FEDERAL MINISTRY OF POWER, WORKS & HOUSING

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PLEASE COMPLETE THE GOOD WORKS WE’VE STARTED - FASOLA CHARGES STAFF

May 28, 2019

The Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Babatunde Raji Fashola, SAN, has urged the management and staff of his Ministry to try as much as possible and complete the outstanding works he did not finish from 11th of November he resumed office till his exit on 28th May 2019. He also enjoined them not to undermine President Mohammadu Buhari’s quest to deliver quality service to Nigerians in his next level to improve and move the economy forward.

Fashola gave the charge today in his Ministry’s Headquarters, Abuja during the valedictory Meeting the Management Staff held in his honour and that of the Minister of State for Power, Works and Housing, Honourable Mustapha Baba Shehuri.

Fasola and Shehuri respectively commended the Permanent Secretary (Works and Housing Sector), Alhaji Mohammed Bukar, his counterpart, (Power Sector), Engr. Louis Edozien, the Management and Staff of the Ministry for the co-operation and support given to them during their tenure as Ministers.

While appealing for forgiveness from Staff whose toes were stepped on in the course of carrying out their duties, the Ministers appealed for extension of support and co-operation to anyone that might be appointed as the next Minister, stressing that government is a continuum.

The various Directors and Heads of Agencies in the Ministry who delivered goodwill messages saluted Fashola and Shehuri for their team spirit, doggedness, resourcefulness and innovativeness in carrying out the mandate of the Ministry.

Earlier, the Permanent Secretary Federal Ministry of Power, Works and Housing (Works and Housing), Alhaji Mohammed Bukar extoled both Fashola and Shehuri for superintending and piloting the affairs of the Ministry in the most efficient manner which ushered in an increase and unprecedented increase in the budgetary allocation of the Ministry.

In his closing remark, Engr. Louis Edozien stated that the two Ministers had left legacies and indelible marks on the Ministry of Power, Works and Housing so difficult and challenging to surpass in the near future. He prayed that the Almighty God will continue to guide and strengthen them in their future endeavours.

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FG TO ERRING CONTRACTORS, UP YOUR GAMES OR FACE SANCTIONS

February 16, 2019

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.

 

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FG ROLLS OUT 76 HOUSING UNITS IN KOGI STATE

February 15, 2019

Engr. Valentine Nwaimo, Zonal Director, National Housing Programme (NHP) North Central zone, Federal Ministry of Power Works and Housing, made this
known when the Ministry embarked on a Media Tour of all the Housing units within the Programme in the North central zone to ascertain the level of progress of work.

Engr. Nwaimo said 76 units have been fully completed within the estate, its road infrastructure was at a 100% completion, Electricity 93% while Water supply was at 53% Nevertheless, the whole building works would be delivered by March, 2019. This was part of Governments’ efforts at ameliorating housing deficits experienced within the country, he said.

On how to access the buildings, Engr. Nwaimo said the Ministry will make public modalities for purchase as soon as it was finalized. While the 2nd Phase of the project would kick off as soon as necessary paper works have gone through Due Process and land allocations have been concluded, he added.

Speaking with Pressmen, Arc. Hajara Enesi Team Leader/ Controller of NHP, Kogi State described the opportunities made available to the indigenes in the area of artisanry, food and water vending, supply of building materials etc.

Arc Enesi  stated that over 5000  Nigerians were engaged for skilled and unskilled labour while the project lasted. She said the ripple effect has brought development to the whole area which was known for nefarious activities before now and in turn advanced the economy as a whole.

Arc. Enesi added that all materials used on the project were locally sourced within the state in line with the Presidential Executive Order 5 meant to improve local content and free up job opportunities for Nigerians.

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MINISTER GUARANTEES CONTINUOUS FUNDING OF SECOND NIGER BRIDGE CONSTRUCTION

February 11, 2019

3. Hon. Shehuri said the Federal Government will stop at nothing to ensure that funds are released, as at when due, to the contractor in order to  accomplish the project for ease of vehicular traffic and socio - economic enhancement.

4. The Minister revealed that since the commencement of the Main Works for the construction of this national infrastructure in 2017, after the completion of Early Works, Phases I - IV, there has been no delay in payments. This is evident in the appreciable progress achieved so far.

5. On the issue of compensation, the Minister appealed to the affected communities to co-operate with the Federal Government as the project, when eventually completed, would be of benefit to them, in particular, and Nigerians, as a whole.

6. Speaking earlier, the Federal  Controller of Works, Anambra State, Engr. Ajani Adeyemo established the fact that the Ministry has already paid compensations to the tune of N3.5Billion for claims on the project corridor. He also disclosed that compensation was paid from Km 23 - 34.9 of the project,  though there were still pockets of claims coming in from time to time. These  outstanding claims have already been forwarded to the Ministry for consideration and settlement, he added.

7. Engr. Adeyemo, while allaying the fears of Nigerians on the scheduled delivery of the project, further explained that the 2nd Niger Bridge, alongside two other Federal Government projects, are specially funded from the National Sovereign Investments Fund (NSIF) and as such will not experience paucity of funding. The Federal Controller, gladly, informed the Minister that, while the completion period for the contract is 42 months, it is presently at 17%  within 4 months.

8. The Project Director, Julius Berger (Nigeria) Limited, Mr Frederick Weiser stated that his Company has received payment on work done thus far and the communities have been co-operating as well. The major threat to the project, according to him, is the River Niger itself. He believes the river was going to rise between 10m to 12m as the rainy season was fast approaching. This, he said, calls for intensive work, 24 hours of the day, seven days a week to ensure it progresses before the River level rises.

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FG REOPENS APAPA/ LEVENTIS BRIDGE, PLEDGES REPAIRS ON THIRD MAINLAND BRIDGE

February 7, 2019

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) recalls that the bridge was closed for emergency repairs in August 2016 after a portion of the bridge deck damaged by fire caved in.

Some of the reinforcement rods on top of the bridge’s centre had become exposed as the asphalt covering them had been eroded.

It was re-opened to light traffic after the emergency repairs and later shut in 2017.

The permanent repairs began in 2018 after Julius Berger, the contractor on the project, imported some materials to aid the repairs.

The 40-year-old bridge links Nigeria’s premier port to both the Lagos Mainland and Island.

While performing the tape cutting ceremony to open the bridge, the Director Highways, South West, Mr Funsho Adebiyi said that the opening would ease gridlock on the Apapa axis.

“It is my pleasure to open this bridge in the name of God the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Today we are having a new bridge as well as a new access road. So, hopefully gridlock will end here,” he said.

He said that government was going to take drastic action against all forms of abuses that would cause damage to bridges in Lagos.

The Federal Controller of Works in Lagos, Mr Adedamola Kuti said that the bridge was damaged in 2016 due to “activities of some miscreants living under the bridge’’.

“When the contractor came on board and removed the slab, that is the deck that got damaged, we discovered that the beams carrying the weight of the slab itself had been affected by the fire.

“So, there was no way we could go ahead with the replacement of the slab, other than for us to start from the beams. So we had to produce new distress beams, and then, of course, the slabs.

“And we have also done the surfacing of the other adjoining slab close to the damaged one,’’ he said.

He thanked residents for their patience during the period of closure of the bridge and pledged Federal Government’s commitment to continued maintenance of all the roads and bridges in Lagos.

He listed bridges that had been repaired to include the Marine Beach Bridge, Coconut Bridge and Ijora 7Up Bridge.

He added that work was ongoing on the Alaka Bridge in Surulere and the Third Mainland Bridge.

He further explained that repair works were ongoing on Lagos-Ota-Abeokuta, Lagos-Ibadan, Ikorodu-Sagamu Expressways and some other federal roads in the metropolise.

Kuti said that materials for total rehabilitation of the Third Mainland bridge had been imported and that permanent repair works would soon begin on some damaged expansion joints alongside the ongoing rehabilitation of the bridge.

“We have completed the Adeniji Adele bound, we are working on the Mainland bound. So the repair works on the Third Mainland will start very soon because our materials are on the way,’’ he said.

Speaking on the newly installed beams on the Apapa/Leventis Bridge, Mr Thomas Balzuweit, Julius Berger’s Regional Manager, said that experts were used to get “a comprehensive design study to get high quality materials“.

Balzuweit added that various quality control checks were done before installing the beams to ensure structural integrity of the bridge to cater for the huge vehicular traffic on the axis.

Alhaji Wasiu Olowuntoye, President, Container Truck Owners Association, who led a delegation of truck drivers to witness the opening, said that the hardship to truck owners would be minimized.

“We are happy today because our members have suffered so much, they spend several days and sometimes weeks trying to go in or out of the ports but with this bridge opened, there will be good for traffic flow,’’ he said.

Source: (NAN)

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INFRASTRUCTURE- KEY TO A SUSTAINABLE ECONOMY AND DEVELOPMENT- FASHOLA

February 4, 2019

The Honourable Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Babatunde Raji Fashola SAN, has reiterated President Buhari’s commitment to renew and expand the Nigerian economy through the provision of critical infrastructure, which is the gateway to a sustainable economy and development across the globe.

The Minister said this when he received members of Federation of Construction Industry in Nigeria (FOCI) who paid him a courtesy call in his Office today.

Fashola  emphasized that all gratitude should go to President Buhari who merged the three ministries namely; Power, Works and Housing so as to create rapid development  in infrastructural growth of the nation as well as maximum impact on the economy.

He explained that the Ministry is almost completing 34 pilot National Housing programme in the States that have provided land for the take-off of the programme, adding that rehabilitation and reconstruction of Federal Secretariats are also going on in Bayelsa, Anambra, Zamfara and Nasarawa States.

The Minister stated that power generation has increased from 4, 000 megawatts in 2015 to 8, 000 megawatts in 2018. He noted that Nigerians now spend less on fueling of generators and plants because of frequent and improved electricity supply nationwide.

He said that President Buhari’s led Administration is rebuilding and expanding the Nigeria economy policy decision through building of infrastructure, adding that the Federal Government recognizes the efforts of the Association in helping to galvanized the quarry and mining industry due to the volume of construction going on in the built environment and the road sector.

He said “’When I first met you, there were complains of non- payment for three to four years before the coming of this Administration. But I can confidently say there is not one year since the beginning of this Administration that contractors have not been paid, the money move round the economy.”

Fashola also explained that Executive Order 5 seeks to achieve local participation for Nigerians and Nigerian companies, stressing that the Ministry is already compiling list of Nigerians working on sites, arguing that government is set to protect its citizens as is a global practice.

He further explained that the latest Executive Order 7 signed by the President is a driver to Industrialization, adding that this will expand construction work and manufacturing jobs that will evidently create more jobs and improve the economy.

The Minister noted that the essence of these Executive Orders is government’s commitment to create next level jobs, employment, infrastructure and manufacturing.

Earlier, the Director General of the association and leader of the delegation, Engr. Mrs Olubunmi Adekoje appreciate the Ministry for the support given to the Association and timely intervention in the area of finance to boost the activities of the industry.

In attendance was the Permanent Secretary of Power, Works and Housing, (Work and Housing) Muhammed Bukar and Directors from the Ministry

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FG’S  MAINTENANCE POLICY IS TO EMPOWER NIGERIANS AT THE BASE OF THE ECONOMIC PYRAMID, ENA ...

February 1, 2019

* As Minister addresses the Press on Infrastructure Maintenance Framework for Public Buildings recently approved by FEC
* Says Buhari’s signing law to protect people living with disability from discrimination, exclusion also offers job opportunities to redesign, remodel, retrofit assets nationwide

The Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Mr. Babatunde Fashola SAN, Thursday in Abuja, briefed the Press on the recently approved  National Infrastructure Maintenance Framework saying it is a choice of the Buhari Administration to drive the small business sector, skill utilization and to move the economy from growth without jobs to growth driven by new jobs that reward services.

Addressing newsmen at a conference, attended also by Heads of Ministries, Departments and Agencies as well as Parastatals and Members of the National Assembly, among other stakeholders, Fashola said, however, that the Framework, which applies to public buildings for now, would ultimately extend to other public assets like roads, bridges, rail, power installations and other infrastructure of a public nature.

The Minister, who said the Framework was approved on January 9, 2018, explained that the Federal Executive Council’s approval meant that “after decades of agonizing about lack of maintenance, the Buhari government has chosen to act”, describing it as “policy decision of enormous profundity”, as, according to him, “the records do not indicate that any such policy decision has previously been taken at the federal level”.

He said the decision to approve the Framework was provoked by a memorandum from the Ministry of Power, Works and Housing that challenged the conventional thinking that "Nigeria does not have a maintenance culture", adding, “The memorandum argued and FEC agreed, that maintenance of infrastructure, whether public or private, is not a cultural issue but an economic one”.

According to him, the memorandum showed that in the built industry, only about 23 per cent of the workforce was employed by Design (6%), Construction (15%) and Governance (2%), while the remaining 77 per cent were employed by Maintenance and Operation adding, “the Council was persuaded to accept that while skill training and vocational centres exist almost nationwide for training artisans like plumbers, painters, bricklayers, welders, tilers, electricians etc., there is a lack of National policy that makes the practice of these vocations economically worthwhile on a sustainable basis”.

The Minister said available data showed that many people trained in vocations such as Plumbing, Carpentry, Tiling, Masonry, Painting, Bricklaying, Welding, Electrical installations etc often resort to other vocations in which they do not have training such as riding motorcycles and tricycles in order to make a living.

Giving details on what the Framework entails, Fashola said the first step would be to conduct Site Assessment of the affected buildings involving measurements, valuation and data collation, all of which, he noted, require the employment of people to carry out the process thereby creating jobs even from the very first step, adding that it would also provide for credible data such as lettable space, value of the property and so on “which could form the basis of the economic decisions or even actions in emergency periods”.

The next step, the Minister said, would be Condition Assessment which would also, according to him, require people to be trained and employed to assess the conditions of affected buildings from foundation to roof and for mechanical and electrical sustainability for purpose adding that the maintenance programme would then be developed from the assessments as to what jobs would need to be done to restore the building to fitness while award of maintenance contract, also based on the assessments, would then be following the existing procurement law.

Citing an example, Fashola, who said the Ministry carried out a pilot programme on nine buildings comprising a Federal Government College, a Federal Hospital, a Federal Court building, a federal prison, a federal secretariat and four office buildings belonging to the Ministry, pointed out that in one of the sample buildings leading up to the memorandum to FEC, out of 63 air-conditioning units, 11 required replacement or repairs while windows, doors, tiles, roofing materials, plastering works were also identified that required replacement or repair.

And in another building, he said, out of about 30 toilets or so, about 12 were not functional, providing jobs for those in the Plumbing business, pointing out that buildings owned by parastatals, airports and others were yet to be reached where such jobs were likely waiting for skilled workers.

“This provides a window of opportunity for small businesses who are into facility management and for young graduates of building technicians, architecture, engineering and even technical schools to register for these contracts”, he said adding that successful bidders would then be in a position to employ artisans to execute the maintenance contract they have won in the bid.

Fashola said each Ministry, Department and Agency (MDA) would be responsible for its own procurement for its own building after training of their designated personnel by the staff of the Ministry of Power, Works and Housing who would guide them through the framework approved by the Federal Executive Council, adding that because data is critical to the programme, “each MDA will file data with the Ministry of Power, Works and Housing who will centrally manage data and use it to advise government and brief the public, while the MDA reserves the right to keep its own data”.

Reiterating that the implementation of the Framework would start with public buildings, the Minister, who noted that the award of contracts would not only drive employment for artisans but the demand of manufacturing and suppliers of parts like wood, pipes, paint, tiles, electrical fittings, windows and tools, in addition to those of  cleaning items like soap, detergent, polish, varnish etc, declared, “This is the economy that we see ahead as we set out to implement this approval as we progress”.

On the cost of implementation, Fashola said the pilot survey showed that the nine buildings would cost about N40.3 billion to reconstruct, while it would cost N922 million per annum to maintain them, which is about 2.3 per cent of cost of replacement, adding that if maintenance was pursued the buildings could last their lifespan of between 50 and 60 years and instead of using N40 billion to replace existing buildings it could be used to expand and provide more buildings for the nation’s growing population.

“Just these nine buildings will require about 400 people to keep them well maintained a year. For example, the school will require at least 30 people to be employed per school for maintenance; and the federal government owns 104 Unity schools which potentially will require 3,120 maintenance staff. So you can see the economy we see when this extends to all our hospitals, all our courts, all our prisons, all our police stations, all our universities and covers all public buildings”, the Minister said.

Comparing the new economic initiative to the Lagos Green Economy, Fashola declared, “This is an economic choice by this government to drive the small business sector, to drive skill utilization and to move the economy from growth without jobs to growth driven by new jobs that reward services”.

The Minister also disclosed that President Buhari also in January signed the law to protect people living with disability from discrimination and exclusion thereby “raising the bar for construction, services and a new way of life for Nigerians”, adding, “We have five years to comply, and this requires that all our buildings must have lifts and well-designed ramps for people confined to their wheelchairs, not hills they cannot use on their own.

“We must modify all our toilets with support for our brothers and sisters who are living with disabilities, as we must build sidewalks for them to use our roads without colliding with vehicles. Our airports and parking lots in buildings must become compliant with international best practice by providing corridors and facilities for people living with disabilities at arrival and departure points, while a minimum number of slots clearly designated must be provided for vehicles owned by people living with disabilities”, he further explained adding that this was another opportunity for jobs to re-design, to re-model, to retrofit all assets nationwide to comply with the law as signed by Mr President.

“This is Nigeria that beckons upon us from today and the immediate future. A Nigeria where public infrastructure works because they are maintained; a Nigeria where everybody has a secure sense of belonging because they can use their skills and labour to earn a decent income and retain their dignity, a Nigeria where government cares for the people living with disability by providing the basic minimum facilities that gives them a sense of belonging to demonstrate their ability”, the Minister said.

Pointing out that Government has taken the leadership role to provide the policy and the how to make the present Nigeria possible, Fashola urged all and sundry to take ownership of the platform of opportunities and make it work. “It is now your responsibility and mine to take ownership of this platform of opportunities and make it work for all of us”, he said.

Responding to questions during the interactive session with the media and other stakeholders, Fashola explained that the maintenance contracts that would emerge from the implementation of the framework would be funded through appropriation adding that the members of the National Assembly were invited to also take note of the Framework and work out modalities in the annual budgets.

On how to engage artisans and technicians who are already in government and those outside governments, the Minister explained that the Head of the Civil Service of the Federation would provide clarification adding that there are certain levels of entry that government has dispensed with and some of the artisans fall within those entry levels while the services are now contracted out.

Also responding to the question on whether or not there would be sanctions for non-compliance, Fashola said the implementation would be largely by voluntary compliance adding that just as an individual would not wait for sanction before repairing broken down domestic utilities, MDAs would not need sanctions before embarking on maintenance of their facilities.

Earlier in their goodwill remarks, Head of the Civil Service of the Federation who was represented at the occasion and the Director General, National Orientation Agency hailed the Framework as highly commendable in a country where maintenance culture had been jettisoned for decades while the Chairmen, House Committees on Works and Housing in the National Assembly, Hon. Dr. Abubakar Kannike and Hon. Mahmud Mohammed respectively, commended the Ministry for coming up with the Maintenance initiative pledging to play their role in ensuring that it gets consideration in the nation’s annual appropriations.

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SPEECH DELIVERED BY H.E, BABATUNDE RAJI FASHOLA, SAN AT PRESS BRIEFING ON NATIONAL INFRASTRUCTURE MA ...

February 1, 2019

Let me start with the National Maintenance Framework on Public Buildings and first point out that for now, this only applies to public buildings but will ultimately extend to other public assets like roads, bridges, rail, power installations and other infrastructure of a public nature.

What the FEC approval means is that after decades of agonizing about lack of maintenance, the Buhari government has chosen to act.

This is policy decision of enormous profundity because the records do not indicate that any such policy decision has previously been taken at the federal level.

The decision was provoked by a memorandum from the Ministry of Power, Works and Housing that challenged the conventional thinking that "Nigeria does not have a maintenance culture".

The memorandum argued and FEC agreed, that maintenance of infrastructure whether public or private, is not a cultural issue but an economic one.

The memorandum showed that in the built industry, only about 23% of the workforce is employed by Design (6%) and Construction (15%), Governance (2%) , while the remaining 77% are employed by Maintenance and operation.

Council was persuaded to accept that while skill training and vocational centres exist almost nationwide for training artisans like plumbers, painters, bricklayers, welders, tilers, electricians etc., there is a lack of National policy that makes the practice of these vocations economically worthwhile on a sustainable basis.

The available data showed that many people trained in these vocations often resort to earning a living by resorting to other vocations in which they do not have a training, such as riding motor-cycles and tri-cycles in order to make a living.

Therefore, the federal government’s decision on maintenance is an economic one, to empower Nigerians at the base of the economic pyramid who are artisans, those at the middle of the pyramid who own small businesses, SMEs who are involved in manufacturing of building and allied materials.

What it entails is that:

* Site assessment of the affected buildings will have to be conducted, measurement are to be taken, valuation conducted and data is collated. This on its own requires the employment of people to carry out this process and therefore jobs will be created from the very first step.

* It will also provide for credible data such as lettable space, value of the property and so on which can form the basis of the economic decisions or even actions in emergency periods.

* Condition assessment is the next step that requires people to be trained and employed to assess the conditions of affected buildings from foundation to roof and for mechanical and electrical sustainability for purpose.

* In one of our sample buildings leading up to the memorandum to FEC, we found out that out of 63 air-conditioning units, 11 required replacement or repairs. We also identified windows, doors, tiles, roofing materials, plastering works that required replacement or repair.

* The maintenance program is then developed from these assessments as to what jobs need to be done to restore the building to fitness, what needs to be replaced and what needs to be repaired.

* This is the basis for the award of the maintenance contract following the existing procurement law.

* This provides a window of opportunity for small businesses who are into facility management and for young graduates of building tech, architecture, engineering and even technical schools to register for these contracts.

* Successful bidders are then in a position to employ artisans to execute the maintenance contract they have won in the bid.

* Each ministry, department and agency will be responsible for its own procurement for its own building  after training of their designated personnel by the staff of the Ministry of Power, Works and Housing who will guide them through the framework approved by FEC.

* Because data is critical to the programme, each MDA will file data with the Ministry of Power, Works and Housing who will centrally manage data and use it to advise government and brief the public, while the MDA reserves the right to keep its own data.

* The award of contracts will not only drive employment for artisans, it will drive demand of manufacturing and suppliers of parts like wood, pipes, paint, tiles, electrical fittings, windows and tools, in addition to those of  cleaning items like soap, detergent, polish, varnish etc.

This is the economy that we see ahead as we set out to implement this approval starting from buildings, and as I said, and extending to roads, rail, bridges etc. as we progress.

Our pilot programme covered 9 buildings  comprising a Federal government college, a Federal Hospital,  a Federal Court building, a federal prison, a federal secretariat and our office buildings at our headquarters here in Mabushi.

The pilot survey showed that these 9 (Nine) buildings will cost N40.3 billion to reconstruct, while it will cost N922.8m per annum to maintain them which is about   2.3 % of the cost of replacement.

Just these 9 (NINE) buildings will require about 448 people to keep them well maintained a year. For example, the school will require at least 30 people to be employed per school for maintenance; and the federal government owns 104 Unity schools which potentially will require 30 X 104 = 3,120.

So you can see the economy we see when this extends to all our hospitals, all our courts, all our prisons, all our police stations, all our universities and covers all public buildings.

This is an economic choice by this government to drive the small business sector, to drive skill utilization and to move the economy from growth without jobs to growth driven by new jobs that reward services.

But as if this was not enough, President Buhari raised the bar for construction, services and a new way of life for Nigerians when he signed the law to protect people living with disability from discrimination and exclusion.

We have 5 years to comply, and this requires that all our buildings must have lifts and ramps. (By this I mean well designed ramps for people confined to their wheelchairs, not hills they cannot use on their own).

We must modify all our toilets with support for our brothers and sisters who are living with disabilities, as we must build sidewalks for them to use our roads without colliding with vehicles.

Our airports and parking lots in buildings must become compliant with international best practice by providing corridors and facilities for people living with disabilities at arrival and departure points, while a minimum number of slots clearly designated must be provided for vehicles owned by people living with disabilities.

This is another opportunity for jobs to re-design, to re-model, to retrofit all our assets nationwide to comply with the law as signed by Mr President.

Ladies and gentlemen, this is the Nigeria that beckons upon us from today and the immediate future. A Nigeria where public infrastructure works because they are maintained.

A Nigeria where everybody has a secure sense of belonging because they can use their skills and labour to earn a decent income and retain their dignity.

A Nigeria where government cares for the people living with disability by providing the basic minimum facilities that gives them a sense of belonging to demonstrate their ability.

Government has taken the leadership role to provide the policy and the how to make this Nigeria possible.

It is now your responsibility and mine to take ownership of this platform of opportunities and make it work for all of us.

Thank you for listening.

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

Thursday 31st January 2019

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FG FLAGS OFF MULTI BILLION NAIRA 73KM REHABILITATION OF ODUKPANI-IKOM-OGOJA ROAD IN CROSS RIVER

January 29, 2019

Towards the realization of the Ministry’s mandate by Mr President to complete and rehabilitate all exiting road projects in the country,   the Honourable Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Babatunde Raji Fashola, SAN, formally flagged off the Rehabilitation of 73 kilometres single carriage way stretching from Odukpani Junction through Ikom to Ogoja in Cross River State at the contract sum of over 14 billion naira awarded to an indigenous contractor, Messer Sermatech Construction Company.

Fashola, who was represented by the Minister of State in the Ministry, Hon. Mustapha Baba-Shehuri, said that the present administration is investing heavily in the provision of critical infrastructure with at least one on-going road project per State in Nigeria.

The Minister stated that the project completion period is within twenty-four months, adding that the federal highway links the industrial and agricultural towns of Akamkpa, Biase and Yakurr. The frequent plying of the 44 year old road by industrialists and haulage of agricultural produce has led to its deterioration with shoulders completely eroded’’.

Earlier in his speech, the Chief Host and Executive Governor of Cross River State, Senator Ben Ayande appreciated President Buhari for his support and goodwill to the state regardless of political differences, adding that the state is enjoying the dividends of democracy by partnering with the Federal Government.

Representing the Governor at the occasion, the Commissioner for Works in the state, Engr. Dane Osim-Asu noted that one of the major policy thrusts of Cross River state government is industrialization, noting that this cannot be achieved without good and motorable roads which will create a nexus between these two to grow the economy of the state.

The Director, Highways, Construction and Rehabilitations from the Ministry, Engr. Yemi Oguntominiyi, in his opening address commended President Buhari for his commitment to the project and support to the Ministry in the course of the procurement process and eventual award of the contract by the Federal Executive Council in November, 2018.

Oguntominiyi further stated that the completion of the rehabilitation works on the corridor will, no doubt, reduce vehicle operating costs; improve travel time, reduce road accidents and also stimulate the socio-economic growth and general security of towns and cities in the state.

The Minister and his entourage also inspected some completed and ongoing rehabilitation projects along the road corridor of Calabar-Ikom-Ogoja federal highway led by the Federal Controller of Works in the state, Mr Bassey Nsentip

 

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HON. MUSTAPHA SHEHURI WARNS CONTRACTORS AGAINST DELAY IN PROJECT DELIVERY

January 15, 2019

2. Hon. Baba Shehuri gave the warning on Saturday, while on an inspection tour of Federal Government's ongoing road projects in Adamawa State.
He expressed dismay over the slow pace of work by the contractor, Messrs AG Vision (Nigeria) Limited. Baba Shehuri described the road as a vital artery to the socio-economic development of area, the entire State and beyond, hence the need for urgency in its delivery.

3. The contract, which commenced in May, 2017 with a 24 - month completion period, is presently at a dismal 15.10% completion, which the Minister described as unacceptable. 

4. According to the Contractor, the major cause for the delay is insecurity  occasioned by activities of Boko Haram Insurgents in the area and inadequate funding. Hon. Baba Shehuri, who did not hide his displeasure with the Contractor, agreed that though the project was facing some security and funding challenges, he reminded him of the Federal Government's commitment to ensuring security of lives and properties, while the Ministry is making frantic efforts to ensure that  certificates are being paid. 

5. The Minister urged the Contractor to expedite action on the project by improving on its capacities, stressing that the project is already running out of time. While also commending the communities along the corridor and road users alike for their cooperation and understanding, he reiterated the resolve of the President Muhammadu Buhari's Administration towards the provision of critical infrastructure.

6. In his briefing on the project earlier, the Federal Controller of Works, Adamawa State, Engr. Salihu Abubakar revealed that the  contract sum is N21.8 billion, the Contractor fully mobilised to site in 2017 and presently has a total of N6.3 billion unpaid certificates.

7. In the same vein, Hon. Baba Shehuri has summoned the Contractor handling the rehabilitation of Mararrabar Mubi - Michika - Madagali road, Messrs Rhas (Nigeria) Limited to his Office for apathy to work. The Minister, who was visibly livid with anger, expressed his dissatisfaction with the Contractor for abandoning the project despite being fully mobilised. He added that  based on the tempo of work on the site, the fate of this all - important project is already jeopardised.

8. The Minister also used the opportunity to express misgivings over claims by the Contractor that the project was initially delayed due to non - availability of working drawings.

9. According to the Federal Controller, the 90 - kilometre road with 3 bridges, which were distroyed by Boko Haram Insurgents in 2014, has a completion period of 18 months, which had already elapsed and the project at a mere 1.7% completion.

10. However, the case of the Contractor handling the rehabilitation of Cham - Numan road project in Gombe and Adamawa States is different, as the Minister was highly impressed with the level of  work achieved thus far.  Eventhough the Minister  applauded the pace of project, he still urged for increased tempo, while assuring the prompt release of funds to meet the project's timeline.

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FG DENIES PLANS TO STOP PAYMENT OF SHORTFALLS TO GENCOS

February 20, 2019

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.

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HON. SHEHURI GIVES DIRECTIVES ON SMOOTH, SAFE PASSAGE

February 10, 2019

3. The Minister also inspected the on going rehabilitation of outstanding section of Onitsha - Enugu Expressway (Amansea - Enugu) in Enugu State, where he assured the Contractor, Messrs RCC (Nigeria) Limited that funds would be made available when the necessary processes are completed.

4.The Minister enjoined the contractor to speed up the tempo of work in order to deliver the projects as at the time due without prejudice to engineering designs and specifications.

5. While briefing the Minister on the two projects, earlier, the Federal Controller of Works, Enugu State, Engr. Femi Oyekanmi stated  that remarkable progress has been made on the 9th Mile - Orokam road compared to how it was in December 2018, promising that the Ministerial directive will be carried out to the latter.

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NO NATION DEVELOPS WITHOUT BUILDING ITS INFRASTRUCTURE - FASHOLA

February 6, 2019

Fashola disclosed this late yesterday, when he received in audience the Management, 18 facilitators and 57 participants of the Nigerian Institute of Transport Technology (NITT), Zaria, who paid him a courtesy call in his Mabushi office.

He commended the effort of NITT for including Transport Planning and Logistic works in their curriculum which is useful in the chain of production and distribution of goods and services in Nigeria, adding that the present administration needs the services of the institute and that Mr President is providing a very useful laboratory material for members of the institute to thrive.

The Minister described members of NITT as stakeholders and partners in the wheel of progress and development of the Nigeria economy, noting that ‘’ the elements of national development and prosperity have come together at the appropriate time’’. He therefore enjoined members of NITT to support President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration to achieve his mandate of providing the basic needed infrastructure for the overall benefit of Nigerians.

Earlier, the Acting Director General and Chief Executive of NITT, Dr Abimbola Odumosu stated on behalf of his institute that the reason for their visit was essentially to seek for partnership with the Federal Ministry of Power, Works and Housing in the development of manpower as regards transport and logistics which is NITT’s  area of specialisation, stating that collaboration between NITT and the Ministry will provide the nation with the needed impetus for sustainable growth and development.

Dr Abimbola disclosed that NITT was established in 1986 as a Management Development Institution to among other things provide management training for personnel employed in all modes of transport and Serves as a Transport Intelligence Centre for monitoring transport and logistics system and to conduct research in all modes of transport in Nigeria

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FG COMMISSIONS THE ZIK MAUSOLEUM: SAYS EDIFICE WILL PROMOTE NATIONALISM, PATRIOTISM AND PUBLIC SERVI ...

January 25, 2019

The President was in Onitsha, Anambra State to officially commission the Nnamdi Azikiwe Mausoleum (The Zik Mausoleum), a public building of national and international significance and a monument to honour the late Nigeria’s first President and a nationalist, Dr Nnamdi Azikiwe. 

In his speech, President Buhari noted that the building will serve the purpose of promoting nationalism, patriotism and public service while urging Nigerians to emulate the best values that the foremost nationalist espoused in knowledge, service and leadership. He said the late legend will be remembered for his comradeship, brotherhood and engaging politics.

President Buhari also noted that “rather than Zik choosing to be a local, he chose to be a nationalistic, he embraced all the territory of Nigeria”, adding that his legacies will remain evergreen.

Earlier in his welcome address, the Honourable Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Babatunde Raji Fashola, expressed with delight that the completion and commissioning of the Zik Mausoleum was a dream come true and mission accomplished.

He said that Mr President’s mandate to the Ministry to complete as many abandoned and uncompleted federal projects is a reality today, but regretted that the national monument and tribute to patriotism was subordinated to private interests that did not benefit the Nigerian economy as a result of corruption.

Fashola stated that for the period of 19 years (between 1996 to 2015) when the Zik Mausoleum project was conceived, oil income and proceeds accrued to Nigeria were in the hundreds billions of United States Dollars, yet there was no significant progress on the building until this administration came into power.

The Minister however added that the construction period of the project generated economy activities in the state by engaging the services of suppliers, transporters, drivers, food vendors, bricklayers, carpenters, welders and ordinary hardworking Nigerians whose livelihood was taken away by corruption. 

Speaking at the occasion, the Executive Governor of Anambra State, Willie Obiano thanked President Muhammadu Buhari for delivering the monument which successive governments lacked the political will to complete.

Obiano stated that it is indeed remarkable that 23 years after the Great Zik of Africa died, he’s finally given a befitting mausoleum as a resting place, adding that the Great Owelle of Onitsha has now joined leaders like Kwanme Nkrumah of Ghana and Julius Nyerere of Tanzania and others whose mausoleum have become a major tourist destinations in Africa.

He appealed to President Buhari to declare Zik’s birthday, November 16, a National Day in Nigeria, nothing that this will be in keeping with the honour and dignity conferred on other great and illustrious leaders in Africa.

Appreciating the Federal Government on behalf of the Ziks’ family, one of the Sons of Dr Azikiwe, Ambassador Emeka Azikiwe, described the monument as a wonderful legacy initiated in honour and recognition of his father’s immense contributions to the nation’s independence, democracy and national development. ‘’As we celebrate the commissioning of the Zik Mausoleum and Conference centre, the historic legacies left by him are numerous and vital to the revitalization of the development potentials in Africa’’.

The Zik Mausoleum is located in the city centre of Onitsha, comprising of the main Mausoleum and the Administrative/Conference building. Construction works commenced in 1997 and was conceived to serve as a national monument and a tourism centre in memory of the late legend and foremost Nationalist globally recognized as the Father of African Nationalism.

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MAMBILA POWER PROJECT : THE FICTIONAL ALLEGATIONS OF LENO ADESANYA  CONTRADICT LOGIC

January 14, 2019

The attention of the Hon. Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Mr Babatunde Fashola SAN has been drawn to the spurious and unfounded allegations of Leno Adesanya with regards to the ongoing Mambilla Power Project.

It has therefore become necessary to debunk the lies and resist the unjustified and malicious attack on the person of the Hon. Minister, Mr Babatunde Fashola SAN and save the innocent members of the public from the rather misleading and offensive publication widely circulating in various media platforms, authored and sponsored by Mr Adesanya  in order to damage good name and  reputation of the Minister to  claim   undue  credit and attract unwarranted   attention  and  sympathy.

Nothing is more further away from the truth than the claim that the loan negotiations have stalled since 2017 because of an attempt to utilize $600 Million (equivalent of N219 Billion) from the 3,050MW hydropower project for a “pet project” not hitherto considered by the Federal Executive Council.

There is currently no budgetary provision or cash provision of $600 million or the N219 Billion in any budget of the Federal Government for the Mambila Project.

Therefore you cannot attempt to divert what does not exist.

For the avoidance of doubt, the China Exim Bank disburse money to specific projects and on conclusion of negotiations, the loan will be devoted to the construction of the Mambila Power Project, which has been on the drawing board for close to 40 years before the advent of the Buhari administration which is now working assiduously to get the project off the ground.

The latest publication of fictional claims by Mr. Leno Adesanya in a national daily and the social media is the desperate attempt by him and his political sympathisers to destabilize a project that they could not bring to fruition.

The antics of Leno Adesanya and his ilk would readily explain why the project has taken so many years without lift-off.

Since Mr. Adesanya has chosen to go to court, he would be required to prove his baseless allegation in court.

The Federal Executive Council which is the highest decision making organ of the Executive Arm of Government never awarded a contract for the project to Mr Adesanya.

The allegation with regard to stalling the Mambilla project is  untrue , baseless and a figment of Adesanya's imagination .  The events and relevant facts will show that because Mr. Fashola first presented a memo on the Mambilla Power Project to the Federal Executive Council in August 2017; which was the first ever Federal Executive Council approval given to the Mambilla project in favour of a Chinese Joint venture.

The Minister has also accompanied the President twice to China on trips that had the project as one of the headline agenda.

The Hon. Minister in June 2018 attended, alongside officials of the Ministry of Finance, a meeting of the China Exim Bank to negotiate the terms of the loan for the project further.

And only this week, after the Federal Executive Council meeting, he briefed Nigerians about the approval of contracts for surveyors to demarcate the areas for the project.

These are the first contracts to start preparatory work on the project after 40 years delay.

These actions are not consistent with delay falsely being alleged against the Minister by Mr Adesanya.

Indeed, available evidence does not support the claims of Leno Adesanya and well-meaning Nigerians will be well advised to ignore him.

We hereby state, that no amount of negative effort to distract, intimidate or threaten the Hon. Minister in the performance of his duties in line with the pledge of the present Government to the Nigerian people on the provision of adequate infrastructure in all relevant sectors of the economy will succeed.

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FASHOLA REITERATES FG’S COMMITMENT TO INFRASTRUCTURAL DEVELOPMENT

December 18, 2018

The Honorable Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Babatunde Raji Fashola SAN has reiterated the commitment of President Mohammadu Buhari’s Administration to providing basic infrastructure needed for the overall development of the entire nation.

Fashola disclosed this Yesterday in his Mabushi Office when he received in audience the Executive Governor of Osun State, His Excellency, Adegboyega Oyetola who paid him a courtesy call.

He described Adeboyega Oyetola as a brother and friend whom he shared common ideas with, adding that they never knew that divine providence would have them in exalted positions as Governor and minister respectively

While congratulating him for his emergence as the Governor of Osun State, he wished him the very best in Office as Adegboyega enunciates his various programmes to develop Osun State. He also assured him of his readiness to assist the Governor when called upon.

Earlier, the Governor disclosed that the purpose of his visit was to plead for the refund on the Federal roads his state has rehabilitated on behalf of the Federal Government. He specifically solicited for the speedy completion of the Iwo –Oshogbo road, the Oshogbo-Ilogbo-Ogbomosho road and the Oshogbo-Ilesha road which are under construction but becoming impassable, stressing that the present condition of the roads has paralysed the economic activities in the state.

He further requested for the rehabilitation and upgrading of Dams in the state in order to generate power. He called for the Ministry’s support in Rural Electrification and completion of the construction of Primary Health Centres within the State.

The programme was attended by the Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Power, Works and Housing (Works and Housing Sector),Mohammed Bukar and his counterpart in Power and Housing Sector Engr. Louis Edozie, Directors of the Ministry and it’s Agencies.

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FG’S N72 BILLION DISTRIBUTION EXPANSION PROGRAMME IS A COMMITMENT TOWARDS ENHANCING POWER DIST ...

December 15, 2018

* Says amount was arrived at in consultation with the DisCos as to their priority investment areas within their franchise to improve evacuation of power to consumers
* Although the power sector Operation is now in private hands, Government is concerned, he assures
* Calls for consistency and understanding saying decision to privatize is a matter of policy and policies take time to take effect
* Lists Mini-Grids, Meter Asset Providers, among others as initiatives aimed at tackling post-privatization challenges

The Minister Power, Works and Housing, Mr. Babatunde Fashola SAN, Wednesday reiterated Federal Government’s commitment to enhancing the distribution segment of the Power value chain saying the approval of a N72 Billion Distribution Expansion Programme by the government was a clear demonstration of that commitment.

Speaking at the December 2018 Nextier Power Dialogue in Abuja, Fashola said the Government, as a 40 per cent shareholder, had to make the approval in order to enhance the distribution of power across the country pointing out that although operationally there is 7,000 Megawatts of electricity ready for deployment, the operation was still constrained at the distribution end.

Reiterating the concern of government towards correcting the anomaly, the Minister, however noted that the decision to intervene was done after asking the DisCos where they would want to spend their money within their franchise, if they have it, that could evacuate “some of the power that is available and that can yield a maximum collection report” adding that it was with that data that Government put the amount together that it would inject into the Distribution sector.

The Minister, who quoted the 3rd Quarter Report of the National Bureau of Statistics as revealing that Electricity made the highest contribution of 18 per cent to the 1.8 per cent growth in the nation’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) recalled the “Thank You” visit of the Gora Community of Nasarawa State to his office early in the week to express their gratitude to the Federal Government over the provision of Solar Power to their Community saying it was a testimony to the growth in electricity supply and increasing accessibility to the rural communities.

The Community delegation, led by its Traditional Head, Alhaji Jafaru Adamu, thanked the government of President Muhammadu Buhari for initiating the rural electrification programme and the Minister for driving it adding that since the installation of the Solar electricity, the Community has consistently enjoyed several benefits hitherto not known to them, especially in the areas of social life, Education and Health.

Also the Minister seized the opportunity of a question to clear the air on an alleged statement made by him in 2014 as to his ability to solve the nation’s power problem in six months explaining that the statement attributed to him was made in 2015 in Lekki in respect of distributing power to the Lekki community within six months from the residual power in an Independent Power Plant earlier commissioned by him to power some government Water Works and Street lighting on the Island.

He declared, “I think it was in 2015 during the run up to the elections and I was in Lekki where we had gone to commission the Lekki IPP. It was Sam Amadi who gave us a license to do an IPP dedicated to power our Water works in Lekki, our Water Works in Victoria Island and our Water Works in Oniru and the street lighting in Lekki Phase 2.

“When we switched on that power plant that night and all of the street lights came on, as I was leaving, the residents accosted me and said “Governor you can’t go; we like this; but how would we get it into our houses”. I explained that it was Eko Distribution Company’s franchise and if they wanted the power in their houses, there was reserved power still in the IPP and if they could tell NERC to issue him a license, he would do the distribution and connect the Lekki residents in six months. That was what I said”.

The Minister recalled that the policy outline laid by his Ministry at inception set out a roadmap to first get incremental power and then go to steady power and then to uninterrupted power, which, according to him, “is not just a function of how much power you have”, but also “how you manage the power”.

“I think that if you followed the policy outline, we set out our roadmap first to get incremental power and then we will go to steady power and then to uninterrupted power and uninterrupted power is not just a function of how much power you have; it is also a function of how you manage the power. So in terms of our first leg of incremental power, we have delivered what we promised. We have increased the power on all sides”, he said.

Fashola pointed out the amount of diesel that he used to power his residence was now less than two years ago adding, “The man who buys the diesel knows and the man who supplies the diesel knows that I don’t buy as much as before. And that is the story from many parts for people on the grid. But that doesn’t mean that there are no problems”.

Responding to a question posed by a participant during the Interactive Session concerning the supply of transformers, Fashola, who reiterated that all the assets that the Ministry of Power used to control for power distribution have been sold by the last administration pointed out that the people now operating the Generation and Distribution segments of power sector are now privately owned companies.

The Minister added, “I am here because I am concerned. If your telephone is not working, it is not the Minister of Communication that you go to; let us be very clear. My role is regulatory, oversight and policy”, adding, however, “I cannot separate myself from the problem; I am trying to get involved to do what the law allows me to do. So the people you should be talking to about transformer is not me; the Ministry does not supply transformer anymore”.

In response to another question bordering on whether or not to cancel the Privatization policy and hand back power to the government, Fashola, who called for caution, declared, “Let’s be careful what we wish for. We wished, many years ago, after 60 years or so of government run power, we wished and decided that Private Sector should take over this Power. That was our decision. No sooner had we decided, five years after, we are now asking government to take it from them. Is that what we really want?”

“So let’s be consistent here and let us understand that the decision to privatize is a matter of policy. When policy is made, it takes time to take effect. When it begins to take effect, its impact takes time to spread. And that is why we can share here that five years ago nobody could talk about mini-grid, we are talking about it now; five years ago nobody was talking about Meter Asset Provider, we are talking about it today, five years ago who dared to go into the military formation to meter them; the President has directed that all the military formations must be metered”.

The Minister said ministries and agencies of government now pay their electricity bills regularly adding, “I just signed the letter for this month because our office is the collection warehouse. This wasn’t happening five years ago. So we are making progress and let no one downplay that”.

“Can we move faster, certainly we can”, he said adding, however, that if the consensus was that government should take it over the power sector from private hands, then there was need to “go back to Parliament and repeal the law; because I asked you, do you want a five-year old to have a moustache?”

Arguing against the reversal of the Privatization Policy, Fashola, who again reiterated the existence of challenges in the sector which, he assured were being dealt with, declared, “But you must decide in this country whether you want to continue to see devils or angels. I like to see angels; my glass is always half full and problems are opportunities for me to show that nothing is wrong with us and to benchmark what I have achieved. There are problems no doubt and we must deal with them”.

According to the NBS Report for Budget 3, the 3rd Quarter GDP result was 1.81 per cent growth; up from 1.50 per cent in Q2 with Electricity as the biggest motivator scoring 18 per cent, Metal Ores 17 per cent, Telecoms 14 per cent, Transportation 11.9 per cent Quarrying and Mining 3 per cent and, for the first time in about six consecutive quarters, the Services Sector grew by 2 per cent.

“It is not enough”, Fashola said adding, “But it means we are heading in the right direction back up. What is also important to share is that the growth was driven by non-Oil Sector and that is important because the growth came in a quarter when oil prices have not done well and that is what this team set out to achieve; to diversify the economy. We welcome the Oil money, but when the oil money suddenly disappears, our prosperity will not go with it and that is important”.

The Minister added, “So, in a period when oil prices began to flounder Nigeria’s economy did not flounder and that is important. But more importantly, who drove the growth? It means that if we continue with the foundations that are being laid-infrastructure- the jobs that all of us want to see will multiply. That is where we are”.

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MORE RURAL COMMUNITIES TO GET ACCESS TO ELECTRICITY - FASHOLA

December 13, 2018

The Minister revealed that more rural communities are having access to electricity by the policy of the government of President Muhammadu Buhari. He made the remark when he received in audience, the the Village Head of Gora Community in Karu Local Government Area of Nasarawa state in his office. The delegation was led by Hajia Kareen Fatimah Mohammed.

He said “One of the reasons I have you here is that you are the faces of electricity under this Administration: Dozen communities are having access to electricity whether on mini grid or off grid like Gora community and this demonstrates that the government is working”.

Fashola further revealed that the rural electrification plan enabled government to access about 200 million dollars to run a pilot in 70 communities in 5 States of the federation, adding that the data of the communities yet to access electricity would be gathered so as to ultimately extend access to them.

He explained that the President Muhammadu Buhari led administration is running an all-inclusive government by also appointing young people to leadership positions. He also said that young Nigerians under 40 years of age presently constitute the membership of the Board of the Nigeria Rural Electrification Agency (NREA) including the Managing Director, Mrs Damilola Ogunbiyi, starting that “it is the young people who have done the work, the unsung heroes of Buhari’s government”.

Fashola said that apart from providing electricity to the Community, they are also connected to roads, rail and bridges, maintaining that “what is good for the people in the cities, must be good for people in the rural communities”. He pointed out that the rural and farming communities are “the most critical pillars of diversity of Nigerian government, being treasures store of food and construction materials.”

The Minister pointed out that Nigerians are now more united than ever before, adding that the projects such as this has connected men, women and communities across Nigeria, citing the case of Hajia Kareem Mohammed who though hails from Gombe State, yet solicited for electricity for Gora Communities where her farm is located.

Earlier, the leader of the delegation, Hajia Mohammed and the Head of Gora Community, Alhaji Jafaru Adamu took turns to appreciate the government, saying that the communities have benefited immersely in improved education, health and day to day activities of the people.

Alhaji Adamu, however requested that the solar power be extended to other communities in the State

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FG COMMENDS CONTRACTORS ON QUALITY OF ROADS; ADVOCATES FOR ALTERNATIVE FUNDING SOURCES

December 11, 2018

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.

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FASHOLA LAUDS THE ECONOMIC POTENTIALS OF BUHARI’S ADMINISTRATION

November 21, 2018

The Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Bababtunde Raji Fashola, SAN has described President Muhammadu Buhari’s regime as the Government that is laying a solid foundation for the economic growth and prosperity of Nigeria.

Fashola stated this at the flag-off ceremony for the reconstruction of the 34 kilometer Apapa-Oshodi-Oworonshoki-Ojota Expressway, a road built between 1975-1978, which he tagged as main artery of all our import and export businesses.  He added that the Apapa-Oshodi-Ojota Dual Carriageway will improve the socio-economic lives of the people, generate employment opportunities for both skill and unskill labour.

The Minister disclosed that President Muhammadu Buhari’s Administration, in its wisdom entered into partnership with the President and Chief Executive Officer of Dangote Group, Alhaji Aliko Dangote for the reconstruction of the road due to his belief and commitment in the Federal Government Ease of Doing Business Initiatives.

Fashola stated that Alhaji Dangote is a man who believes in investing enormous wealth in Nigeria- a place Dangote truly regards as his home, adding that Nigerians should continue to pray for his successes.

The Minister used the opportunity of the flag-off to charge Tanker and Trailer Drivers to exercise caution and decorum while driving on our busy roads, stressing that there are thousands of other road users whose rights of ways starts where that of the Articulated vehicle drivers ends. He enjoined the security agencies to refrain from extorting illegal fees from drivers but partner with them so that Nigerians will witness the seamless flow of traffic especially during this Ember month season.

Fashola urged Nigerians to dispel unnecessary insinuations that they should vote for their brothers or sisters during elections, adding that “tribalism and religion does not build roads. Anybody that does the right thing is my brother,” he stated.

Earlier, Alhaji Aliko Dangote stated that the partnership for the reconstruction of the Apapa-Oshodi-Oworonshoki-Ojota Expressway is a laudable project that will usher in significant infrastructural development, stressing that the financing is coming from his organization’s corporate taxes to the Federal Government.

Before the Flag-off ceremony, the Honorable Minister of Power, Works and Housing commissioned the 4 kilometer Wharf Road in Apapa reconstructed by the trio of Messrs AG, Dangote, Flour Mills of Nigeria PLC and the Nigerian Ports Authority as part of their Corporate Social Responsibility.

The two colourful events were well attended by notable dignitaries which include, the Executive Governor of Lagos State, His Excellency, Mr. Akinwumi Ambode , Former  Governor of Kano State and Chairman, Senate Committee on Works, Distinguished Senator , Kabiru Gaya , Wife of Former Governor of Lagos State and the Senator representing the Lagos Central , Her Excellency, Distinguished Senator Oluremi Tinubu,  Managing Director, Nigerian Ports Authority, Hadiza Bala Usman, Representative of the Oba of Lagos, Obanikoro, Chairman, Truck Owners Association of Lagos, Chief Oluremi Ogungweyi amongst others.

 

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July 6, 2019

FASHOLA AT THE COMMISSIONING OF GASCO COMPRESSED NATURAL GAS CNG PLANT IN ABEOKUTA OGUN STATE

Former Hon Minister of Power Works Housing Mr Babatunde Fashola SAN 2nd right Founder Director Gasco Marine Limited Mr Faruk Agoro 2nd left hairman Viathan Group Mr Olusola Adeeyo right Chief Operating Officer Gasco Marine Mr Segun Ogunwunmi left and others during the commissioning of the Gasco Compressed Natural Gas CNG Plant built by Gasco Marine Limited at Abeokuta Ogun State on Thursday 4th July 2019

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May 15, 2018

FASHOLA AT THE 27TH POWER SECTOR OPERATORS MEETING COMMISSIONS POWER IMPROVEMENT FACILITIES IN YOLA ADAMAWA STATE

Hon Minister of Power Works Housing Mr Babatunde FasholaSAN 2nd leftPermanent Secretarty Power Engr Louis Edozien 2nd left and Managing DirectorYola Electricity Distribution CompanyYEDCEngr Baba Umara Mustapha leftdurin g the commissioning of the 25MVA 3311kv Injection Substation Yola Town shortly before the 27th Meeting with Operators in the Power Sector hosted by the Yola Electricity Distribution Company YEDC at the TCN Transmission Station along Numan Road Jimeta Adamawa State on Monday 14th May 2018

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