“We wish to notify the public that Seplat Energy Plc has mobilized equipment, material and personnel to site with a view to expediting the restoration of normal gas supply to the affected power plants.
“We have been assured that the repair work would be concluded this weekend and normalcy will be restored. While pleading with electricity consumers with the current state of supply, we wish to assure the general public that efforts are being made for a sustained improvement of supply across the country.”
The Federal Government of Nigeria at the weekend opened the Apapa-Ijora Bridge in Lagos State to light traffic, as the emergency repair works on the bridge are almost completed.
It was shut on Monday, August 8, for emergency repair works on its failed sections and temporary coverage of the failed concrete bridge deck section.
The decision was taken after an inspection tour and a meeting with stakeholders by the Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Mr Babatunde Fashola.
With consistent attention from the contracting firm, Julius Berger Nigeria Plc and supervisory work by officials of the Federal Ministry of Power, Works and Housing, work on the temporary coverage of the failed concrete bridge deck section was completed on Saturday including the approach to the bridge.
Also completed was the placement of height restriction gantry in order to ensure only light traffic could access the bridge.
The bridge is now open to light traffic while repair works continue on the diversions.
Motorist, who work in and around Apapa axis, could now use the Apap-Ijora bridge after it was closed for rehabilitation.
Many of them had thought that the repairs would take some time, considering the nation’s revenue base that has continued to dwindle with the drop in crude oil price.
After the initial worries about the failing concrete deck of some parts of the bridge, Mr Fashola said the construction company had carried out a reinforcement work which is capable of supporting light vehicular traffic.
He insisted that it was better for Nigerians to endure the pains that the closure had caused than for tragedy to occur.
It was danger waiting to happen and would have, in its wake, been colossal.
The reasons were not farfetched, as the bridge had over the years been subjected to daily heavy load of container bearing trucks and petroleum products tankers.
The 40-year-old bridge remained, for a very long time, the only major entry and exit from Apapa and the consequence became very evident.
After concerns were raised about the deplorable state, the Federal Government took a tough decision to shut it down for emergency rehabilitation work.
The Lagos State Government has announced the closure of the Marine Bridge Road (Inward Ijora) to aid the commencement of repair works by the contractors of the Federal Ministry of Works.
A statement by the state government on Friday said that the immediate closure would also allow the Federal Ministry to carry out studies to determine the state of the Bridge and effect appropriate repairs.
While the Federal Ministry of Power, Works and Housing has assured Lagos residence of immediate action towards repairing the Bridge as it may deem fit, the Lagos State Government said it was committed to putting in place effective traffic management strategies that would mitigate the impact of the closure.
The State government further listed alternative routes that could be use by commuters.
Traffic coming from Wharf Base-Point Road should divert at service Lane (Marine Beach Road) by Leventis Junction to Link Lilly Pond by Dockyard and ascend Ijora Bridge to continue their journey.
Motorists traveling to Ajegunle are advised to take a left turn at the second junction under the Apapa Road Bridge to Marine Beach Junction inward Ajegunle or back to Ijora Bridge and continue their journey.
It however, warned that the option was not for heavy duty vehicles.
In the statement issued on Friday, the State Government also implored National Union of Petroleum and Gas Workers and its members to observe the reroute to avoid blocking the road when accessing the Tank Farms at Lilly Pond.
The State Government has among other initiatives deployed various signs directing traffic appropriately.
Motorist are also urged to obey personnel of the Lagos State Traffic Management Authority, Federal Road Safety Corps, Nigeria Police and other Law Enforcement Agencies deployed to control and manage traffic in the area.
A member of the House of Representatives, Honourable Nicholas Ossai, has appealed to President Muhammadu Buhari to intervene in the operation of the Independent Power Project in Delta State, South-south Nigeria.
Honourable Ossai said the intervention was necessary, as the Federal Ministry of Power and the Nigerian Agip Oil Company had been unable to ensure that the community where the project was situated, benefit from the electricity provided.
He said the Lower Chamber had also intervened in the matter in a bid to forestall a breakdown of law and order as a result of the agitations by members of the community.
On the background of the privatization of the power sector and the recent handing over of the physical assets to the co-investors, ‘View From The Top’ on Channels Television takes a look at the privatisation journey in Nigeria since the birth of the idea in 1999.
The programme on this edition plays host to the Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Power, Ambassador Godknows Boladei Igali.
The focus is on the Nigerian power sector and the question is what is next after the handing over to investors?
With successive governments having failed to deliver on their promises of providing Nigerians with constant power supply, pessimistic views are still being expressed by many Nigerians on the possibility of a change in fortune.
Igali blamed the situation on the poor maintenance of public infrastructure and budget limitations. While also admitting that government is not the best manger of assets, he stressed that underinvestment in the sector has been the major factor behind the constant failure.
He said: “Government is not formed to manage business. Power sector is a business, and government’s role should be that of providing leadership, direction, regulation and allow the businessmen to do business.”
He credited the latest successful handover to the proactive efforts of President Goodluck Jonathan. According to him, he “energized and reactivated the process” which fast tracked the public competitive bidding processes.
Ambassador Igali also spoke in details about the efforts being made by the Federal Government to sustain the privatisation structure and the infrastructural development plans.
He also encouraged Nigerians to have faith in the system.
Vice President, Architect Namadi Sambo has directed the Federal Ministry of Power to ensure speedy evacuation of power generated to ensure constant power supply.
The Vice President gave this directive, when he chaired the 24th Board meeting of the Niger Delta Power Holding Company (NDPHC) overseeing the National Integrated Power Projects (NIPP), at the State House, Abuja.
The Vice President expressed delight with the current generation capacity of over 4,200 megawatts of electricity, he however lamented the lack of integrity and associated problems of the transmission and distribution lines to evacuate the generated power.
Mr Sambo, noted that with the quantity being added to the national grid, Nigerians were experiencing improvement in power supply, and therefore directed the Ministry of Power and the NDPHC to ensure speedy completion of the transmission lines, and the injection substation for the delivery of constant and stable electricity to Nigerians.
He also directed that a meeting be convened to tackle the problem of gas supply to the power plants, which according to him was also militating against power supply.
In line with President Jonathan’s Performance Contract policy, the VP directed that the National Planning Commission to draw up a Performance Contract that will be signed between him and the Board of NDPHC.
He also directed the NDPHC to ensure that such Performance Contract trickles down and that all of its consultants sign the performance bond, which according to him would enhance service delivery.
Earlier the Minister of State for Power, Arc. Darius Ishaku, disclosed that the country is currently generating more than 4,200 megawatts of electricity, saying that the transmission and distribution network has integrity issues, which is affecting the adequate evacuation of the generated power.
He assured the meeting that the Ministry was doing everything possible to arrest the issue.
The Managing Director of NDPHC, who was represented by the Executive Director Technical Services; Mr. Louis Edozien, disclosed that the NIPP projects in Sapele, Alaoji, Olorunsogo and Omotosho were currently generating 1,350mw.
He however, noted that they would have achieved more but for gas supply as he also gave the assurance that progress was being made to ensure early delivery of all NIPP projects in the country.
The board under the chairmanship of the Vice President approved the purchase of replacement parts for Gas Turbines for Calabar, Egbema and Gabarin power plants from General Electric, the original manufacturers.
The board also approved the engagement of fire-fighting management providers for Olorunsogo, Sapele, Alaoji, Omotosho and Ihovbor power plants and the provision of gas pipe line to Geregu Phase II, NIPP power plant were also approved.
While the extension of project consultancy work for construction of Omotosho Phase II power plant was as well approved by the board.