The federal government is to review the contracts in the power sector to remove bottlenecks limiting electricity supply in the country
| By Anayo Ezugwu | Jun 6, 2016 @ 01:00 GMT
THE Nigerian government is to review the status of projects being implemented by contractors in the power sector in a bid to ensure improved power supply in the country. Babatunde Fashola, minister of power, works and housing, and contractors handling the various electricity projects undertaken by the Niger Delta Power Holding Company, NDPHC, and the Transmission Company of Nigeria, TCN, and the contractors have also made commitments to secure the release of power project materials and equipment that are held in Nigeria’s seaports, which NDPHC claimed, contributed to delay in completion of projects by the contractors.
The minister and the contractors reached the agreement at a meeting the former convened in Abuja last week. The meeting, according to a statement from the ministry of power was aimed at helping power project contractors overcome the challenges that had stopped them from completing projects awarded to them by the NDPHC and TCN. It was also to share the concerns of the contractors and ensure that those who abandoned their projects are immediately mobilised to resume work on their projects.
The statement signed by Haruna Ibrahim, assistant director, Press, and made available to Realnews quoted Fashola as appealing to the contractors to go back to their sites and ensure speedy completion of the projects, promising that their complaints would be resolved within a reasonable time frame.
At the meeting, the contractors briefed the minister on the status and challenges of projects undertaken for the NDPHC, including issues relating to the evacuation of power from the eastern axis.
Such issues had to do with the Alaoji- Ikot Ekpene 300kVA double circuit line and the switching station located at Ikot Ekpene in Akwa Ibom. Both transmission projects are owned by the NDPHC. Based on the agreements reached at the meeting, contractors are to submit to the minister, a list of projects that have achieved up to 70 percent completion which provisions were not made in the 2016 budget approved for TCN.
There is to be a list of contractors who have assured on the completion of their projects before the end of 2016 and relevant information about their projects and a list of contractors who have completed and handed over projects and details of such projects that are yet to be paid. Also, government is to intervene in the case of contractors whose equipment are stuck at the ports and attracted accumulated port charges to get them released although the responsibility of moving out the cargoes from the ports would be borne by owners.
Fashola equally called on them to begin to look inward and make the most of locally manufactured equipment like transmission towers; clamps and cables in completion of their projects to save them the troubles of looking for foreign exchange for importation.
NDPHC is a special purpose company owned by three tiers of the government tasked with the responsibility for implementation of the National Integrated Power Project, NIPP. Each of the 10 power generation assets that have been developed under the NIPP is owned by a subsidiary of NDPHC.