publicly defend your contributions to the sector, but to the extent that consumers are not yet satisfied, you must do more to improve service.
Rather than complain about old infrastructure, I wish to remind you that nobody forced you to buy those assets and you knew what you were buying.
The N701.9 Billion intervention fund is consistent with Government's policy and determination to enable businesses flourish, and it was intended to save the Gencos, the gas companies and their financiers who were providing service, from collapse.
Your statement did not tell members of the public that these companies were not getting paid because you were not remitting all of what you should remit to NBET and the market operator, admittedly because of reasons that are partly and not partly your fault.
As I said when I convened the first of these monthly meetings, it is entirely voluntary and nobody is under compulsion to attend.
As I have done at almost every previous meeting, I will now ask you all again to vote whether we should continue the meeting.
If the outcome of the vote is to discontinue the meetings, this will be my valedictory statement to the meeting.
If the outcome of the vote is to continue the meetings, then I will demand that this meeting must remain the platform for ventilating and resolving issues relating to the sector without prejudice to other meetings that the regulator may convene.
I will also, in that event, issue statements like this as the need arises where any group within the industry seeks to mislead or misrepresent our common actions.
Thank you very much for listening.
Babatunde Raji Fashola, SAN
Honourable Minister of Power, Works and Housing
Monday 8th May 2017
FASHOLA NGIGE INSPECT THE ZIK MAUSOLEUM AND CONFERENCE CENTRE BUILT IN HONOUR OF THE FIRST PRESIDENT OF NIGERIA LATE RT HON NNAMDI AZIKIWE IN ONITSHA ANAMBRA STATE
Hon Minister of Power Works Housing Mr Babatunde Fashola SAN 2nd right Hon Minister of Labour and Employment Dr Chris Ngige 2nd left the Federal Controller of Housing in Anambra State Mr Nwachukwu Achebe and others during the inspection of the completed Zik Mausoleum and Conference Centre built in honour of the first President of Nigeria Late Rt Hon Nnamdi Azikiwe in Onitsha Anambra State on Monday 10th December 2018
FASHOLA INSPECTS THE ONGOING REHABILITATION OF OUTSTANDING SECTIONS OF ONITSHA ENUGU EXPRESSWAY ENUGU AMANSEA STATE BORDER IN ENUGU STATE AND UMUNYA AMAWBIA SECTION IN ANAMBRA STATE
Work in Progress Hon Minister of Power Works Housing Mr Babatunde Fashola SAN right speaking to media men shortly after inspecting the ongoing Rehabilitation of Outstanding Sections of Onitsha Enugu Expressway Enugu Amansea Enugu State border in Enugu State and Umunya Amawbia Section in Anambra State on Monday 10th December 2018