Fashola Pushes For More Patronage Of Made In Nigeria Goods

FasholaThe Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Mr Babatunde Fashola, has expressed commitment of the Federal Government to developing local capacity by using made in Nigeria items in national building plans.

Mr Raji Fashola made the statement at the 5th National Council on Lands, Housing and Urban Development held in Ilorin, Kwara State.

He also assured Nigerians of the government’s determination to improve the power sector.

Addressing the gathering, Mr Fashola took his time to dwell on theme of the council meeting, which is “Building Adequate Capacity of Professionals, Artisans and Tradesmen in the Built Environment”.

He said that building local capacity of professionals in Nigeria was part of efforts of the present administration to diversify the economy from mono-economy to multi-economy.

The minister also pointed out that there could not be capacity without opportunities, explaining that using made in Nigeria items in the national building plans, would encourage professionals in the building and construction sector to showcase their talents as well as develop the nation’s economy.

He tasked Nigerian professionals on evolving made in Nigeria products especially paints, doors, keys and other building materials, assuring the them that his ministry would continue to patronise the locally made products in the building sector.

Earlier, at a meeting with the Kwara State Governor, the Minister said the Federal Government had set out road map towards expanding opportunities in the power sector to boost power supply.

According to him, the government had identified problems in the sector and resolved to increase and stabilise power supply in Nigeria.

Mr Fashola explained that the government had signed a number of agreements to develop hydro, solar and gas sources of power generation.

The minister also assured Nigerians of the determination of the Federal Government to improve the nation’s roads to ensure proper distribution of goods.

Responding, the state Governor, Abdulfatah Ahmed, commended the effort of the Federal Government in improving power supply, assuring the Minister of the determination of the state to partner with the Federal Government in that regard.


Patronise Local Meter Makers, Fashola Tells Electricity Companies

Electricity-meterNigeria’s Minister of Power, Works and Housing Mr, Babatunde Fashola, has urged electricity distribution companies to patronise local meter manufacturers in the quest for mass metering system of their customers across.

At the 6th Power and Stakeholders Monthly Meeting held on Monday in Kano State, North West Nigeria, the Minister said the patronage of local manufacturers would help avoid foreign exchange problem associated with importation of meters.

Mr Fashola stressed that it would greatly save cost if made in Nigeria meters were patronised, pointing out that it is of same quality with the imported ones.

He believes that proper synergy between operators at the highest executive management levels, generating companies, distribution companies, transmission companies and various relevant government agencies would provide sustainable solution to the nation’s power problem.

On the low supply of power currently being witnessed across Nigeria, Fashola told reporters that the activities of the Niger Delta Avengers had dropped power generation from 5,000 to about 3,000 megawatts.

“As of today, Nigeria rely only on hydro power from Jabba and other formations whose gas is not totally out,” he said.

The militant group in Niger Delta region have claimed responsibility for most attacks on oil facilities in the region, crippling exploration activities.

The meeting agreed that in furtherance of aggressive metering plans, all distribution companies should embark on a sensitisation campaign to enable customers understand the need for metering system.

At the meeting were operators and stakeholders of the Nigeria’s electricity industry and it was chaired by Mr Fashola.

The monthly meeting according to the minister was initiated to identify, discuss and find practical solutions to issues facing the Nation’s power sector.

Presenting a communique at the end of the meeting, the Managing Director of the Kano Electricity Distribution Company, Mr Jamilu Gwamna, said the meeting acknowledged the need to put in place a more robust mechanism on information sharing between the Federal Ministry of Power, Works and Housing and generation and distribution companies as well as other stakeholders in the electricity industry.

2016 Budget: President Buhari Meets With NASS Leadership

2016 BudgetPresident Muhammadu Buhari has met with the leadership of the National Assembly on the 2016 budget.

The meeting had in attendance, the Senate President, Dr. Bukola Saraki and the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara.

Also present was the Minister of Budget and National Planning, Mr Udo Udoma.

The meeting lasted for only 10 minutes.

The Senate President, Dr. Bukola Saraki, told State House correspondents after the meeting that they have all agreed on the way forward, the process will be completed and the budget will be signed in a matter of days.

He explained that the budget process is usually not easy but that they have found the way forward and in a matter of days the budget would be ready for the President’s assent.

Dr. Saraki further explained that the committees set up on the executive and legislative sides will engage in the next few days to tidy up the loose ends and come up with what will satisfy everybody.

Earlier in the day, the Speaker of the House of Reps held a closed door meeting with the President in Abuja. He left the Presidential Villa at about 2pm, after 30 minutes and was shielded by security operatives.

The spokesperson of the House of Representatives, Abdulrazak Namdas, had said on Sunday that members of the legislature would continue deliberations with the executive during the week to resolve some grey areas in the 2016 budget.

Mr Namdas explained that the delay in the signing of the 2016 budget is not as a result of inaction by the National Assembly but because the President is yet to be convinced to sign the document.

2016 Budget: Goje, Jibrin Appeal To Colleagues For Resolution

Abdulmumin JibrinThe two chairmen of committees on appropriation in the National Assembly have appealed to their colleagues to drop the debate about who is right or wrong in the 2016 budget controversy as it does not advance the interest of Nigerians.

In a joint statement on Sunday, Senator Danjuma Goje and Hon. Abdulmumin Jibrin stated that they have had enough of controversies over the 2016 budget and are prepared to do the needful to resolve the differences.

They appealed to their colleagues to cooperate with the executive and transmit the details of the budget and the inputs received from the standing committees of both the Senate and the House of Representatives.

“We call on our colleagues in the National Assembly to accede to the request byDanjuma Goje his Excellency, President Muhammadu Buhari to have a second look at the details and make the necessary adjustments so that he can assent.

“This, in our opinion, should not go beyond this week,” they said.

They also described the allegations levelled against them as unfounded but noted that what is important is to resolve the impasse around the budget and get it assented to so that its implementation can begin in the interest of all Nigerians.

Full statement by Senator Danjuma Goje and Hon. Abdulmumin Jibrin below:


2016 Budget: A Time for Statesmanship

Following the transmission on of the 2016 appropriation bill and details passed by the National Assembly, there have been all manner of misinformation, misrepresentations and innuendos about the roles played by the Joint Committees on Appropriation in the course of passing the budget.

Even though most of the allegations, especially those specifically levelled against the two of us, as chairmen of the committee, are unfounded, we intend to respond to them at the appropriate time. For now, what we consider important is to resolve the impasse around the budget and get it assented to so that its implementation can begin in the interest of all Nigerians.

However, we must put it on record that the details aggregated and transmitted to the executive are largely the inputs we received from the standing committees of both the Senate and the House of Representatives.

Given the foregoing, and all factors considered, we hereby state that we have had enough controversy over the 2016 budget. What is needful right now is a resolution of the differences and to that end, we call on our colleagues in the National Assembly to accede to the request by  His Excellency, President Muhammadu Buhari to have a second look at the details and make the necessary adjustments so that he can assent.

This, in our opinion, should not go beyond this week.

To the extent that there are already ongoing consultations, a debate about who is right or wrong is unhelpful in the circumstance; and in any case, does not advance the cause of our country men and women whose interest we have been elected to serve.

Nevertheless, we must commend President Muhammadu Buhari, Senate President Bukola Saraki, Speaker Yakubu Dogara and the entire members of the National Assembly, members of the federal executive council, the Minister of Budget and the budget team for their cooperation even as we assure all Nigerians that we will do everything to protect and defend their interest, at all times.

Senator Danjuma Goje                     Hon. Abdulmumin Jibrin

2016 Budget: ‘Grey Areas’ Will Be Resolved This Week – Namdas

2016 budgetThe spokesperson of the House of Representatives, Abdulrazak Namdas, says the delay in the signing of the 2016 budget is not as a result of inaction by the National Assembly but because the President is yet to be convinced to sign the document.

He spoke during our programme Sunday Politics, where he said that the document will be finalized during the week.

Mr Namdas had earlier in the week addressed newsmen informing them of the receipt of a letter from the President in which he outlined certain “grey areas” in the 2016 budget that needed to be addressed.

He added that the leadership of the National Assembly was set to meet with President Muhammadu Buhari over the standoff on the 2016 budget.

Sunday Politics then sought to get an update on the situation and particularly to know the grey areas stated by the President.

Mr Namdas explained that it would amount to “jumping the gun” if he went ahead to state the grey areas, as the President was yet to make a statement on the matter since the budget controversy started.

He noted also that the House of Reps could not have made any decision without the Senate and this informed a meeting which held between both chambers during the week.

“The principal officers of the two chambers have met over the document and they have also resolved to meet with the President so that together they can examine the grey areas and the interest of the President.

“Then we will come back to the chamber, reexamine the document this week and I believe that all these issues will be resolved amicably,” he said.

Grey Areas

Pressed further to reveal the grey areas that needed to be addressed according to the President, Mr Namdas declined.

“Don’t forget that this budget has already been passed. If the President had assented to the budget we would not have been at this level.

“But because we are of the same government; an arm of government and we are interested in Nigerians getting what they want, since the principal officers have agreed to meet with the President, it will not be fair for us to discuss matters before meeting the President on the grey areas.

“We will plead with Nigerians, for all this while that we have been patient, lets kindly wait. By the time we meet with the President, this thing will be made known,”  he said.

He also assured Nigerians that issues affecting the nation cannot be handled in secrecy and they would have access to all content of the budget.

Lagos-Calabar Rail Project

Mr Namdas also cleared the air on the controversial Lagos-Calabar rail project, and the stance of the National Assembly on the issue if it emerges among the grey areas the President refereed to.

“We have not in any case removed the railway project. It is a document that was brought to us by Mr President. It is not in the first document and it is not in the amended version.

“But if it is among the grey areas the President wants us to talk about, we have assured Nigerians that it is a very nice project and we will take it.”

He explained that the National Assembly has mainly been concerned about the need to follow due process in the approval of the project.

“All 360 of us have copies of this budget and there is no way a document would escape the first reading (and) escape the second reading only for us to find it at the committee level and (it is expected) of us to make use of it; that is not always the case,” he said.

2016 Budget: Buhari Writes National Assembly Over ‘Grey Areas’

2016 budgetThe leadership of the National Assembly is set to meet with President Muhammadu Buhari over the standoff on the 2016 budget.

Meeting with journalists in the National Assembly, the Spokesman of the House of Representatives, Abdurazaq Namdas, said that the President has sent a letter to the National Assembly outlining the “grey areas” in the 2016 budget that need to be addressed.

“I can confirm to you that we are in possession of the letter from the President identifying grey areas,” Mr Namdas said.

Meanwhile, the Minister of Budget and National Planning, Senator Udo Udoma, had said on Wednesday that the Nigerian government was yet to conclude talks with the legislature on the 2016 budget, but has set up a monitoring and evaluation mechanism to make sure that the budget delivers what it promised when finally signed by the President.

Mr Udoma spoke to reporters after the Federal Executive Council’s meeting presided over by President Muhammadu Buhari.

Talks On 2016 Budget Still Ongoing, Minister Says

Udoma-UdomaThe Nigerian government is yet to conclude talks with the legislature on the 2016 budget, but has set up a monitoring and evaluation mechanism to make sure that the budget delivers what it promised when finally signed by the President, an official said on Wednesday.

The Minister of Budget and National Planning, Senator Udo Udoma, gave the hint about the evaluation mechanism while briefing reporters after the Federal Executive Council’s meeting presided over by President Muhammadu Buhari.

He also said that plans were ongoing to ensure that the 2017 budget would begin on time, with a view to ensuring that the document would get to the National Assembly before the end of 2016.

Petrol Scarcity Causes

On the petrol crisis across the states, the worse the oil-rich nation has seen in years, the Minister of State for Petroleum, Dr. Ibe Kachikwu, said some factors were responsible for the crisis.

The clearance of 600 billion Naira subsidy to marketers inherited from the past administration, logistics issues, dysfunctional refineries and sabotage by marketers were some of the factors, Dr. Kachikwu listed.

Dr. Kachikwu, however, told reporters that the government was doing everything possible to deliver fuel to all parts of the country in a few days.

The government had also said it was working hard to end the importation of petrol to Nigeria by 2019.

The Federal Executive council also admitted that power supply in the country had dropped from 5,000 megawatts to 3,000 megawatts due to vandalism of the Forcados pipeline that supplies gas to the power plants.

The Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Mr Babatunde Fashola, said that the Federal Government was working tirelessly to ensure that the lines are repaired.

Ibadan Electricity Company Says Providing Adequate Power Is Priority

Power PlantThe Ibadan Electricity Distribution Company (IBEDC) say it is taking giant strides to provide adequate and stable power supply in all the four states and three territories covering 22 business units under it.

The company said the efforts were aimed at positioning it as a unique brand with a clear edge in global competitiveness.

Making this disclosure at a press conference in Ibadan, the Oyo State capital, the Managing Director IBEDC, Mr Fortunato Leyenes, said the company had been delivering true to its words as noticeable improvement was confirmed by customers.

The press conference is coming few months to the first anniversary of the power distribution company which will hold in November.

Mr Leyenes explained that 150 million Naira was spent to rehabilitate the burnt Akanran Olorunsogo substation and restore power supply to all affected areas who have been in darkness for almost three years.

He further explained that the company had embarked on series of strategic partnerships with critical institutions like U.I. and the Oyo State government to source for fresh talents and up the stake on development.

The IBEDC boss assured all the company’s customers that the core values of excellence, innovation, integrity, and teamwork that the company was built on would never be compromised.

He stressed that power supply had improved with quick response on fault clearing and line repairs gradually becoming the norm.

“The importance of the alliance with U.I. can not be over emphasised as it is the first island under the franchise area where 24 hour power supply is guaranteed,” he said.

In his contribution, the deputy managing director of IBEDC, Mr John Darlington, said the issues of lopsided metering system, fixed and arbitrary bills were being addressed with the procurement of 24,000 meters for customers.

“The company is researching in line with local manufacturers of meters to come up with tamper proof products,” he said.

As they approach the first year finish line, the management of the Ibadan Electricity Distribution Company’s most important message to their customers appears to be that of a new culture of world class service with integrity and fairness, where 24 hours power supply is possible.

They are, however, asking the customers to be patient and more responsible in their transactions.

FEC Approves 3.95bn Naira For Power Infrastructure

Federal_Executive_Council_Jonathan_Sambo_AyimThe Federal Executive Council (FEC) has approved the sum of 3.95 billion Naira for the Engineering design, manufacturing and supply, construction, testing and commissioning of the Onitsha-Ifitidunu 32 KV transmission line in Anambra State.

The money will also cater for a substation at Ifitidunu and the 2/132 line base extension at Onitsha, also in Anambra State.

Briefing reporters on the outcome of the meeting, the Minister of Power, Professor Chinedu Nebo, said that the power infrastructure in the communities affected had been over stretched.

He said that the poor transmission infrastructure had affected power supply in the communities.

Some of the communities that have witnessed infrastructure over-stretch, as listed by the Minister, are; Awka, Onitsha, Ifitidunu, Nnewi and Obosi.

At the council meeting, it was also made known that the Nigerian government had received more donations from the international community towards the Safe School Initiatives.

The Initiative was launched at the World Economic Summit on Africa held in Nigeria in May. it is meant to provide a safe school environment for schools mostly in Nigeria’s north-east where insurgents have destroyed schools, discouraging children in the region from going to school.

The Ebola crisis that the nation is trying to contain was also discussed at the meeting.

The Minister of Health, Professor Onyebuchi Chukwu briefed the council on the Ebola Virus Disease outbreak, which he said that the nation had managed efficiently with just one patient, who is responding to treatment, left.

Professor Chukwu also sought for a legal framework for all the 21 Federal Medical Centres that are not teaching hospitals in Nigeria to harmonise the management structures to achieve higher results for the country.

Nigeria’s Power Generation Hits 4,100mw

Power PlantNigeria’s power generation is coming up again with the current generated megawatts (mw) hitting over 4,000 as at Tuesday.

The Ministry of Power attributes the development to reduction in system collapses, as well as improvement in services delivery, among other things.

In a statement by the ministry, spokesman for the Minister of Power, Professor Chinedu Nebo, Kande Daniel, said that after Grid Information was released early Wednesday, the country’s generation capacity picked up, getting to 4105.90mw as at Tuesday

The statement further revealed a breakdown of how generated capacity was shared, with the industrial nerve-centre Lagos and environs getting the highest, a maximum load totalling 985.0mw, while the maximum load allocated to Abuja through Katampe and Gwagwalada power line was 410.80mw.

Meanwhile, the nation’s generation capacity as at early Wednesday stood at 3795.30mw and figures for the past few days indicate an average of about 3,800mw.

The latest grid information is contrary to insinuations in some sections of the media that power generation dropped to less than 2,000mw.

It also observed that the general view since mid-last week suggests that many households now enjoy enhanced power supply in their domain unlike what was obtainable in the recent past when vandals tampered with several power installations in parts of the country.

The statement however re-affirms Government’s resolve to consolidate efforts at removing all bottlenecks to sufficiency in power supply.

It also conveys a fresh appeal from the Minster of Power, to Nigerians, for more patience and understanding, assuring that the emerging electricity market would stabilise and power supply would improve steadily.

Gas Pipeline Vandals Sabotage Nigeria’s Power Sector Efforts

The Minister of Power, Chinedu Nebo

The incessant pipeline vandalism in Nigeria’s western axis is affecting the supply of gas to power stations, reducing the megawatts by 1,000, a government official has said.

The Minister for Power, Professor Chinedu Nebo, described the activities of pipeline vandals as sabotage to the government’s effort in ensuring that power generating companies get enough input in terms of gas supply.

He called on the media to sensitise Nigerians on the negative impact of such vandalism to the economy and to the entire value chain.

“When gas supply is affected, it is not only power that suffers. It affects the entire value chain. The industries cannot work. There will be no power and the farmers cannot get fertilizer,” Professor Nebo said on Channels Television’s programme, Sunrise, on Saturday.

He reiterated that the administration of President Goodluck Jonathan had a good agenda that Nigerians would benefit from if they would support the government by ensuring that facilities put in place by the government were not vandalised.

“The president did what no other president could do. He faced the privatisation process and made sure it was completed,” he stated.

Since the unbundling of the Power Holding Company of Nigeria (PHCN), some Nigerians have complained of deteriorating power supply.

Professor Nebo attributed the situation to the reduction in the supply of gas to power stations and assured Nigerians that there would be improvements in few weeks.

“Everything is on course. The challenge we are having now is the teething problem.

“The good news is that the work of these vandals is being checked. The National Security Adviser to the President held a meeting with security operatives and all the stakeholders to that effect. There have been convictions of those who have vandalised facilities.

“The hope is that very soon there will be an improvement in power supply, as the entire value chain is being addressed.

“The horrible dynamite blow outs of the gas pipeline on the western axis have all been fixed. In the next few weeks there will be significant improvements,” the minister said.

New Investors In Huge Debt Profile

Funding has also been identified as another issue that is affecting the supply. Some of the new power generating companies are over stretched, having huge debt profile.

“Some of the companies borrowed much of the money they used for the purchase of the unbundled PHCN.

“What we did not foresee is that there would be a huge debt profile hanging on the necks of the distribution companies.

“We are doing our best to ensure that the issue of gas is settled, then we will demand that the output match the input,” Professor Nebo said.

He pointed out that there were power projects that had not been used to its full capacity due to the gas shortfall.

“Geregu Power Plant should be generating over 400 megawatts but because of the gas pipeline vandalism, they are generating less than 200 megawatts,” he explained.

The minister urged Nigerians to be a little patient, as the expected improvements after the sales of the PHCN would be experienced soon.

At the moment, Nigeria is generating 3,800 megawatts, a figure far too small to cater for a nation of over 160 million people.

Expect uninterrupted power supply from December – FG

The Federal Government has assured Nigerians that the country would soon bid final farewell to power outages beginning from December, 2012 just as it has plans to generate 5,400 mega watts from the current 4,400 mega watts.

Senior Special Assistant to President Goodluck Jonathan on Public Affairs, Doyin Okupe told Jouranalists in Abuja on Monday that the president is no doubt living up to expectation on his election promises.

According to Mr Okupe, the 5,400 mega watts target will be actualized following the arrangement by the National Integrated Power Project (NIPP) to add 1,000MW to the current 4,400 as against the little above 1,900MW before the president assumed office.

Mr Okupe said: “When the President assumed office, the energy capacity of the country at that time ranged between 1,900 megawatts to some 2,200 megawatts. The Independent Power Projects, 10 of them were grounded and nearly moribund, but today Nigeria is generating in excess of 4,400 megawatts of electricity.

“Some cynics have said this is due to high level of water in the hydro generating plants in Shiroro and Kanji. This isn’t true.

“I can tell you authoritatively that why it is true that every year there is a marginal increase in power supply, because of the increased contribution in the hydro plants, that cannot account for the 15 hours or so that is being currently enjoyed in many parts of the country.

Speaking further, Mr Okupe said “The reason for this additional increase is coming from the NIPP that are now adding between 600 and 800 megawatts to the national grid. That’s what is responsible for this new improvement and between now and December, we are expecting nearly an additional 1,000 megawatts, because of the increase and an arrangement that have been made for purchase and supply of gas to some of these NIPP projects. More areas will enjoy longer hours of electricity supply by December.”