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Electricity Problems Can’t Be Solved By Magic – Fashola |The Republican News

’Femi Asu

The Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Mr Babatunde Fashola, has said electricity supply in the country is improving slowly and that power problems cannot be solved by magic.

Total power generation stood at 3,729 megawatts as of 6am on Wednesday, according to latest data obtained by our correspondent from the ministry.

Fashola, who spoke on Thursday at the inauguration of the 2x100MVA, 132/33kV power transformers at the Ejigbo Transmission Substation, Lagos, commended the Transmission Company of Nigeria for the ongoing projects across the country.

“We have come to hand over this expanded transmission substation, the Ejigbo Transmission Substation, to the Ikeja Electricity Distribution Company. This substation was built in 1970; the capacity was 60MVA then; except for the addition of another 60MVA, this community has grown exponentially; so they have exceeded the installed capacity here,” he stated.

The minister said President Muhammadu Buhari knew the substation required an expansion, adding that the capacity had been increased from 120MVA to 300MVA.

He stated, “Between that time and when President Buhari came three years ago, some people were there. But they will come back to you; so, when they come back, ask them if they didn’t know where to buy transformers.

“The problem of electricity is slowly being solved, one by one. Anybody will tell you he will do magic; tell him, ‘How?’ He should explain to you. We inherited 800 containers for power equipment left in the port for 10 years. President Buhari gave us approval, and we have recovered 690.”

According to Fashola, there are 90 transmission projects ongoing across the country, and some of the recovered of pieces equipment are being used for them.

“If you look at it, between 2015 and now, you ask yourself honestly: Are you spending more on diesel now or before? Are you running your generators for longer today or yesterday? So, are you seeing the power slowly staying longer? If you are truthful to yourself, you will know that it is better than yesterday. And we haven’t finished,” he said.

The Managing Director, TCN, Usman Mohammed, said the installation of the two units of 100MVA transformers at the Ejigbo Transmission Substation was funded by the World Bank through the firm’s project management unit.

He stated, “With the increase in the Ejigbo substation’s capacity, the TCN has substantially increased bulk electricity available in the substation for the Ikeja Electricity Distribution Company to take to its customers. Consequently, electricity consumers in Ejigbo, Egbe, Oke-Afa, Shasha, Ikotun, Ijegun, and Idimu town will now have improved power supply from Ikeja Electric.”

“Other benefits include relieve of some overloaded feeders in Egbe, Shasha and Oke-Afa. Also, the Lagos airport will now have more load allocated to it. Improved power supply in these areas will positively impact the socio-economic development of the areas in particular and the economy at large.”  (Punch)

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Senate Summons Fashola To Answer For Monumental Fraud In Power Sector |RN

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Minister for Power, Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola

By Ike A. Offor

The upper chamber of the national assembly, the Senate summons the minister for Power, Works and Housing to answer for what the senate called ‘monumental fraud’ in the power sector of his ministry.

This was contained in the second motion of the day in the senate, which was put forward by Senator Dino Melaye representing Kogi West senatorial zone.

In replying to the senate, Senator Gbenga Ashafa speaks on the alleged pretext of the ministry acting under a purported presidential approval put forward by Dino Melaye, saying that the Babatunde Fashola and his ministry should be allowed to further clarify on the issue before establishing such allegation.

The senate at the plenary resolved to do the following: It is noted that both resolution were merged into one

Nigerian-Senate

  1. Mandate the Senate Committee on Power; Public Accounts; to invite the minister of Power, Works and Housing to render a detailed account in terms of public funds spent on the Fast Power Projects (Afam Fast Power Project in particular); evidence of feasibility study indicating the viability of the projects, and requisite appropriation by the Nationals Assembly as required by the Constitution; and the controversial presidential approval for the project;
  2. Mandate the Senate Committee on Power; Public Accounts; to investigate and consider summoning the Nigerian Sovereign Investment Authority (NSIA); Nigerian Electricity Bulk Trading Company (NBET) etc, to generally establish the status of the funds ($350million) and report back to senate within two weeks time frame.

Additional prayers by Sen. Mohammad Hassan is the Senate mandates the Committee on Finance to investigate the actions of  Nigerian Sovereign Investment Authority (NSIA) inclusive of the issue raised in this motion. He further prayed the Senate to look into how decisions are made on policy making and the reports is to be submitted in two weeks.

Sen. Ogola said that Senate Committee on Public Accounts should be mandated to ascertain and investigate balance of $650million from the Eurobond transaction in the TSA.

Sen. Ohuabunwa said that the Senate Committee on Judiciary should be mandated to review the present NSIA act and this was seconded by Sen. Aliyu Sabi.

The Senate President, Sen. Bukola Saraki said that the prayers should be handled by Committee on Power and Public Accounts stating that this is not the first time issues on power and funding is being raised.

He said: ‘I really believe that the Committee on Public Account should lead the investigation to get really down to the bottom of the matter’.

Babatunde-fashola

Babatunde Fashola

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Federal Government To Employ 47,000 Workers To Fix Roads, Says Fashola

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Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashol

Okechukwu Nnodim, Abuja

The Federal Government will employ 47,000 people to fix federal roads across the country, the Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola, has said.

According to him, the government already has a plan to make this work, adding that it would collaborate with the National Assembly to implement the idea.

Fashola disclosed this at a stakeholders’ meeting organised by Council for the Regulation of Engineering in Nigeria on the state of the country’s technical colleges in Abuja on Thursday.

The minister, who gave examples of how vocational and technical education had significantly contributed to the development of Singapore, Canada and South Africa, amongst others, said Nigeria must shape its educational system to suit the growth of the economy.

He told participants at the event that the government had worked out plans on how to engage thousands of artisans and technicians, particularly through the Federal Road Maintenance Agency, to fix roads across the country.

Fashola said, “We, therefore, conclude that technical education systems are dynamic, the challenges are, of course, unique because human needs vary with time. So, we have to shape our educational system based on our economy. Our system must therefore be relevant and responsive. We must plan for the future and not the past.

“Now, Nigeria is investing heavily in infrastructure. In the 2016 national budget, capital allocation alone was N1.8tn, which is a jump to 30 per cent of the total budget. We are currently planning for all these infrastructure that we are building, and I’m happy that the Chairman, House Committee on Works (Mr. Toby Okechukwu) is here.

“The idea is to actually change FERMA, which is to review the FERMA law and come up with another law. The essence is that FERMA should ultimately be the biggest construction company in this country. The idea is to employ about 47,000 people just to fix roads and the plan is there. Hopefully, I’m sure that working with the House and the Senate, we will be able to get that done.”

In his address, the President of COREN, Mr. Kashim Ali, said the National Council on Works directed the agency to organise the meeting in order to allow stakeholders deliberate on the state of Nigerian technical colleges with a view to creating a truly unique platform for shaping the country’s future.

He explained that the dearth of technical colleges was the cause of the non-existence of qualified craftsmen and technicians in the Nigerian engineering sector and the attendant consequences thereof.

“The essence of today’s gathering, therefore, is to advance the discussion and build on the foundation started four years ago in Calabar. Specifically, this meeting is aimed at finding out how each stakeholder will contribute towards revamping technical education in Nigeria,” Ali said.     (Punchng.com)

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Senate Accuses Fashola, BPP Of Contract Inflation |The Republican News

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Leke Baiyewu, Abuja

The Senate may probe the Ministry of Power, Works and Housing, headed by Mr. Babatunde Fashola and the Bureau of Public Procurement over alleged inflation of the costs of some contracts awarded by his ministry.

The lawmaker representing Kogi West Senatorial District, Senator Dino Melaye, who raised a point of order during the plenary on Wednesday, alleged that the BPP conspicuously changed the contractors and costs of some projects applied for by the ministry.

Melaye said, “The BPP got a letter from the Federal Ministry of Works, Power and Housing for the award of two batches of contracts. The first is the award of the construction and rehabilitation of 10 roads and bridges under the 2016 budget in November, 2016. The second batch is the award of the construction of bridges and roads – 13 of them – in the 2016 budget.

“The ministry sent a letter to the BPP, asking that 10 companies, who had undergone its (the ministry’s) internal due process and technical qualification, be issued Certificate of No Objection for the award of the contracts.

“The BPP, after its diligence, wrote its first report, giving the ministry the nod. But somehow, a second letter came from the BPP, indicating ‘Revised Due Process Review.’ This is now a review of the first one.

“What caught my attention is that while the first was in compliance with what the ministry recommended, in the second letter, they (BPP) completely changed the list of the contractors.

“Not that the contractors were just changed, figures also varied. In the first batch of 10, a contract was given to new contractors, who were not assessed by the ministry. After awarding the contract to them, the initial contract awarded for the Muman-Jalingo Road in Adamawa State, was given to a new contractor at N12.8bn as against N11bn that was recommended by the ministry.

“Another contractor was also given a new contract against the recommendation of N10bn; the contract was now awarded at N14bn.”

The senator asked that he be allowed to present the matter as a motion to allow a detailed presentation and debate.

Senate President Bukola Saraki, who presided over the plenary, however, said since Melaye came under Order 42, “by our rules, we will need the leave of this Senate, so that the matter can be brought as a motion.”

The lawmakers granted the leave and Saraki proclaimed that the motion be moved on Thursday (today).  (Punchng.com)

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