THIRD YEAR PROGRESS REPORT AS DELIVERED BY H.E BABATUNDE RAJI FASHOLA, SAN AT THE CONFERENCE ROOM OF THE MINISTRY OF POWER,WORKS AND HOUSING, MABUSHI, ABUJA ON MONDAY, 12TH NOVEMBER, 2018
Distinguished ladies and gentlemen, Saturday the 10th day of November 2018 was the 3rd anniversary of the day when President Buhari inaugurated the current Federal Executive Council and announced the merger of the Ministry of Power, Works and Housing into one new ministry, on the 11th November, 2018.
Shortly after the inauguration and specifically on the 8th day of December 2015, I addressed members of the public in a statement titled “Setting the Agenda for Delivering Change” in which I set out what we inherited, what we plan to do, and what members of the public should expect from us.
For the sake of consistency, let me refresh your memories by repeating some of what I said about each sector, as a benchmark for assessing our progress in the report which I will present shortly.
With regard to our mandate on power supply, I promised that we will improve on the gas supply, increase the transmission capacity, pay MDA debts and generally improve your experience with power supply, first by getting incremental power, then proceed to stable power and hopefully reach uninterrupted power.
With regard to works, I said:
“As at May 2015, many contractors have stopped work because of payment and many fathers and wives employed by them have been laid off as a result. The possibility to return those who have just lost their jobs back to work is the kind of change that we expect to see…”
And with regard to Housing, I said:
“The Housing Sector presents an enormous opportunity for positively impacting the economy to promote not only growth but inclusion.”
I also said that:
“Government will lead the aggressive intervention to increase supply” starting with a pilot.”
Ladies and Gentlemen, on behalf of my colleagues, Hon. Mustapha Baba Shehuri and Surveyor Suleiman Hassan Zarma, the Honourable Ministers of State who manage this ministry with me, the Permanent Secretaries; Mohammed Bukar for Works and Housing; Louis Edozien, for Power, the Directors and all the staff of the ministry, the heads of our various parastatals and their staff, I am proud and happy to report that we have walked our talk, and we have delivered visible results and recorded qualitative progress.
With regard to power, we have improved on what we met, by increasing generation from 4000 MW to 7000 MW, transmission from 5000 MW to 7000 MW and distribution from 2690 MW to 5,222 MW.
Our work is clearly not finished, and we are still in the process of delivering additional:
A) Generation from Kaduna 215MW, Afam IV 240MW, Kashimbilla 40MW, Gurara 30MW, Dadinkowa 29MW, power for 9 universities, 15 markets and 2 big Hydro power plants of 700MW in Zungeru and 3,050MW in Mambilla.
B) Transmission from 90 projects nationwide with Apo, Mayo Belwa, Damaturu, Maiduguri, Odogunyan and Ejigbo being recently completed ones.
C)Distribution through over 100 injection sub-stations and a distribution expansion programme to be funded by the Federal Government now in an advanced state of procurement.
Although there are still people we have not reached, although there are still disruptions from time to time, and although there are still people who also need meters, and we are working to reach them, it is indisputable that we have delivered on incremental power.
The evidence of our progress is not only captured in the last quarter of the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) Report for Q2 of 2018 which shows a growth of 7.5% in the electricity sector, previous quarterly reports from 2017, have consistently recorded growth, a clear departure from 2014-2015 and proof of change.
As I promised you in my inaugural address, it will not just be electricity by numbers, it will be borne out by personal experiences.
The report of our survey and feedback mechanism confirm that many of you now have public power for longer hours compared to 2015, and you now run generators for shorter periods compared to 2015 and you now spend less money on diesel to power your generators.
As some Citizens recently reported, they no longer have to iron all their clothes one week in advance as they previously used to do, because the supply is proving reliable and predictable even if not yet fully Stable and uninterrupted.
This is progress that we must move forward by consolidating on our mandate of change. We cannot go back.
As our policies on Mini Grids, Meter Asset Provider, Eligible Customer, and liquidity sustenance and improved governance deepens, your experience with power supply can only get better.
Our progress report on public works relating to roads and bridges also confirms that we have fulfilled our promise.
We have recovered the thousands of jobs that were lost to public works.
This recovery is the result of an expansive infrastructure spending that saw works budget grow from N18.132b in 2015 to N394b in 2018.
The outcome is that there is not one state in Nigeria today where the Federal Government is not executing at least one road project and construction workers are engaged on these sites.
Difficult or abandoned projects like the 2nd Niger Bridge, Lagos-Ibadan Expressway and the Bodo-Bonny Bridge have been brought back to life.
Sections of Ilorin-Jebba, Sokoto to Jega, Sokoto-Ilela have been completed, while progress of works continues nationwide from Jada to Mayo Belwa, Enugu to Port Harcourt, Lagos to Otta, Ikorodu to Shagamu, Benin to Okene, Lokoja to Abuja, Kano to Maiduguri, Abuja – Kaduna, Kano to mention a few.
Apart from recovered construction jobs and growth in construction sector of the economy, the feedback from road users is that the journey times are reducing on the completed roads.
Only last week a commuter sent a text message to me that he travelled from Warri to Lagos in Five and Half hours.
This is what we promised in my inaugural address.
That journey used to take a whole day before President Buhari was elected and sometimes people slept on the Road. We cannot go back to that era. We are determined to move forward.
We acknowledge that the work is not finished, but as long as we remain able to finance the projects, I have no doubt that it will get better.
Our intervention on roads does not stop on interstate highways. It has also entered 14 Federal Universities where unattended internal roads are now receiving attention in:
1. University of Nigeria, Nsukka;
2. Federal University Oye, Ekiti,
3. University of Benin,
4. Federal University, Lafia
5.Fed University, Otuoke Bayelsa
6. Bayero University Kano
7. Federal University of Technology Owerri (FUTO)
8. University of Maiduguri
9. Federal University, Lokoja
10. Federal Polytechnic Bauchi
11. Federal University, Gashua
12. Kaduna Polytechnic
13. Federal College of Education Katsina
14. University College Ibadan
This is the First Phase under the 2017 Budget and we are preparing to do more under the 2018 Budget.
It is important to highlight this intervention and the 9 (Nine) Indepedent Power projects in Federal Universities as an investment in Education for the benefit of those who seek more funding for education.
As we build roads, we are also attending to old or damaged bridges and restoring the value of maintenance.
So, while the Loko -Oweto Bridge is nearing completion, the damaged Tatabu Bridge linking Ilorin and Jebba has been reconstructed and the Tamburawa Bridge in Kano, the Isaac Boro Bridge in Rivers, Eko Bridge in Lagos and the Old Niger Bridge that links Anambra and Delta are receiving regular maintenance attention.
As for housing, permit me to start with public buildings like Federal Secretariats in Zamfara, Bayelsa, Nasarawa and Ekiti where public works are being undertaken, and to mention the Zik Mausoleum in Onitsha which has now been practically completed.
Let me also point out that our pilot National Housing Programme has led to a nationwide Housing Construction being undertaken in the 34 states where we have received land.
No less than 1,000 people are employed on each site apart from the staff of the successful contractors.
These sites are an ecosystem of human enterprise, where artisans, vendors, suppliers and craftsmen converge to partake of opportunities and contribute to nation building.
These are some of the most vulnerable people for whom President Buhari has delivered.
Our parastatals like the Federal Mortgage Bank of Nigeria (FMBN) and the Federal Housing Authority (FHA) are also contributing.
Policies like the reduction of equity contribution from 5% to 0% for those seeking mortgage loans of up to N5million, and reduction from 15% to 10% for those seeking loans over N5million are helping to ease access to housing.
The ministry is also tackling the backlog of issuance of consent and Certificates of Occupany to Federal Government land.
A total of 1,216 Application for Consent to transfer interests in Land application and 1,300 Certificates of occupancy have been approved and signed respectively as at 25th October 2018.
Some of these transactions started over a decade ago and those just getting certificates acquired their properties years back but never got title.
You will go a long way back in our history to find out when a Federal Government set out such clear objectives and is able to come back to show its progress report.
As you all know, we are now in the month of November and heading to the end of the year.
What this means is that festivity, end of year activity and consequent movement of goods and services will put pressure on our roads nationwide.
Our Ember month planning committee, working with FRSC and FERMA have been meeting to prepare themselves to make your movement during this period as conducive as the circumstances will permit.
FRSC will deploy their personnel across the major transport corridors of the country during this period of heavy movement to help manage traffic.
They have committed to setting up 9 camps and 18 help areas across the zones to provide support and help to commuters in need.
The ministry staff have identified 53 critical roads requiring intervention while construction is going on in order to move traffic and we will be working with our contractors to provide relief gangs.
We are also deploying the Zonal Directors to their zones of responsibility until this period of peak traffic subsides.
What is true of pressure on roads at the end of the year is true of pressure on the power supply with the heat and weather change that comes with end of the year.
There will be increased demand for water and cooling in dry and hot weather which translates to increased demand for electricity in our homes, offices, and other places of activity.
Our ember month team have been set up to keep the supply on and, where possible, increase it to meet demand.
We have prepared for the worst and we now hope for the best.
The success of our plans now depend on the cooperation of road users who must drive carefully and energy users who must comserve energy when not needed.
Ladies and gentlemen, we came to this job in November 2015 with a mountain to climb.
With careful thinking, planning, and a dedicated team of public officers, we have a firm foothold on our way to the top.
Our policies have shown what is possible with critical sectors recording growth.
What remains is time that it takes for the full harvest of the fruits of our policies in plenitude and prosperity of our people.
We cannot go back to the bottom of the mountain when the plateau is now within reach.
Let me conclude by wishing you all a Merry Christmas in and a prosperous 2019 in advance and assure you of our readiness to continue to serve you.
Thank you for listening.
Babatunde Raji Fashola, SAN
Honourable Minister of Power, Works and Housing