Housing Minister, Fashola inaugurates 100 housing units in Ogbomosho

Mr Babatunde Fashola, the Minister of Power, Works and Housing, has inaugurated 100 housing units in Ogbomosho, Oyo state, a project funded by the Federal Mortgage Bank of Nigeria (FMBN).

Inaugurating the housing units on Friday, Fashola said meeting the housing needs of Nigerians was a major priority of the Federal Government.

He commended the bank, the developer and other stakeholders, who contributed to the completion of the project.

Fashola pledged the commitment of the Federal Government to support programmes aimed at engaging youths and making them contribute to the development of the country.

He said the FMBN had since the inception of the current administration in the country contributed significantly to efforts being made to address the housing needs of Nigeria.

In his remarks, Mr Richard Esin, the Acting Managing Director of the FMBN, said a construction loan of N561.2 million was advanced to the developer, Viva Construction Ltd, to deliver the 100 housing units.

He said 48 of the units were three-bedroom semi-detached bungalows, 40 two-bedroom semi-detached bungalows and 12 one-bedroom terrace bungalows.

He further said the bank was currently funding various housing projects across the country.

Esin said the projects were being funded from the resources of the National Housing Fund (NHF) scheme.

”The NHF is a scheme into which Nigerian workers in the public and private sector, earning a minimum of N3,000 per annum, contribute 2.5 per cent of their monthly income.

”On the basis of their consistency in the contribution, Nigerian workers become eligible for mortgage loans at a concessionary interest rate of six per cent,” he said.


Source: NAN

Governor Okowa, Fashola Commissions Gas Turbine In Niger Delta.

The Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Mr. Babatunde Fashola and the Governor of Delta State, Ifeanyi Okowa, have commissioned a 115mw gas turbine installed by Transcorp Power Limited Ughelli, bringing the installed capacity to 620mw from the 160mw which the company inherited from UPN privatization in 2013.

According to the management of Transcorp Power, the company currently generates only 300mw owing to shortage of gas supply, and promises to invest facilities that would increase gas supply to the power station if the government creates an enabling regulatory framework.

Mr. Fashola commended Governor Okowa for his commitment to peace in the Niger Delta, observing that it has paid off with the successful operation of Transcorp in the area without issues.

He also observed that the increase in power generation was a clear sign that the privatization of the power sector had started yielding benefits for Nigerians.

However, Governor Okowa called for collaborative efforts in the power sector to ensure that generated power translates into electricity in the homes of Nigerians, assuring that the existing peace in the state would be consolidated as a continuous boost to investors confidence.


Source: Channels TV

Audit Report: Military, MDAs owe power companies N51 billion

An audit report of debt by Federal Government ministries, departments and agencies (MDAs) to power distribution companies (DISCos) has revealed an indebtedness of N59.3 billion by top 100 customers, like defence, military and security agencies owing N51 billion.

This was the communiqué at the 13th meeting of power sector stakeholders yesterday with the Minister of Power, Babatunde Fashola, hosted by the Transcorp Power Limited, Ughelli, Delta State.

The report stated that all verified bills would be recommended for payment on a first-come first-serve basis as a demonstration of government’s determination to lead by example with regards to payment for electricity delivered.

In their comments, Fashola and Delta State Governor Ifeanyi Okowa charged power generating companies (GENCos) and the DISCos to do more to ensure regular power supply to Nigerians.

They maintained that regular electricity is critical to the nation’s industrial, technological and infrastructural development.

Fashola also chided the DISCos for failing to strengthen their transformers, thereby leading to epileptic power supplies as a result of frequent breakdowns.

Okowa slammed the Benin Electricity Distribution Company (BEDC) for the poor power supply in his state. He declared: “No matter what you generate, if it does not get to the common man, then it becomes a problem.”

Okowa charged all stakeholders to ensure peace in their communities to ensure peaceful operation of the power companies.

The Chairman of Transcorp Power, Mr. Tony Elumelu told the minister and governor: “We have two issues: one is liquidity. We want the minister to fast-track access to the Liquidation Assurance Programme funds. The second is gas. We want to do, but there is no gas. We can generate 620WM but due to poor access to gas supply we are handicapped.”

The power sector operators present included the NERC, managing directors and CEOs of GENCos, DISCos, the Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN), as well as various government agencies such as the Niger Delta Power Holding Company (NDPHC), the Nigerian Bulk Electricity Trader (NBET), Nigerian Electricity Liability Management Company (NELMCO) and Nigerian Electricity Management Services Agency (NEMSA) and other operators in the electricity industry.


Source: The Guardian

Minister Fashola Denies Frustrating Reconstruction Of Road In Lagos

The Minister of Works, Power and Housing, Babatunde Fashola has debunked claims by the Lagos State Governor, Akinwunmi Ambode, that the ministry is frustrating plans to reconstruct the road leading to the Murtala Mohammed International Airport.

Mr. Fashola said that the correct position on the airport road and presidential lodge issues, is that the process that would lead to their approval by the Federal Executive Council has not been completed.

Governor Ambode, during a press briefing, alleged that he approached the Ministry of Works on the matter but had not received permission to go ahead with the project.

He added that he had also been denied access to the Presidential Lodge in Lagos after President Muhammadu Buhari approved its handover to the state.

The Ministry of Works has also accused the Lagos state government of refusing to approve the ministry’s request for land, for the National Housing programme in the state.


Source: Channels TV

FG to inject N500Bn into mortgage bank to tackle housing deficit – Minister

The Federal Government says it will inject N500 billion into the Federal Mortgage Bank to enable it meet the housing needs of Nigerians.

Minister of State for Power, Works and Housing, Mustapha Baba, who disclosed this on Monday in Jalingo, said the measure would help the the bank to adequately cater for the rising mortgage finance needs of workers.

Mr. Baba spoke while inaugurating the ministerial pilot housing scheme project, financed by the Federal Mortgage Bank in the Taraba capital.

He commended the bank’s efforts toward meeting the challenge of housing deficit, in spite of the economic challenges facing the nation.

The minister urged workers to continue to contribute to the housing fund, adding that government would soon commence the construction of 5,000 housing units in each state of the federation, under the public-private partnership arrangement.

Gov. Darius Ishaku, in his remarks, said that the inauguration would reduce the housing needs of civil servants in Taraba.

Represented by his deputy, Haruna Manu, the governor thanked the contractor for delivering a quality job.

He said the state government was interested in working with the federal mortgage bank and the federal ministry of power, works and housing, toward building more houses for the people of the state.

“We are equally doing our best to meet the housing needs of the fast growing population, following the relocation of some people into the state, as a result of insurgency in some northeastern states.

“The state government has already acquired land to build 500 housing units in partnership with some development partners,” he said.

Earlier, National President of the Trade Union Congress (TUC), Boboi Kaigama, had called on the state government to subsidise the cost of the houses for its workers.

He explained that civil servants could hardly afford the N7million pegged for a 3 bedroom semi-detached bungalow.

Mr. Kaigama also called on the federal ministry of power, works and housing to consider local government workers in the housing scheme of the federal government, so as to give them a sense of belonging.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the inaugurated 202 housing estates has 24 one-bedroom Terrace going for N3.2 million, 88 two-bedroom Bungalows at N5.6 million, and 90 three-bedroom bungalows at N7 million.


Source: NAN

FEC approves N126bn for 12 road projects

The federal executive council (FEC) on Wednesday approved the award of N126 billion for the construction of 12 road projects.

Babatunde Fashola, the minister of power, works and housing, made this known while briefing state house correspondents after the FEC meeting.

Fashola said the projects were spread across Kano, Bauchi, Adamawa, Kwara, Gombe, Enugu, Kaduna and Bauchi states.

He said: “Contractors who have been owed for two, three years before Mr President was elected are back in various states, they recalled back their workers and as they are purchasing gravel, cement; the economy is on its way back with a bend.

“Every place in all of those states, once we mobilise the contractors, the money is kept in those states.

“Most of the workers who drive the trucks, who fix the roads that you see are indigenes of those states and so, they aggregate to the total output from each of those states to the national productivity and national recovery.”

N2bn housing scheme in 2017 budget not our project – Fashola to senate

Babatunde Fashola, minister of power, works and housing, has disowned the sum of N2bn allocated to regional housing scheme in the 2017 budget proposal of his ministry.

Appearing before the senate committee on housing and urban development on Tuesday, Fashola said the scheme entitled “family homes” and numbered FMOW99934089 was an initiative of the finance ministry.

He explained that his ministry did not submit proposals for the project in its budget.

“It is not our project. It came in from, I think, the budget (office). It is a ministry of finance initiative; saying that they want to do what they called ‘family homes’. It is not from us,” Fashola said.

“That is why I have come. I am explaining to you now, sir, on how it comes into our budget. That is not what we submitted. We didn’t submit that proposal.”

Barnabas Gemade, chairman of the committee, while querying the regional housing programme, said government could not be operated in secrecy.

He requested that Kemi Adeosun, minister of finance, should be invited to explain the housing programme.

“What is this provision of N2bn for regional housing scheme? What is regional housing scheme? Where is it taking place? What is happening? Have you seen it on Page 18?,” Gemade asked.

“Let us know what is regional housing programme because government cannot be operated in secrecy.

“Write to the minister, we have seen this line, which costs N2 billion. Let them send information here for us to know what it is all about,” he said.

BudgIT tasks Fashola on transparency in power, works ministry.

A Nigerian civil society organisation, Budgit, has called on the Minister for Power, Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola, to uphold transparency and ensure detailed disclosure of utilisation of funds released to his ministry for capital projects in 2016.

In a statement two weeks ago, Mr. Fashola’s office declared that “no new contracts have been awarded to date based on 2016 Appropriation and; as such no single kobo has been paid.”

But Budgit in a statement made available to PREMIUM TIMES by its head, Olusegun Onigbinde, expressed worry at the minister’s declaration, asking him to disclose how funds released to his ministry under the 2016 budget was used.

The financial document released by the Office of the Accountant General revealed a sum of N170,425,193,94 was released to the Ministry as at October 2016 from a total capital budget of N353 billion.

“If the funds released to the Ministry of Works, Power and Housing are meant for old projects, what projects did the Ministry spend N170 billion on?” Mr. Onigbinde wrote.

“The Ministry of Works, Power and Housing should provide information on the projects currently being implemented, the actual cost released for each project, name of the contractors and the locations of the projects.

“This is a basic requirement to measure the judicious utilisation of public funds by any public office.”

The organisation said its previous demand for detailed information on the utilisation of funds released for federal capital projects had not been honoured since December 2016.

The Ministry of Finance said N753 billion had been released to fund capital projects as at October 2016.

“But it was without comprehensive details of projects the fund was released for,” Budgit said.

“We did not request for nuclear codes nor details that could be dubbed as ‘threats to National Security’; we have only requested that governance functions the way it ought to.

“It is a common knowledge that government fails when citizens do not hold trust in the dealings of an administration hence the necessity to ensure there is mutual trust between government and the citizens through transparency.

“We have chewed this on many occasions that there is a deliberate attempt to keep citizens out of loop with respect to information. The lack of responsible public information breeds bad perception. The implication of this singular act could be measured on investment and investors who struggle to trust an opaque system with funds.

“The Federal Government’s anti-graft war needs more openness to work efficiently.”

Fashola lists top federal road projects for 2017

The Minister for Power, Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola, has explained how the federal government has prioritised highway projects across the country in order of economic importance.

Mr. Fashola appeared before the Senate on Works on Monday to defend his ministry’s budget.

In the 2017 budget proposal, the Ministry has N564.2 billion for the three sectors, out of which works gets N311.5 billion.

It has the highest vote for capital expenditure in the 2017 budget.

Mr. Fashola said the highway projects were grouped into categories in order of priority and importance of the projects.

According to him, the “priority 1” projects are “national priority projects on critical economic routes on the federal road network.”

“These are highly trafficked North-South, East-West routes used for the distribution of goods and services across the country and major river-crossing bridges.

“The sum of N150, 470,553,292, which represents 62.22 per cent, is proposed to execute “national priority 1” projects in 2017.

“Some of the projects are the construction of Second Niger Bridge at Onitsha; construction of the dual carriageway of Abuja-Abaji-Lokoja (Sections I-IV) in FCT/Kogi State; construction of the Kano-Maiduguri dual carriage Road (Sections I-V) in Kano/Bauchi/Yobe/Borno states; and the rehabilitation of Enugu-Port Harcourt Dual Carriageway (Sections I-IV) in Enugu/Abia/Rivers states.”

“(Others are) Rehabilitation/reconstruction of the Lagos-Shagamu-Ibadan Expressway in Lagos/Oyo states; construction of Loko-Oweto Bridge in Nasarawa/Benue states; reconstruction of outstanding sections of Benin-Ofosu-Ore-Sagamu Road in Edo/Ondo/Ogun states; rehabilitation of Odukpani-Itu-Ikot Ekpene Road section I: Odukpani-Itu Bridgehead; and rehabilitation of Ilorin-J’ebba-Mokwa Road.”

“National Priority 2”

According to the minister, these are projects along the branch routes from the critical economic routes on the federal road network.

“These roads serve as links between the major routes and agricultural producing hubs, factories and mining deposits for the evacuation of agricultural produce, manufactured goods and raw materials to markets and ports across the country. The sum of N43, 143,299,357, which represents 17.84 per cent, is proposed to execute “National Priority 2” projects in 2017.”

He listed some of the projects as dualisation of Sapele-Ewu Road in Delta/Edo states; dualisation of Lagos-Ota-Abeokuta Road in Lagos/Ogun states; rehabilitation of Hadejia-Nguru-Gashua-Bayamari road in Jigawa/Yobe states; and the rehabilitation of Ilorin-Kabba-Obajana Road in Kwara/Kogi states.

Others are the rehabilitation of Yola-Mubi Road; rehabilitation of Owerri-Umuahia Road in Imo/Abia states; dualisation of Yenagoa Road Junction-Kolo-Otuoke-Bayelsa Palm in Bayelsa State; and the rehabilitation of Damaturu-Biu Road.

National Priority 3

“These projects are specifically targeted at routes leading to the nation’s refineries, petroleum depots, major ports and mineral producing areas in the country to ease the movement of petroleum products and imported goods from the ports and depots to other parts of the country.

“Also, the sum of N25, 508,708,266, which represents 10.55 per cent, was proposed to execute national priority 3 projects in 2017.

“Some of the projects are rehabilitation of Apapa-Oshodi Expressway in Lagos Phase I & II; dualisation of Suleja-Minna Road; construction of Bodo-Bonny Road with a bridge across the Opobo channel in Rivers State; access road to Apapa/Tin Can Port, NNPC Depot (Atlas Cove) to Mile 2; and the construction of Agaie-Katcha-Baro Road,” Mr. Fashola explained.

National Priority 4

Road projects in “key agricultural states producing cash crops like yam, rice, maize, cassava, fruits, etc.” were categorized under “national priority 4” with objective of boosting “the production of these crops and ease their movement to markets. This is to enhance food sufficiency in the country and minimise losses.”

Mr. Fashola disclosed that N8.9 billion, representing 3.68 per cent, was proposed to construct and rehabilitate roads in this category.

Such projects include the rehabilitation of Sokoto-TambuwaI-Jega-Kontagora-Makera in Sokoto/Kebbi states; rehabilitation of Otukpo-9th Mile-Enugu-Port Harcourt dual carriageway in Benue/Enugu states; rehabilitation of Abakaliki-Afikpo Road in Ebonyi State; rehabilitation of Akure-Ondo Road in Ondo State; rehabilitation of Aba-Azumini-Opobo Road (Aba-Azumini section) in Abia State; rehabilitation of Wukari-Mutum Biyu-Jalingo-Numan Road Section I: Wukari-Mutum Biyu Road in Taraba State.

The minister said inadequacy of budgetary votes to sustain annual cash-flow requirements hinders timely completion of projects in Nigeria.

We are building roads in every states of the federation – Fashola

Babatunde Fashola, minister of power, works housing, says he is in doubt if there is any state in the country where roads are being constructed.

While defending the 2017 budget for works before the senate committee on Monday, Fashola said there was a possibility of the ministry getting more funds before the 2016 budget expires.

He explained that the ministry received only 53 percent of N300 billion appropriated to it in the 2016.

“It is not the question of lack of capacity but the question of how much revenue the country earns and how they can give to us to pursue our work,” he said.

“We received only 53 per cent on the allocation; there is the possibility that we will get more before the current budget fully winds down.

“I doubt that there is any state in the federation where there is no road project going on, whether it is our own direct project or constituency project.”

On his part, Kabiru Gaya, the committee chairman said it was the work of the national assembly to appraise budget proposals sent to it.

“The budget is a draft, we will do our work. The national assembly could not have been said to have padded the budget.

“By law, it has constitutional rights to appraise the budget proposal sent to it. It will therefore be a misnomer in the process of considering the budget to be seen as padding.

“We must explore more resourceful ways of delivering quality service in this sector. We must consider alternative sources of funding like public-private partnership and foreign investors to support the budget in the future.”

Federal Government gives reasons for declining electricity supply

The Federal Government has blamed declining electricity supply in the country on liquidity problems, pipeline vandalism and sabotage of oil infrastructure in the Niger Delta.

The Minister of Works, Power and Housing, Babatunde Fashola, who briefed newsmen after yesterday’s Federal Executive Council (FEC) ?meeting presided over by Acting President Yemi Osinbajo, however, disclosed that the government was working hard to address the challenge.
According to Fashola, “You heard that there was liquidity problems. Gas suppliers have not been fully paid; generating companies (GENCOs) have also not been fully paid. You heard this ‘back and forth’ between distribution companies (DISCOs) and GENCOs. So, those are some of the issues.”

He said: “We have been meeting with the gas suppliers, trying to see how we can pay off some of these debts, while we fix other problems. As I continue to say, it is not technical, but financial.”

The minister, however, maintained that vandalism of pipelines is not technical. People were destroying, they were angry.

“Also, until we resolve some behavioural issues: people collect money and have not been remitting in a manner that is fair,” Fashola stated.

The Federal Government also pledged to commit additional ?N3.5 billion for the completion of the Odogunyan transmission sub-station in Ikorodu, Lagos State, to improve power generation.

This, the government said would provide additional transformer capacity at the sub-station as well as 260mva transformers and transmission lines of 132 kva to complete the works in that area generally known within the power industry as Ayobo West.

Fashola, who was joined by the Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed during the briefing, disclosed that the contract for the project had been awarded since 2009 but abandoned because it was not paid for.

PREMIUM TIMES: Works Minister, Fashola, in N166 billion contract mess.

The Bureau for Public Procurement (BPP) has queried the Minister of Works, Power and Housing, Babatunde Fashola over the award of 10 road and bridge contracts worth N166 billion.

The BPP said the minister and his ministry violated the laws guiding contract awards in Nigeria in the manner they selected contractors for the projects.

The procurement agency is asking Mr. Fashola to explain, among other things, why the costs of some of the projects were inflated and why some were awarded to unqualified firms.

The construction of the roads and bridges, spread across the country, were appropriated for in the ministry’s 2016 budget.

The projects are the rehabilitation of Numan-Jalingo Road awarded to Deux Projects Ltd for N11.7 billion; replacement of substandard bridges along Gusau-Sokoto Road awarded to Triacta Nig. Ltd (N1.01 billion); construction of Ojutu Bridge in Ilobu, Osun State awarded to Halicass Integrated Ltd (N522.2 million); construction of Ohan-Moro Bridge on Ilorin-Igbeti Road awarded to Bonus Nig. Ltd (N942.6 million); and rehabilitation of Abuja-Kaduna Road awarded to CGC Nig. Ltd (N26.9 billion).

Others are rehabilitation of Kaduna-Zaria Road in Katsina State awarded to Arab Contractors Nig. Ltd for N14.8 billon; rehabilitation of Zaria-Kano Road in Kaduna/Kano State awarded to Reynold Construction Nig. Ltd (N69.9 billion); and the construction of Burga-Dull-Mbatill-TadnumGpbiya-Badagari-Gwaranga-Sum, Bauchi State awarded to Rahama Civil Works Nig. Ltd (N10.9 billion).

The construction of Tudun Wuss-Wandi-Wandi-Baraza-Durr-Zumbul-Polchi-Dot-Kwanar Road, Bauchi State awarded to Dalum Construction Nig. at N12.2 billion and the construction of Pankshin-Tapshin-Gambar-Sara-Kai-Gindiri Road in Plateau State awarded to Metropolitan Construction Company Limited at N15.3 billion are also among the contracts slated for award by the ministry.

How contracts were awarded

In line with the requirement of the Public Procurement Act, 2007, Mr. Fashola’s ministry had, in a letter dated November 7, 2016, requested the Bureau to issue it Due Process Certificate of “No Objection” for the award of the 10 contracts.

The ministry had earlier in June advertised the projects in some national newspapers as well as the Federal Tenders Journal edition of Monday May 30- June 10, 2016.

An addendum to the advertisement was further placed in the same newspapers and Federal Tenders Journal of Monday June 13-Sunday June 26, 2016.

On July 25, 2016, the prequalification documents were opened in the Conference Room of the ministry in the presence of representatives of prospective contractors, non-governmental organisations, the Nigeria Society of Engineers and some member of the public as well as officials of the ministry.

In line with Part V, Clause 22, Section 4 of the Pubic Procurement Act (PPA) 2007, the Permanent Secretary/Chairman of the Ministerial Tenders Board constituted a Technical Evaluation Committee to evaluate the tenders received from prospective contractors.

The contractors successful in the technical evaluation exercise were “provisionally prequalified”, with their documents forwarded to the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS), and banks for verification.

They were subsequently invited to submit completed financial tender documents.

The ministry then carried out a verification exercise on some of the claims made by bidders in their technical bids.

After the verification exercise, the ministry wrote to the BPP to request certificate of no objection for the recommended contractors.

BPP’s response

However, the BPP objected to the award of the contracts citing various violations of the PPA Act.

The agency, in a report on the projects, exclusively obtained by PREMIUM TIMES, said it would not grant the ministry due process certificate until its concerns were “adequately addressed”.

The report was signed by the Director General of the BPP, Mamman Ahmadu.

In the 64-page report, the Bureau objected to the award of the contracts because “there are no evidences that feasibility and financial/economic studies were conducted during projects’ preparation.”

It also expressed surprise that the ministry failed to prepare Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) for the projects.

It said, “There are no evidences that the EIAs were prepared for the Projects and specifically no EIA Reports were submitted for this Due Process Review. The Federal Ministry of Power, Works and Housing should note that Environment Impact Assessment is a very crucial aspect of project preparation.”

Furthermore, the BPP condemned the ministry for failing to submit the technical bids for the companies that participated in the pre-qualification exercise.

“The FMPW&H did not recommend the lowest bidders for most of the lots after prequalifying the firms,” the agency said.

“The Bureau further observed that FMPW&H appears to have erroneously categorized some critical projects in such a way that enables contractors that are not in the same category with similar technical and financial capacities to submit bids for such lots.

“This has made the bench-marking and value-for-money checks almost unfeasible and has opened avenues to subject the procurement processes to many frivolous petitions and counter-petitions that could likely delay the immediate commencement of the projects.”

More bashing

Commenting specifically on each of the 10 projects one after the other, the Bureau noted that although the ministry recommended the lowest contractor for the N11.7 billion Numan-Jalingo Road project, most of the companies that submitted bids for the project were not in the same category and ranking that would enable proper bench-marking.

“Besides, the capacity of most of firms to upgrade and extend the quality of the design and standard of this road cannot be guaranteed,” it stated further.

The Bureau therefore advised the ministry to carry out post-qualification on all the firms that submitted bids for this Lot to verify their actual capacities and eliminates firms that do not have technical and financial capacity to execute the project.

On the replacement of substandard bridges along Gusau-Sokoto Road, the Bureau said the ministry considered the submission of Messrs. China Zhonghao and Ric Rock Construction Ltd that submitted the third and fourth lowest bids non-responsive.

It however noted that the basis for their disqualification was not made known by the ministry.

It asked the ministry to carry out post-qualification on all the firms that submitted for this Lot to verify their actual capacities and eliminate firms that do not have the technical and financial capacity to execute this project.

On the construction of Ojutu Bridge in Ilobu, Osun State, awarded to Halicass Integrated Ltd for N522.2 million, the BPP said the ministry indicated that the rates of the lowest four tenderers were too low while two of the contractors submitted bid securities that were not up to two percent of the contract sum as requested.

It also said the ministry indicated that the submission of Messrs. Metropolitan International Limited was corrected from N704,089,909.48 to N122,430,000.00, which showed the firm lacked the understanding and capacity to execute a project of that magnitude and complexity.

The Bureau said it observed that the actual corrected sum of the company submitted as carried out by FMPW&H and verified by the Bureau was N700,761,140.33.

“Nonetheless, the Bureau is amazed with the ministry’s comment on Messrs. Metropolitan International Limited for this project, whereas the ministry has recommended the firm for a bigger project of  N15,385,310,166.29  [Pankshin-Tapshin-Gambar-Kal-Gindiri Road].”

The Bureau wondered why the ministry did not recommend Bilijoe+Berger Nigeria Limited for the construction of Ohan-Moro Bridge on Ilorin-Igbeti Road which was awarded to Bonus Nig. Ltd at N942.6 million despite its (ministry) claiming that the company’s price was reasonable.

The ministry, according to the Bureau, indicated that the rates of the lowest tenderer, Messrs. Blisswood Associates Limited were too low, while the submission of Messrs. Bilijoe+Berger Nigeria Limited, the second lowest tenderer, was considered reasonable.

It however wondered why the job was not given to the company even though their submission was lower than that of Messrs. Bonus by N2,228,052.75.

The Bureau said it was not able to verify the ministry’s claim that Messrs. Calipak Nigeria Limited and Fiphs Investment Limited submitted bid securities that were not up to two percent of the contract sum as requested because the bid securities were not forwarded to it.

The BPP expressed surprise at the ministry’s claim that it did not award the rehabilitation of Abuja-Kaduna Road awarded to Messrs. Gilmor Nigeria Limited because its jobs were mostly in irrigation and housing with very few district roads within Abuja and with no completion certificate.

The Bureau noted that from its own database, the company was categorised under category A with an average turnover of over N15 billion in the last three years contrary to the viewpoint of the ministry.

“Messrs. Gilmor Nigeria limited has the necessary equipment, professional expertise and personnel to undertake a project of over N10 billion,” it said.

“Messrs. Gilmor has contracts worth over N36 and N40 billion for the development infrastructure facilities for Guzape district I &II and Jahi district respectively.”

The Bureau requested the ministry to provide it with details of why Messrs. Dantata & Sawoe, Setraco Nigeria Limited and RCC 7& CO Nigeria Limited were disqualified since it (ministry) did not give reasons for doing so.

The Bureau demanded explanation on why the ministry prequalified Messrs. Kaiba International Nigeria Limited and Olivec Ventures Limited for the rehabilitation of Kaduna-Zaria Road in Katsina State despite not having annual turnover of up to the required N10 billion.

It said the firms had an average turnover of about N250 million and ought not to have been prequalified.

On the rehabilitation of Zaria-Kano Road in Kaduna/Kano State awarded to Reynold Construction Nig. Ltd at N69.9 billion, the BPP expressed concern about the “excessive unit rates” posted by the company for the project, saying they were “not commensurate rates with similar rates posted by other contractors with similar ranking that submitted bids for similar projects.”

It added, “The Bureau is bemused why the cost of the Kano-Zaria axis that is about 78km. Furthermore, the cost of approximately 2.5 times the cost of Abuja- Kaduna that has about the same distance. The Bureau is not convinced that there was competition for this Lot.”

It therefore requested the ministry to re-examine the submission of Messrs. RCC and ensure that the contract price was realistic that would give government best value for money.

The Bureau said Messrs. Rahama Nigeria Limited should not have been given the contract to construct the N10.9 billion Burga-Dull-Mbatill-Tadnum Gpbiya-Badagari-Gwaranga-Sum road.

According to the Bureau, the company with an average turnover of about N250 million entered into a joint ventures agreement with Messrs. F.I.K Global Limited in order to meet the N2 billion minimum turnover requirements.

“However, it was also observed that Messrs. F.I.K Global Limited also submitted tender separately for this same project. Messrs. F.I.K Global Limited tender in the sum of N11,225,398,261.78 was ranked fourth lowest bid,” it said.

“However, this action by the two firms amounts to bid-rigging and is contrary to section 58[10] of the public procurement act, 2007. This has rendered the submissions of both firms non-responsive.”

Nevertheless, the Bureau asked the ministry to carry out post-qualification on all the firms that submitted bids in this Lot to confirm the actual capacities and eliminate firms that do not have the technical and financial capacity to execute this project.

On the construction of Tudun Wuss-Wandi-Wandi-Baraza-Durr-Zumbul-Polchi-Dot-Kwanar Road, Bauchi State at Dalum Construction Nig. Ltd, the Bureau observed that the companies that submitted bids for this Lot were not in the same category and ranking to enable proper benchmarking.

It noted that the capacity of most of the firms to upgrade and extend the quality of the design and standard of this road could not be guaranteed.

The Bureau further said the Lot may likely end up with series of petitions due to the outcome of the evaluation exercise.

It therefore asked the ministry to carry out post-qualification on all the firms that submitted bids.

On the Pankshin-Tapshin-Gambar-Sara-Kai-Gindiri Road in Plateau State, the Bureau said though the FMPW&H indicated that the rates of Messrs. CBC Global Nigeria, Well Town Stone Nigeria limited, Hypertek Limited, Bonus Limited, Xedex Nigeria Limited and Duex Limited that submitted the lowest to the six corrected tenders were reasonable, the ministry did not however indicate why the lowest tenders of Messrs. CBC Global was not recommended.

The Bureau observed that the technical evaluations for all the projects were not carried out professionally and was therefore surprised that the ministry refused to recommend the lowest bidders after prequalification exercise which was an indication of credibility.

“This has cast doubt about the integrity of the technical evaluation process,” the BPP said.

“As the federal government is committed to improving the road network within the country with such huge resources allocated towards the projects, it has become necessary to learn from past failure so as to avoid repeated problems in the future that will result in a waste of the limited economic resources.

“The need to ensure that the scopes of works cover all major concerns and only competent contractors are recommended has therefore become very imperative so as to prevent loss of valuable lives, properties and resources that always accompany such failure.

“Therefore, the FMPW&H is requested to furnish the Bureau with comprehensive details of the scope of work in the BEME for all the projects sufficient to demonstrate how the qualities were derived.”

When PREMIUM TIMES contacted Hakeem Bello, the minister’s spokesperson, he declined comment on the Bureau’s report, saying he does not speak for the ministry but for the minister.

A staff of the ministry, who only identified herself as Grace told this newspaper on phone that she was not aware of the report.

Some officials of the works ministry however wondered why the BPP asked the ministry to go through another process of post-qualification of firms after all award processes have been completed.

“What the BPP should have done is to compel the ministry to choose the most qualified contractor with the lowest bids,” an official said. “Allowing for any kind of post-qualifications is like changing the rules in the middle of the game.”

Read  and download the excerpts of the BPP report below: 

Excerpt from BPP report - 1

Excerpt from BPP report - 2

Excerpt from BPP report - 3

Excerpt from BPP report - 4

Excerpt from BPP report - 5

Excerpt from BPP report - 6

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Source: Premium Times

3rd Mainland Bridge Traffic: The Irresponsibility Of Fashola & FERMA – By Adeeko Ademola

Recently, there have been tales of terrible gridlocks in a particular part of Lagos, the third mainland bridge to be precise and this has over time had it’s toll on the traffic situation of some major routes in the metropolis.

The Third Mainland Bridge is the longest of three bridges connecting Lagos Island to the mainland, the other two being the Eko and Carter bridges. The bridge which serves as an alternative route to Agege Motor Road and Ikorodu Road especially to  motorists and commuters who work or live on the Island, is no doubt one of the busiest basically because it links the Mainland to the core Lagos Island namely; Ikoyi, Obalende, Victoria Island and even Lekki-Ajah.

The recent traffic gridlock however can be traced to the ongoing rehabilitiation of the third mainland. After findings, I was able to deduce that adequate information was not made public in terms of warnings to motorists and commuters who ply that route on a daily basis. This is an act of gross irresponsibility and negligence of duty.

This development is totally unacceptable from the Federal Ministry of Power, Works and Housing which ironically is headed by a former governor of Lagos State.

Mr Babatunde Raji Fashola, who during his term in office as governor of Lagos State ensures that the public is notified of proposed construction works on federal projects in the state. In most cases, the Lagos State Government is properly briefed on such proposals and the government in return relays such notification to members of the public. However, reverse is the case and ultimately more disappointing that the former governor who is now the Minister for Power, Works and Housing does not deem it fit to put proper measures in place to avert or reduce the resultant effect of a road diversion especially on a busy route like the third mainland bridge.

A close look at the ongoing rehabilitation of the bridge, it is clearly evident that the Federal Roads Maintenance Agency (FERMA) which is saddled with the responsibility of rectifying the recent damages on the bridge is far from capable and professional. Series of construction-related accidents have been recorded in the past few days and I think in my own opinion that the government agency may lack the capability to handle the task. The FG, over time has had a good work history with world renowned construction giants, Julius Berger Nigeria Limited. Why the FG has decided to overlook a more professional company for the one contracted to rehabilitate the bridge is a cause for concern.

The capability of FERMA to adequately secure lives and property during the period it has to fix the bridge is questionable as some of the heavy duty equipment being used by FERMA broke down today and caused a very terrible gridlock which created a messy backlog up to areas like Ogudu, Ojota, 7UP and Motorways area of the mainland. Also, FERMA has failed woefully to ensure it properly puts up traffic signs and warnings on the route. Any responsible construction agency should know that warning signs are integral part of their work equipment. It is grossly irresponsible of FERMA who embarked on the rehabilitation of a major road without prior notice to show up on-site without important work tools such as traffic signs and safety measure tools.

So, basically the partial closure of the third mainland bridge, broken down heavy duty equipment belonging to FERMA, added up with the irresponsibility of the Federal Ministry of Power, Works and Housing communication-wise are to blame for the un-quantifiable manpower and productive time Lagosians wasted in traffic today.

If the former governor of Lagos State do not see anything wrong with the negligence of duty as regards prompting the current governor of Lagos State about an impending infrastructural work like this particular one, then it is our duty as citizens to point it out.

Proper and well-timed communication has done a whole deal of reducing friction in recent time and it still remains the most effective tools of governance. I will implore the minister and all other public office holders to take most importantly this cheap tool called effective communication in carrying out their constituted assignments. Lagosians can only hope for a speedy rehabilitation of the third mainland bridge because it serves as a link for commercial activities for a huge percentage of Lagosians and it’s importance, value is not of little magnitude.

I also hope that measures to curb accidents and ensure safety of both workers and commuters while work is being carried out, will be in place. The ministry needs to do better to also ensure that the rehabilitation of the third mainland bridge does not totally cripple the economy of Lagos State.

Airport Closure: “It’s easier to connect Kaduna from Abuja by road”, says Fashola

Babatunde Fashola, minister of power, works and housing, says the decision of the federal executive council to favour Kaduna airport over Minna airport is due to the ease or otherwise of connecting roads.

Fashola explained that given the current conditions of both roads, the Kaduna-Abuja highway currently lends itself more to the kind of emergency intervention to restore it to motorability within the short time assigned for the completion of the rehabilitation.

“While the road distance from Minna to Abuja is about 156 kilometres and Kaduna to Abuja is about 186 kilometres (a difference of 30 kilometres or thereabouts), I have driven on both roads recently and the Kaduna-Abuja road is in much better condition than Minna-Abuja, and lends itself more quickly to the implementation of this kind of emergency repairs,” Fashola said.

The minister, who reiterated that his ministry came into the matter in a complementary and supportive role, also added that the Abuja-Minna road is also currently under procurement.

He explained that though the contractor was having difficulty with his financing, the issues would eventually be resolved and the road fixed.

The minister also disclosed that in anticipation that Kaduna Airport would be the alternative airport, his ministry utilized the provisions of the emergency provisions of the Public Procurement Act to seek and obtain the approval of the Bureau of Public Procurement for the emergency rehabilitation of the bad sections of the Kaduna-Abuja highway at a cost of N1.058 billion.

He said although the contractor, Messrs CGC Nigeria Limited, had moved to site since January 7, 2017 and had proposed that it would be finished in 50 days, ending thereabouts on the 28th of February from the work plan that they have submitted to the ministry, they had not yet been paid.

“They have moved men and materials to site and this is the consequence of the confidence that has begun to come back to the construction industry since the implementation of the 2016 Budget that you passed,” he said.

Also acknowledging the inconveniences that Nigerian will experience during the period, Fashola advised that “this is also perhaps a time for us to adapt so that we can be safe”.

He called on airport users to alter some of their pre-scheduled programmes ahead of the closure or until after the closure, adding that they could also employ available technology such as skype or e-mail, SMS and teleconferencing.


Source: The Cable

Nigeria is not the first country to close an airport for repairs, says Fashola

Babatunde Fashola, minister of works, power and housing, wants those opposed to the closure of the Nnamdi Azikiwe international airport, Abuja, to know that Nigeria is not the first country to close an airport.

The decision of the federal government to shut the airport for six weeks over repairs on the runway has been met with stiff resistance in some quarters.

At the senate on Tuesday, Fashola said there was no other option but to close the airport, but Otis Anyaeji, president of the Nigerian Society of Engineers (NSE), disagreed, arguing that runway repairs could be done without a total closure of the airport.

They both appeared before the upper legislative chamber with Hadi Sirika, minister for state on aviation and a representative of Julius Berger, for a special session on the closure of the airport.

“It is runway of the airport that needs to be closed because it isn’t safe, it is a matter of immense public safety,” Fashola said.

“Right to life means nothing if government does not prevent loss of lives… Nigeria is not the first country to close an airport and divert traffic to another city, Manila has done it.”

He said the contract for the rehabilitation of the Kaduna-Abuja express way had been given out and contractors were already on site.

“They said the road would finished in 50 days, though they are asking of advance of more than 50 percent, they have not been paid but their presence is visible on the road,” Fashola said.

“Minna is shorter distance, but my humble submission is that Kaduna Abuja highway lends it self to the situation. They would be inconvenience and I sympathise with those who would be travelling.”

On his part, Otis argued that the work on the runway could be done in segments.

“The total shutdown if the air port is liking shutting down Nigeria,” he said, suggesting that smaller aircraft could use the Abuja airport, while bigger ones could be diverted to another location.

“It is possible to carry out the proposed rehabilitation without shutting down the airport, the issue is not technical but managerial. The runaway should be rehabilitated in segments,” he said.

“This has been done in the UK Gatwick airport, action should be commenced in the second runway.”

The Abuja airport will be shut  for a period of six weeks starting from March, and all flights would be diverted to Kaduna airport within that period.

“We will overhaul 50 bridges across the nation”, says Fashola

Babatunde Fashola, minister of power, works and housing, says the federal government is planning to overhaul 50 bridges across the nation.

Fashola said this on Tuesday while inspecting the rehabilitation of Lagos Ring Road Bridge Abutment and Approach to the Third Mainland Bridge project in Lagos.

He told reporters that some columns and beams of the Third Mainland Bridge were threatened because of human activities, sand filling and ecological factors which resulted in erosion.

“The work we have come to inspect was awarded some years back when there was an indication of some mis-alignments here on the Lagos Outer Ring Road which is the beginning of what leads on to the Third Mainland Bridge itself which is just about here,” he said .

“And it is being caused by erosion, sand filling and other activities.

“This road has moved as a result of some sub-soil displacement.”

He said the project which was slowed down by funding would be completed in November.

The minister said many of the bridges in Lagos and across the country had suffered neglect and had not been undergoing routine maintenance.

Fashola added that the current administration was determined to correct the trend and had begun the process for maintenance of about 50 bridges across the country “if it receives the support of the legislature”.

“Many of the bridges we built in the country over the last four, five decades have not been under any form of maintenance,” he said.

“We now have a three-year plan affecting over 50 bridges across the country for maintenance, repairs and restoration.

“And it is going to cost about N270 billion over three years.

“Our plan is to start with about N70 to N100 billion in year one; starting with the very critical ones so that they do not collapse and then we move to the less critical ones.”

The minister said the government had done all the survey and assessments to unravel the problems of the bridges.

He said government was waiting for appropriation and approval of funds to execute the projects.

He decried indiscriminate parking and trading activities in some parts of Ebute Ero towards the Third Mainland Bridge, warning that government would take action soon.

“I want to appeal to those people who use those areas as car parks and trading to start moving voluntarily in their own best interest,” he said.

“We intend to repose our right of way while work is going on the Outer Marina to free traffic.”

Earlier, while receiving a brief on status of other bridges from Godwin Eke, federal controller of works, Lagos, the minister directed engineers to begin work to realign the Apongbon bridge.

Gianfranco Albertazzi, the Joint managing director, Boroni Prono and Co Nig. Ltd- contractors of the project, told reporters that some piers, alignment and decks and piles of the bridge were affected.

“I have pictures of the affected columns here. They were enlarged but we have strengthened them by another layer of steel and concrete,” Albertazzi said.

He said a new kind of cement that dealt with the problem of salinity of both air and water was being used to reduce degeneration of the bridge.

The project was awarded in December 2012, at a sum of N967.3 million.

We’ll continue the work on second Niger bridge, says Fashola

Babatunde Fashola, minister of power, works and housing, says the federal executive council (FEC) has approved the continuation of work on the second Niger bridge.


Speaking with journalists after the FEC meeting on Wednesday, Fashola emphasised the importance of the bridge in connecting the west and eastern parts of the country.


“The bridge is meant to give relief to the existing Niger Bridge and improve connectivity between the west and the east,” he said.


“The project was conceived first as a PPP with government financing but negotiations had not been concluded and it is important to continue to work there.”


Fashola said a business schedule had been approved that would enable private investors to come in to work on the bridge.


He also said council approved emergency repair works of Tambuwawa bridge between Kaduna and Kano.


Also speaking with journalists, Kemi Adeosun, minister of finance, said that the executive asked for virement from the national assembly to be able to pay staff of government agencies who were yet to receive their November salaries.

Public Private Partnership, A Panacea to Housing Deficit in Nigeria – Fashola

The Honourable Minister for Power, Works and Housing, Mr. Babatunde Fashola, SAN has reiterated the importance of synergy between the Federal Government and the Private sector in the built industry in the provision of mass housing to Nigerians. He said the Federal government must find a way to exploit the Private Sector participation in the industry especially in the area of local content manufacturing of building materials, noting that it would aid in the reduction of prices of the materials and subsequently the cost of the houses.

He made this known during an inspection visit to some selected sites and Polystyrene manufacturing company in Abuja. He said the visit was a follow up to the claims by some sponsors in the built industry during the Affordable Housing Summit held in Abuja earlier in the year that they had all the machineries to partner with the Federal Government in delivering affordable mass housing to Nigerians.

The Minister who expressed satisfaction with what he saw on ground, noted that the concepts of acceptability and affordability were significant and must be factored into any system the Federal Government intends to adopt in the sector, adding that the low and middle income earners in Nigeria may not be interested in most of the houses available on ground at the moment, though beautiful and accepted but because they are mostly not affordable and said government was committed to initiate policies that would address the situation.

At the Citec building and manufacturing factory in Mbora District, Abuja, The minister who was ushered round the factory by the Managing Director, Engineer Bello inspected EPS Polystyrene, a building raw material made from petrochemical products, is a lightweight, rigid, closed-cell insulation available in various densities to withstand load and back-fill forces and is being used to construct facials used in decking for storey buildings.

The Minister said more companies using polystyrene would be encouraged as houses built with it are cheaper, noise proof, self fire extinguishing and does not need the use of air conditioners because it regulates the weather,  adding that for the concept of acceptability and affordability to be meaningful to Nigerians, government must do its best to bring down the cost of owning a house.

He said as part of efforts to assist Nigerians own houses with less burdens, the Federal Mortgage Bank has been repositioned to better perform its statutory function so that government on its part would concentrate more on ensuring the provision of acceptable housing designs.

The Minister also visited building sites including: Braines and Hammers at Life Camp and Galadimawa, Sunny Vale at Logokoma and  Rockvale at Gudu.

He expressed satisfaction that Nigerian youths were being engaged at the sites in various trades such as masons, building sewage plants, iron mongering, and so on, noting that it has shown that the built sector is important in reducing the unemployment rate in the country.

Fashola lauds repairs of `Long Bridge’ on Lagos-Ibadan road

The Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Mr. Babatunde Fashola has commended Julius Berger for completing the rehabilitation of the `long bridge’ on the Lagos/Ibadan Expressway, ahead of schedule.

Fashola, who spoke at Warewa, Ogun State, yesterday, while inspecting the fully asphalted 2500 metres “Long Bridge’ section, expressed happiness with the level of work done by Julius Berger, the contractor handling the project.

According to him, the bridge which was opened to traffic yesterday well before the December 31 deadline will give commuters better journey experience.

The minister thanked road users for their understanding during the period of construction, as the diversions and partial restrictions on the construction zones had caused them some hardship.

Fashola explained that Julius Berger could not close the road because of its importance and so, had to manage the heavy traffic, while it went on with the repairs.

He said that the firm had to deploy about 50 trailers to and from the site daily, moving materials in and out, adding that, over 3,600 trips were made to ensure a speedy completion.

“The bridge has been asphalted but the work is not finished. It is a 4,500-metre bridge on both sides and they still have to install some joints.

“About 44 on one side and 44 on the other side. Their contract also extends to kilometre 46 to Sagamu; they are asphalting between kilometre 30 to 33.’’

He, however, appealed to road users to avoid reckless driving, to stem accidents throughout the yuletide season.

Meanwhile, the completed sections of the Lagos/Badagry Expressway project would be opened to motorists in the first quarter of 2017, to ease traffic congestion.

A top official of China Civil Engineering and Construction Company (CCECC), the contractors handling the project told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos yesterday that phases one and two of the road project, which cover the Iganmu Interchange and the Trade Fair, would be completed by 2017.

He added that the third phase of the project, which covers between the Trade Fair and Okokomaiko, is, however, scheduled for completion by 2019.

The official, however, said that certain challenges had delayed the project in the past.

“We have been having challenges on the road project and that has resulted to some delay in our work.

“We had to stop work for three years, from 2013 to this year, to allow NNPC to relocate their pipelines buried between Alakija and Abule-Ado.

“They finally completed the relocation of those pipelines in October, and you can see for yourself that serious work is going on there now,’’ he said.

He said that the third phase of the project was also experiencing delays at the Military Cantonment in Ojo.

Asset Declaration: Fashola, Adeosun, Amaechi, 16 others yet to fully comply. – CCB

The Code of Conduct Bureau says it may be forced to arrest and possibly prosecute at least 19 ministers and heads of agencies in the President Muhammadu Buhari’s government for non-compliance with procedures of declaring their assets.

The 19 federal government appointees, according to a statement issued by the CCB Chairman, Sam Saba, have so far not honoured invitations to appear before the Bureau to clear their asset declaration claims.

The bureau however praised some top officials of the Nigerian government like the Chief of Army Staff, Tukur Buratai, and the Inspector General of Police, Ibrahim Idris, for promptly complying with the asset declaration protocol within the stipulated time.

Photo credit: The Herald News Nigeria
Photo credit: The Herald News Nigeria

The CCB boss said the bureau has invited some serving ministers and heads of agencies among others over “issues” pertaining to their asset declaration requirements, but most of them have failed to respond.

The asset declaration defaulters, according to CCB include Kemi Adeosun (Finance Minister), Kayode Fayemi (Mine and Solid Minerals), Adebayo Shittu (Minister of Communication), Babatunde Fashola (Minister of Power, Works and Housing), Ibe Kachikwu (Minister of State Petroleum), Ogbonnaya Onu (Minister of Science and Technology).

Other defaulters are Mike Okiro (Chairman, Police Service Commission), Godwin Emefiele (CBN Governor), Abubakar Bawa Bwari (Minister of State Solid Minerals) and Rotimi Amaechi (Minister of Transport).

Still on the list of defaulters are Aisha Alhassan (Minister Women Affairs and Social Development); Solomon Dalung (Minister of Youths & Sports Development); Udo Udoma (Minister Budget and National Planning); Dan Ali Mansur (Minister of Defence); Ibrahim Usman Jibril (Minister of State, Environment); Suleiman Adamu (Minister of Water Resources and Rural Development), Lai Muhammed (Minister of Information) and Mustapha Baba Shehuri (Minister of State Power).

The CCB said it has also invited Claudius Daramola (Minister of State Niger Delta Affairs); Hadiza Usman (MD. Nigeria Ports Authority); Ahmed Kuru (MD/CEO AMCON); Isaac Adewole (Minister of Health); Okechukwu Enelamah (Minister of Trade Investment and Industry) and Geoffrey Onyema (Minister of Foreign Affairs).


Ibe Kachikwu Minister of State for Petroleum Photo: thisdaylive.com
Ibe Kachikwu
Minister of State for Petroleum
Photo: thisdaylive.com

“Pursuant to paragraph 11 of Part 1 of the 5th Schedule to the 1999 Constitution (as amended), every public officer is required to submit to the CCB a written declaration of all his properties, assets and liabilities and those of his/her spouse (if not a public officer) and his unmarried children under the age of eighteen years,” the bureau said.

“Any statement in such declaration that is found to be false by any authority or person authorized in that behalf to verify it shall be deemed to be a breach of this Code.

“To this end, the Bureau has commenced its 2016 4th Quarter cycle of conference and Field verifications of assets of top public officers.

“Accordingly, letters of invitation have been dispatched to Ministers of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Service Chiefs and other top Public Officers.

Minister of Transport, Rotimi Amaechi
Minister of Transport, Rotimi Amaechi

“This exercise is ongoing and is being carried out concurrently at the Federal, State and Local Government levels.

“At a satisfactory completion of the exercise, Public Officers are issued with certificate of Assets Conference Verification/Field Verification as the case maybe.”

Other top public office holders that were also praised for not delaying the declaration of their assets include the acting MD/CEO Niger Delta Development Commission, Semenitari Mary –Gab Tamunoibim; Corps Marshall, Federal Road Safety Corp, Boboye Oyeyemi ); Minister of Environment, Amina Mohammed and the Commissioner, Federal Civil Service Commission, Hope Odhuluma Ikrirko.

The CCB also hailed persons like the former SGF, Anyim Pius Anyim, Minister of Interior, Abdulrahman Dambazau, Minister Budget & National Planning, Zainab Ahmed Shamsuna, Minister Trade, Investment & Industry, Aisha Abubakar; INEC Chairman, Yakubu Mahmood; and Former Executive Secretary NUC, Julius A. Okojie; as well as the Minister of Education, Adamu Adamu.

“CCB however, commends those public officers, who honoured its invitations promptly and submitted themselves for the exercise!”

More ministers, including the Attorney General of the Federation, had been sent letter of invitation by CCB, and it has not been confirmed if they would honour the invite when it comes to their turn to appear before the Bureau.

Minister Of Power Inaugurates Power Plant In Akwa Ibom.

Against the backdrop of lack of electricity in some parts of the country, the Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola, has promised improved transmission across Nigeria.

He was speaking during the commissioning of a 330kva power transmission station in Akwa Ibom state.

The Minister said that the power plant would boost electricity supply and resolve the challenge of access to electricity in the country.
The 330kva station with 12 inter-connectivity lines to evacuate power from four major plants to the national grid is located in the heart of Essien Udim, Akwa Ibom state.

The Minister, after inspecting the facility, appealed for patience on the part of the host community while assuring them of improved electricity at affordable rates.

The Deputy Governor of Akwa Ibom state, Moses Ekpo, who lauded the project said that the event marked a turning point for industrialization and development in the state.

In the meantime, more private investments worth billions of Naira have taken off in the state.

Nigerians are hopeful of better power in the days ahead.

330KV Ikot Ekpene station will boost electricity supply – Fashola

Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Mr. Babatunde Fashola, has stated that the Ikot Ekpene 330KV power switching station in Akwa Ibom State would boost electricity supply in the country.


The minister who inaugurated the station yesterday at Ikot Inyang village in Ikot Ekpene local government area of Akwa Ibom State said that the station was expected to evacuate electricity from power plants in Alaoji, Afam, Calabar and Ikot Abasi and route same to Ugwuaji in Enugu up to Jos.

The development he said would solve the problem of stranded power as the generating plants would have their power evacuated with ease.


Fashola explained that though the project was faced with numerous challenges but for the intervention of the National Assembly, which resolved the contending issues for the completion of the project.


The Akwa Ibom State governor, Mr Udom Emmanuel, said the event marked significant turning point in the march toward new dawn in both power infrastructural renaissance and industrial revolution.

Fashola Warns Nigeria’s Electricity Distribution Companies To Stop Blackmailing FG

The Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola, has warned Electricity Distribution Companies (DisCos) to stop blackmailing the Federal Government over outstanding debts allegedly owed them by Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDA).

A statement in Abuja on Tuesday by Hakeem Bello, Special Adviser, Communications to the minister, stated that Mr. Fashola gave the warning at a meeting with power sector operators in the country.

Mr. Fashola was reacting to the advertorial placed by the Association of Electricity Distributing Companies (AEDC) on the debt owed DisCos by MDAs.

He said government would not succumb to blackmail and would only pay verified debts.

Mr. Fashola also advised the DisCos to pursue the debt issue in their capacities as Discos and not under the aegis of any association.

He said that although the constitution guaranteed freedom of association, the privatisation that resulted in the transfer of the distribution asset of power was not held between the Federal Government and any association.

According to the minster, the DisCos have so far failed to provide details of such debts for verification.

Fashola said “Let me say without any equivocation that government will not succumb to the blackmail, at least not the Federal Government of Nigeria”.

He said that government had provided an online platform where it requested all the DisCos to submit details of their debts to that platform for government to verify it.

Read More:


Fashola Inaugurates 330KV Power Switching Station In Akwa Ibom

Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola, on Monday, inaugurated a 330KV power switching station in Ikot Ekpene in Akwa Ibom.

The minister, at Ikot Inyang village in Ikot Ekpene Local Government Area of Akwa Ibom, said that the switch on of the station would boost electricity supply in the country.

He said that the station was expected to evacuate electricity from power plants in Alaoji, Afam, Calabar and Ikot Abasi and route same to Ugwuaji in Enugu up to Jos.

Fashola said that the development would solve the problem of stranded power as the generating plants would have their power evacuated for use.

The minister added that the project was bedevilled with challenges but for the intervention of the National Assembly, which resolved the contending issues for the completion of the project.

The Managing Director of Niger Delta Power Holding Company (NDPHC), Mr Chiedu Ugbo, who was at the inauguration, said contract for the project was awarded in 2006.

Ugbo said that the project was delayed due to challenges and lauded the stakeholders for the commitment toward completing the project.

He noted that the new management of NDPHC was committed to ensuring improved power generation, saying that the switching of the station on would mark the end of epileptic power supply.

He expressed gratitude to Gov. Udom Emmanuel of Akwa Ibom and his predecessor, Sen. Godswill Akpabio and the host community for providing conducive environment for the completion of the project.

In her speech, Princess Maryam Akanmode, the contractor handling the project, said the 330 KV station had 12 inter-connectivity lines to evacuate power from the four plants to the national grid.

Akanmode, who is the Managing Director of Carlark International Limited, lauded the Federal Government and stakeholders for assisting in the completion of the project.

The Akwa Ibom Governor, Mr Udom Emmanuel, said the event marked significant turning point in the march toward new dawn in both power infrastructural renaissance and industrial revolution.

Represented by his Deputy, Mr Moses Ekpo , the governor said that the Ibom Power Plant had approval for upgrade to 685 megawatts from the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission.

He said that the state was generating 191 megawatts from the Power Plant in Ikot Abasi Local Government Area of the state.

Emmanuel disclosed that the state government had equally partnered a private investor for the take-off of the N90 billion Uquo Gas Plant at Esit Eket.

He said that gas plant was projected to supply 131 million standard cubic feet of gas per day to the National Independent Power Plant (NIPP) in Calabar, as well as the Ibom Power Plant.



Fashola confirms receipt of N124.8B for highway projects.

The Minister of Power Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola, has confirmed the receipt of N124.8billion for the construction of federal highway projects across the country.

Fashola confirmed that his ministry received the sum on Saturday night, November 12, 2016.

In a report by Punch Newspaper, the minister reportedly stated that the fund was released to the ministry in two parts.

In June 2016, the ministry received its first release of N79bn under the 2016 Appropriation Act, out of which N70.4bn was utilised for highway projects.

“Payments were made to contractors to return to site after years of inactivity which resulted in them recalling their workers.

“As of November 11, 2016, the ministry has disbursed N124.8bn from the 2016 Appropriation Act for highway projects. Under the first release, N70.42bn was disbursed on 203 highway projects.

“The disbursement in June 2016 enabled contractors to return to site and a total of 8,759 jobs were created nationwide,” Fashola made known as he gave report of his one year in office.

Meanwhile, the minister disclosed that the Federal Government received $330m funding for federal roads development projects from the World Bank and $3m grant from Policy and Human Resources Development.

Total debt owed contractors for executed projects as at November 2015 was N236.3billion, while the cost to complete ongoing projects as at same period stood at N1.58trillion, though the 2015 budget made a provision of N20.65billion for highway projects

FG To Spend $150m On Rural Electrification Projects- Fashola

The Federal Government on Wednesday expressed its readiness to spend 150 million dollars on the rural electrification.

Mr Babtunde Fashola, the Minster of Power, Works and Housing, disclosed this in Abuja at a business forum on ‘’Financing Opportunities in the Nigerian Power Sector’’

He said government would use 44 tertiary institutions and small hydro dams in the rural areas as anchors for the electrification programme.

Fashola said the money would be deployed towards providing Independent Power Plants (IPPs) to supply electricity to tertiary institutions and rural communities.

He said that 37 out of the 44 tertiary institutions audited for the project were universities, while seven were teaching hospitals.

The minister said government would deploy 37 IPPs made up of nine gas plants and 28 solar plants with a combined generation capacity of 120 megawatts to power all the universities.

According to him, the 37 IPPs will replace 1,105 generators that were hitherto serving the institutions and generating 210 MW of inefficient and unclean energy.

He said the amount would cover capital expenditure, operations and maintenance.

On financing opportunities in the Nation’s power sector, Fashola, emphasised the need for financing and liquidity stability in the sector.

He said the Distribution Companies (DisCos) required financing for the supply of meters, upgrading distribution equipment like transformers, ring mains units, feeders for DisCos and funding, especially in foreign exchange.

For the GenCos, the minister said adequate liquidity was acquired to procure turbines, parts and accessories which were largely imported.

“They (DisCos) need a lot of operating capital to buy meters, to change transformers that are old, to extend access to their customers, to replace transformers and so on and so forth. They need operational capital and they need it in the mix of foreign exchange because some of the things they want to buy are not made in Nigeria and there are some made in Nigeria”.

Fashola said investment in the GenCos was also profitable, saying that when the market settled and stabilised, the return would be marvellous.

He said the Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN) would benefit from the financing of its grid expansion programme if it could present a detailed prospect plan that would demonstrate investment needs and return potential.

The minister said that solar, coal, and other energy suppliers required investment to finance the acquisition of photovoltaic panels, heavy duty equipment and related machines not made in Nigeria.

Fashola said Nigeria Buck Electricity Trader (NBET), a government-owned company, was planning to raise a bond for investors to buy into it.

On the financing opportunities in rural electrification, he said: “there exists a list of endless possibilities and opportunities for investment in the nation’s power sector.’’



Nigerian cities’ contribution to economy low – FG

The Federal Government has lamented the low contribution of Nigerian cities to the economy, compared to those in developed and emerging countries, stating that this is unacceptable.

It attributed the situation to the current city management style, which it said should be reviewed as it was not working.

The Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola, said this at the 50th anniversary and 47th Annual General Meeting of the Nigerian Institute of Town Planners in Abuja, with the theme, ‘Promoting Liveable Settlements’.

The minister observed that the cities were bogged down by a myriad of hindrances to economic growth, including dilapidated infrastructure, slum growth, transport gridlocks, poor housing, urban poverty, and dismal sanitary conditions.

Fashola said, “With the current urbanisation, Nigeria’s population stands at the threshold of becoming predominantly urban in the near future, having more than 800 urban settlements, including the Lagos mega city with about 15 million people, and about 10 other millionaire cities and so many intermediate cities.

“Indeed, it is estimated that by 2050,about 60 per cent of sub-Saharan Africa will be urban with Nigeria dominating the scene. The scenario is, however, worrisome, bearing in mind that the contribution of our cities to the growth of the economy is embarrassingly low, when compared with examples in developed and other emerging nations.”

Fashola explained that as part of strategies to make the cities and towns liveable, inclusive and sustainable, the Federal Government has launched fresh attempts to confront urbanisation along different fronts.

At the policy front, the minister said the government had successfully pursued the process of reviewing, revalidating and adopting the National Housing and National Urban Development policies.

He stated that his ministry had produced six designs of one-bedroomed, two-bedroomed and three-bedroomed flats, bungalows and condominiums to represent the Nigerian house.

The acting President, NITP, Mr. Luka Achi, in his welcome address, called for the implementation of the 1992 urban and regional planning law “in which the national urban and regional planning commission, state urban and regional planning development boards and local planning authorities are properly constituted.”

He argued that the non-inclusion of physical planning on the concurrent list of the constitution had created a gap in the planning hierarchy.

Lagos-Ibadan Road to Be Completed Soon – Fashola

Expansion and rehabilitation work on the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway will be completed soon, the Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola, has said.

Fashola, who reviewed his first year in office in Lagos at the weekend, said the long bridge at the Lagos-Ogun boundary on the road had to be shut because construction work was ongoing underneath it.

“Roads are depreciating assets that need constant maintenance and regulated usage,” he said, adding that the issue of overloaded trucks was being addressed.

According to him, the government is looking into the issue of double-axle articulated vehicles that transport more tonnage than most roads were built to accommodate.

Fashola also said weighbridges will be reintroduced on the roads to arrest overloading.

He said, however, that warehouses have to be built by the weighbridges to take in offloaded extra goods from arrested haulage vehicles.

The minister added that the issue of reintroducing tollgates on roads would be decided by Nigerians, noting that he had not forgotten his experience as Lagos State governor.

The minister said electricity generation had improved considerably in the last 12 months, peaking at above 5074MW for the first time in the nation’s 63-year-old electricity history earlier this year.

He said this had created jobs for hitherto idle artisans, small and medium scale entrepreneurs and empowered other businesses.

He said more than 800 containers of imported power generation and distribution components stranded at the ports had been released as a result of his ministry’s efforts and the intervention of Vice President Yemi Osinbajo.

He regretted that about 3000MW of electricity was lost to vandalism, adding, however, that the Federal Government was discussing with agitators to end the destruction.

Fashola said electricity generation would continue to appreciate as more stations come on stream and contribute to the National Grid.

The minister appealed to electricity consumers to be patient with distribution companies over insufficient prepaid meters, noting that the privatisation of the sector was only three years old.

He said the meters would soon be readily available as more companies embark on their production in Nigeria.

The contractor handling the road rehabilitation, Julius Berger Nigeria Ltd, will divert traffic on additional sections of the road.

The Federal Road Safety Commission (FRSC), in a statement at the weekend, said Ibadan bound traffic will be diverted to the Lagos bound carriageway CH38+400 and CH 43+700 to allow the laying of the wearing course.

The diversions will lead to the closure of the Ibadan bound exit road leading to Sagamu as well as the Sagamu bound exit road leading to Ibadan.

The temporary closure would be from Wednesday till November 23.

“Sue your governor if your rights are violated” – Fashola tells LGAs

Former Lagos State Governor and Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Mr. Babtunde Raji Fashola, has advised local government chairmen and their executive committee members who may feel dissatisfied with the existing relationships between their councils and the state government, especially in terms of fiscal and political autonomy, should approach competent law courts for sound adjudication.


Fashola said the abuse of local government autonomy by state governments in connection with their allocations and dissolution of elected council administrations by governors was an abuse of existing laws and should be fought in law courts without calls for autonomy.


He made the remarks yesterday while delivering his keynote address in Lagos at the public presentation of two law books authored by a former Dean of the Faculty of Law, University of Lagos (UNILAG), Akoka, Prof. Oyelowo Oyewo.


The books are entitled; Modern Administrative Law and Practice in Nigeria, and Local Government Law: Cases and Materials.


According to Fashola, local governments were too important to be abused. He said that the challenge with the third tier of government was that its governance had been left in the hands of “those we regard as local people and so when their rights were trampled upon, they do not protest because they do not know.”


He said: “It is unfortunate that we do not value our local government systems as the third tier of government. Maybe, because of the word ‘local’, we all believe it is too local to enjoy our participation, forgetting the fact that it is at that level that solid foundation for national development is laid.


“Here we have Prof. Osipitan with his knowledge, experience and exposure. Can he volunteer to be a local government chairman? Many of us will not because it is too ‘local’ to us. But we have forgotten that the local governments are in charge of our arrival to the world and departure from the world.”

We won’t reverse power privatization on any grounds, says Fashola

Babatunde Fashola, minister of power, works and housing, says the ministry of power, under his leadership will not cancel power privatisation on any grounds.


Aliko Dangote, president of Dangote Group, had asked that the power privatisation process be revisited and reversed into the “right hands”.


“We should be as open as we can if government doesn’t  intervene by taking back these assets and giving them to people who really have money that they can really inject, we will not be able to deliver on power,” Dangote had said.


“We should ask, how many people, who and who are these guys that have actually gone into the power sector then you will know when you see the quality of people, are they really serious, because they went in to just make money, power business is not just about money, it is a huge business when you invest heavily you will reap at the end of the day.”


Speaking at the fifth EU-Nigeria business forum in Lagos on Thursday, Fashola said those who want to get out of the agreement could, based on terms of agreement signed at the beginning of the deal, but added that total cancellation is not to be considered.


“I have heard discussions about revisiting the privatisation of power, honestly, I don’t know what it means. I’d like those who made the arguments to be specific; let them come out. Let us have a discussion; does revisiting means cancelling it?If it does, I don’t support it,” he said.


“The investors who took the plough, must have the assurance that government will not flip flop, and contracts that fail, have consequences.

Nigeria’s procurement process over-legislated – Fashola

The Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Mr. Babatunde Fashola, has decried what he called the over legislation of procurement process and called for a review to enhance speedy development of infrastructure in the country.

Fashola said this on Tuesday in Abuja when a delegation of the Nigerian Society of Engineers led by its President, Mr. Otis Anyaeji, paid him a courtesy visit.

He said, “In a developing economy like Nigeria, I think that we have over-legislated our procurement process.

“Some of the fast track procurement systems that we need, given also our weather circle, are still in the way of project intervention to deliver infrastructure.

“Let us do a review and see what we have delivered and look back at 20 years ago when all these procurement laws were not there what we achieved and measure them.

“I think that in my personal view, we have over-legislated procurement process to our detriment.”

The minister also blamed Nigerian engineers for creating the vacuum that made the Federal Government to patronise foreign contractors.

He said that the failure of Nigerian engineering firms to bid for government projects was responsible for the patronage of foreign contractors.

He said, “If there was no vacuum, there would not be foreign engineering consultants and contractors in Nigeria.

“Unless we honestly stand up and accept that there is a vacuum, we look in the mirror and tell ourselves that we honestly do not like what we see, it will not change.

“I can tell you from experience when I was a state governor, that when I advertised for rail project, no Nigerian firm bidded for it.

“Government will not stop the development of the country, if you are not ready.”

He said that while we point a finger at government, we must also point the same fingers at ourselves because foreign companies doing business in Nigeria are privately owned.

He advised Nigerian engineers to accept their deficiencies and build their capacities to be able to compete with foreign firms.

In his remark, Anyaeji called for patronage of local engineers and the use of indigenous materials for the execution of government projects.

He pledged the commitment of the society to partner the Federal Government to deliver on its mandate to Nigerians.

Why FG Patronises Foreign Contractors, Not Local Ones– Fashola

The Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola, has blamed Nigerian engineers for creating the vacuum that made the Federal Government patronize foreign contractors.

Mr. Fashola said this on Tuesday in Abuja when a delegation of the Nigerian Society of Engineers (NSE) led by its President, Otis Anyaeji, paid him a courtesy visit.

He said that the failure of Nigerian engineering firms to bid for government projects was responsible for the patronage of foreign contractors.

“If there was no vacuum, there would not be foreign engineering consultants and contractors in Nigeria.

“Unless we honestly stand up and accept that there is a vacuum, we look in the mirror and tell ourselves that we honestly do not like what we see, it will not change.

“I can tell you from experience when I was a state governor, that when I advertised for rail project, no Nigerian firm bidded for it.

“Government will not stop the development of the country, if you are not ready.”

According to him, while we point a finger at government, we must also point the same fingers at ourselves because foreign companies doing business in Nigeria are privately owned.

He advised Nigerian engineers to accept their deficiencies and build their capacities to be able to compete with foreign firms.

Meanwhile, the minister decried what he called the over legislation of procurement process and called for a review, to enhance speedy development of infrastructure in the country.

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Ohanaeze Youths Demand Apology from Kalu Over Igbo Comments

Some pan-Igbo groups on Tuesday reacted to former Abia State governor, Orji Kalu’s assertion that Igbos are better traders than politicians.

The groups, which spoke in separate interviews with our correspondent in Enugu, differed on the matter.

The Ohanaeze Youth Council, the youth wing of Ohanaeze Ndigbo, asked the former governor to immediately apologise to the Igbos, and also retract his statements.

But the Movement for the Actualization of the Sovereign State of Biafra said Kalu said the truth.

Another group, the Igbo Awareness Movement, said Igbos are ‘learning’ from previous political mistakes, but must learn fast.

The Editor-in-Chief of The Interview magazine, Mr. Azu Ishiekwene, in a statement of Monday, quoted Kalu as saying in a recent interview with the magazine, that Igbos are not as good in politics as they are in trading.

The former governor reportedly said the lack of understanding of politics and the indiscipline of Igbo politicians were responsible for what he called the political backwardness of the South-East.

READ ALSO: If Fashola were Igbo, he would have left Tinubu – Kalu

He was also quoted as saying that the political fortune of the Igbo would have been better had their politicians approached politics like the Yorubas.

Describing most of the Igbo elite as selfish, Kalu said Igbos should blame themselves and not the Federal Government for their woes.

“The Igbo have no discipline in terms of politics. They are very good traders; they’re good in anything they do, but they don’t understand politics,” Kalu was quoted to have said.

Reacting to the development, President, Ohanaeze Youth Council, Mazi Okechukwu Isiguzoro, described Kalu’s statements as unbecoming of a two-term governor who was seen as an Igbo leader.

Isiguzoro said Kalu should immediately tender an apology for ridiculing the Igbo before other ethnic nationalities in the country.

He accused Kalu of being one of those that deviated from the political ideology of pioneer Igbo national politicians like the late Dr Nnamdi Azikiwe and Michael Okpara by bringing what he described as ‘traders’ mentality’ into Igbo politics.

Speaking with our correspondent, Isiguzoro said, “Orji Kalu should immediately apologise to Ndigbo for insulting the great Igbo nation.

“During the First Republic, Igbos like Dr Nnamdi Azikiwe, Michael Okpara and others were at the forefront of the independence movement.

“In the Second Republic, Igbos like Dr Alex Ekwueme were also at the forefront of national politics.

“It was when people like Kalu came to power that Igbos began to lose grounds, because he (Kalu) and his likes introduced traders’ mentality into the politics played by Igbos at the national level.

“The statement, which is ridiculing Ndigbo, was not expected from somebody who was a two-term governor.

“Was Nnamdi Azikiwe a trader? Was Michael Okpara a trader? What of Odumegwu Ojukwu, Mbonu Ojike, Jaja Nwachukwu? Were they traders?”

Isiguzoro noted that Kalu had an opportunity to become a national political leader, like All Progressives Congress national leader, Chief Bola Tinubu, but wasted it.

“When Tinubu was controlling only one state Kalu was controlling two states.

“How did he (Kalu) lose the two states? Because of his poor management skills.

“Ohanaeze youths don’t want to insult him because he is an elder, but he should apologise to Ndigbo.

“If he refuses to apologise, if he fails to retract that statement, we will put him in the dustbin of history and he will have no more relevance in Igboland,” Isiguzoro said.

Kalu said the truth, according to pro-Biafra group, MASSOB, which also reacted to the development.

MASSOB spokesman, Comrade Samuel Edeson, who spoke with our correspondent, said Igbos are not good in politics.

Edeson noted that, unlike the Yoruba and the Hausa/Fulani, Igbos are not united when it comes to national politics.

He said, “What Kalu said is the simple truth – there is no doubt about it. In politics Igbos are bad, there is no unity of purpose.

“For example, Ekiti State governor, Ayo Fayose, is a member of the Peoples Democratic Party but at the same time he always comes out to defend Tinubu, who is of the APC.

“Fayose defends Tinubu because he knows that, as a fellow Yoruba, they are brothers.

“In politics, you should always be on the side of your brother, unlike what happened when Alex Ekwueme and  Jim Nwobodo contested the PDP presidential ticket with Olusegun Obasanjo at the convention in Jos.

“Nwobodo went there and began to speak Hausa.

“The Hausa/Fulani man cannot do that to his brother, a Yoruba cannot do that to his brother.

“What the former governor (Kalu) said is the truth.”

Fashola would have betrayed Tinubu if he were Igbo – Kalu

Igbos who have often blamed the Federal Government for the lack of development in the South-East zone have been told that they have no one but themselves to blame for their woes, a former Abia State governor and businessman, Chief Orji Uzor Kalu, has said.

This is even as he declared that the minister of Power, Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola, would have betrayed his political mentor, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, if he were to be a Igbo man.

Kalu made the disclosures in the current edition of The Interview magazine, saying: “Igbos are their own worst enemies,” adding that a number of the elite in the region are not only selfish but also get their politics wrong.

According to the Managing Director/Editor-In-Chief of The Interview, Mr. Azu Ishiekwene, in a statement issued yesterday, Kalu was referring to the fractured relationship between Tinubu and Fashola in the latter’s second term as governor of Lagos State, and comparing it to his own internecine war with his successor, Senator Theodore A. Orji, which led to the extinction of the Progressive Peoples Alliance (PPA), the party he founded.

“Let me tell you,” he said in an emotion-laden voice, “there were more problems between (Asiwaju Bola) Tinubu and (Babatunde) Fashola, than there were between me and TA (Theodore Ahamefule Orji). But it is the discipline of the Yorubas that kept them at bay. Igbos have no discipline in terms of politics. They are very good traders; they’re good in anything they do, but they don’t understand politics.”

In the interview, described by Ishiekwene, as “the political equivalent of the ogbunigwe (Biafran improvised explosives),” Kalu illustrated his point with a conversation he claimed to have had with President Muhammadu Buhari, who wondered aloud why previous high profile Igbo appointees had done nothing for the region.

Kalu also spoke on the agitation for a state of Biafra and the travails of the leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra, Nnamdi Kanu; his relationship with former President Ibrahim Babangida and former Governor Ikedim Ohakim; the recent statement of former Governor Peter Obi; and allegations that while he governed Abia for eight years, his mother ruled.

Fashola inspects 30MW Gurara Hydro Power Plant, says plant will boost power.

In continuation of the drive for incremental power, Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Mr. Babatunde Fashola SAN, Friday inspected the 30 Megawatts Gurara Hydropower Plant in Kaduna saying the additional power would boost efforts to stabilize power supply in the country.

Fielding questions from newsmen at the end of the inspection, Fashola, who assured that the project would be completed early next year, explained that it remained the completion of the Gurara/Kudenda Substation in Kaduna where energy would come down for distribution adding that approval had already been given for the building of the substation.

The Minister, who also said the Gurara hydropower project was also a source of transporting energy, added that the place was supposed to evacuate power from that location through to Kaduna and Mando substations to Kudenda substation to connect to the Kaduna Power Plant.

The Minister told the newsmen, “All the lines are already built as you can see. It remains just the substation where energy comes down in and can be redistributed that we are waiting to complete and with the approval we have now, we should finish early next year at the latest”.

“When I briefed on Wednesday after the Federal Executive Council, I spoke of the approval granted by Council for the Gurara/Kudenda Substation in Kaduna; that is what is delaying this project. The place is supposed to evacuate power from here through to Kaduna and Mando Substation to Kudenda substation to connect this to the Kaduna Power Plant”, he said.

Expressing delight that the objective of Incremental Power was being achieved, Fashola noted that with Wind Power being developed in Katsina, Gurara Hydro- power in Kaduna, the Kashimbilla Hydropower in Taraba, added to Jebba, Kainji, and Shiroro Hydropower plants, the nation’s energy mix was slowly but surely coming together.

The Minister, who said the Gurara Hydropower project was being pursued for the same purpose, told the newsmen, “The reason is that you have seen three turbines inside, each contains 10MW of power and that is 30MW. Add that to 40MW yesterday, add it to 215MW in Kaduna and so on and so forth and it brings you back to where we started this journey; Incremental Power everywhere we can get it”.

“What you must understand is that earlier in this administration, we had agitations for power from other sources beyond gas. Why is Nigeria not using hydro power, that was one of the questions I was being asked. Why are we not using solar power, why are we not using Wind power?

“But you have seen that your country is developing Wind power in Katsina, is developing hydro power here in Kaduna, the Gurara Power Plant where we are now, the Kashimbilla where we went yesterday. We have been to Jebba, we have been to Kainji, we have been to Shiroro together; so slowly the energy mix is coming together”, the Minister said.

He explained that wherever a hydroelectricity plant was producing electricity from water, there was collaboration between the Ministry of Water Resources and the Ministry of Power, Works and Housing adding that the Ministry of Water Resources takes the responsibility for Water allocation, Water Rights Issuance and essentially the Dam.

Pointing out that the Power part was to use the force of the dammed water to create energy, Fashola explained further, “In Kashimbilla where we were yesterday, the work is almost done except to impound the dam which they will do in the next few weeks when the rain slows down. The water works is already done here; that was why we were at the Lower Usman Dam Water Works to add solar power to it”.

It could be recalled that the Minister paid a similar visit to the 40MW Kashimbilla Hydropower project in Taraba State on Thursday where he assured that the Dam, when completed about 2018, would serve the purpose of protecting parts of the country from a predicted ecological disaster, provide electricity and support agricultural ventures in surrounding States of the Northeast.

Fashola also told newsmen after the inspection that the project, conceived about 2007, would generate electricity to feed communities like Doga, Wukari, Takum, Kashimbila and many other communities in the Northeast and Yandev in Benue State who are not yet connected to the Grid aside serving as intervention against a predicted ecological disaster that would affect some states in the country.

The Kashimbila Hydropower Dam Project in Taraba State, when completed will add 40 Megawatts of electricity to the National Grid.

Initially conceived as the Multipurpose Kashimbila/Gamovo Multipurpose Buffer Dam and built on the Katsina-Ala River in Takum Local Government Area of Taraba State to mitigate the effect of an envisaged environmental disaster as a result of the inevitable collapse of the structurally weak volcanic Lake Nyos, the Dam would be impounded in February next year.

The Minister was accompanied on both inspection tours by the Director, Renewable and Rural Power Access, Engineer Abayomi Adebisi and briefed on the projects by senior management team members of the companies handling both projects.

Nigeria’s Power Generation Slides To 3,531mw

The National Electricity Grid, yesterday experienced the further drop in its generation to about 3, 531.7 megawatts (MW). This will translate to a drop in supply sent out to the 11 Distribution Companies (DISCOs) across the country.

Statistics obtained from the Nigeria System Operator (NSO), a section of the Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN), indicated that about 78242.67mw hour (MWh) was sent out on Saturday for supply across the DISCOs. Also, while electricity generation peaked at 3,808.5mw, there was a significant drop the same day to 2,931.9mw.

Meanwhile, the Generation Companies (GENCOs) had earlier attributed the recent drops in the country’s generation to inadequate gas-to-power for the mostly gas-based power plants.

The report further reads that the highest system frequency recorded on the day under review was 51.62 Hz, while the lowest frequency was 48.87 Hz.

However, there are strong indications that the Minister of Power, Works, and Housing, Babatunde Fashola, might be forced to increase electricity tariff by 20 per cent, as distribution companies across the country, have threatened a total shut down of operations if their request is not granted. The proposal from the distribution companies seeks to increase the current rate of N22.8 kilowatts per hour, to N105 kilowatts per hour.

The planned increment is coming, not less than 8 months after the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission, NERC, had increased electricity tariff by 45 percent. Despite the nationwide condemnation and disobedience of court orders on the 45 percent increment, the Distribution Companies have been reported to have sent a copy of the new proposal to electricity regulatory body, for ratification and enforcement.

Fashola Flags Off Distribution Of Free Pre-Paid Meters In Sokoto [Pictures]

Sokoto state Governor Aminu Waziri Tambuwal was joined by the Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Babatunde Raji Fashola, to flag off distribution of free pre-paid meter in Sokoto. The Minister also inspected ongoing works at the site of the Sokoto Independent Power Project (IPP).

No new roads until existing projects are completed – Fashola

The Minister of Works, Power and Housing, Babatunde Fashola, has stated that his ministry will not award any new contract for the construction or rehabilitation of federal roads until existing ones are completed.

Mr. Fashola said past administrations in Nigeria awarded contracts for 206 roads at about N2 trillion naira, which were mostly unpaid for.

He was responding to questions from State House correspondents on Wednesday at the end of the meeting of the Federal Executive Council. He spoke on the terrible state of some roads within the Federal Capital and the reason his ministry appears to be more interested in the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway.

Mr. Fashola said the roads went bad at a time when there were resources but the governments of the time refused to fix them.

“What we have done was first to say that we would not award any new road contract,” he said. “We would deal with the over 206 roads that have been awarded but not funded for over three years.”

Mr. Fashola also said because of the limited resources available to his ministry, road projects have to be prioritized.

He said the Lagos-Ibadan expressway is a very important road for the whole country and carries the heaviest traffic.

“Now the budget that we have for the three ministries that I superintend is in the region of N400 plus billion and over 200 billion is dedicated to roads across the country.

“So that is the deficit that we have to deal with and in making those choices we then have to deal not with roads that necessarily border us but roads that carry the heaviest traffic,” he said.

He said attention is being given to roads that have economic significance for the country such as routes for the evacuation of fuel and food produce going to the different parts of the country.

The minister also disclosed that the council approved the purchase of three transformers of 150 MVA to be installed in substations of Shiroro in Niger, Osogbo in Osun and Kumbotso in Kano as requested by the Transmission Company of Nigeria, TCN.

Mr. Fashola, who did not mention the cost of the transformers, said the purpose of the purchase which overrides the cost implication is to “continue to reinforce, expand and maintain the existing transmission capacity so that as the progress of our incremental power initiative expands and achieves its purpose, transmission company is able to competently deliver the power.”

FG to Pay States On Rehabilitated Roads – Fashola

The Federal Government is set to pay states that have used their resources to rehabilitate federal roads in their areas.

Speaking Thursday in Katsina State, Minister of Power, Works, and Housing, Babatunde Raji Fashola, said President Muhammadu Buhari has assured to pay the debt.

Fashola, who was speaking at the 22nd meeting of National Council of Works, said a committee was set up under his leadership and recommendations have been made to the government on the matter. He said the ministry inherited roads liability of N2 trillion, but that only a budget of N18 billion was made last year for road projects.

He, however, said the current government improved upon it and budgeted N226 billion this year for road projects, and that N73 billion has been paid between June and July in liabilities.

The minister said some petrol tanker drivers were in the habit of overloading products, saying some of them were ferrying 60,000 litres of petrol instead of the lawful 33,000 litres.

He said their actions were detrimental to the lifespan of the roads, even as he warned petrol tankers to desist from such illegal activities or face the consequences.

Fashola said roads that help access mining areas, evacuate fuel, cargoes at sea, and roads that allow for heavier traffic would be given priority in road projects to be executed in the country.

He, however, said that the 45.7 meters right- of-way would be enforced, while the ministry is to carry out intervention on roads across the states of the federation on a yearly basis.

He said Federal Controllers of Roads at the states would henceforth be held accountable for the quality of roads in their various states.

He called on them to liaise with stakeholders including traditional rulers and government, to achieve the objective of quality federal roads at the states level.

He said contractors handling road projects would henceforth not be paid by the government till they are confirmed to have insurance cover for their workers.

Governor Aminu Bello Masari, on his part, lamented problem of overloading of vehicles on the nation’s highways, with the call on relevant agencies to check the menace.

He said several crimes committed in the state and elsewhere were often by motorcycle owners, and that such was another issue that needed be addressed.

Nigeria electricity challenge man-made – Fashola

Former governor of Lagos State and Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Babatunde Raji Fashola, said, yesterday, that Nigeria’s electricity problem is man-made.

Fashola, who spoke at the maiden edition of Made in Nigeria Festival taking place at Eko Atlantic, Lagos, said his blueprint for the power sector is in three phases: power-generation, steady supply of power and uninterrupted power supply.

He has also pledged to ensure the power sector works to the point where Nigeria has uninterrupted power supply.

Speaking on man-made challenges, Fashola recalled a challenge with a project and it took only a phone call to Globacomn Chairman, Otunba Mike Adenuga to resolve the matter.

“We had an issue some time ago, during an electrification project. We got to this expanse of land and we were told that the land where we needed to lay electricity cable belongs to ‘the spirit.’ Indigenes of that area scared the contractors away by invoking curse on the project. I was briefed about this and we started negotiation with them. You won’t believe this but, by the time we finished the negotiation, the ‘spirits’ collected money and we were able to continue with our project. Another instance was where we had a telecommunication mast obstructing electrification of a village. The former regime and the telecommunication company were exchanging letters. All I did was call Adenuga and the mast was removed in a week…”

Speaking further, Fashola said since 1960, Nigeria generated 5,074 mega watt of power for the first time in February 2016.

“We have never generated up to 5,000 mega watt of power since 1960, but we generated 5,074 mega watts of power in February, 2016 and this was made possible because we have began systematic repair of our power-generating equipments which is in the phase one of our developmental plans’.

Fashola disclosed that he and his team has a developmental plan consisting of power generation which is focused on maximising all available power-generating components by repairing them. The second phase is steady supply of power while the third phase is uninterrupted power supply…”

The minister was speaking as a member of panel consisting of Mrs Adeola Sumola of Bello Osagie & Associates, Ms. Chantel Abdul MD/CEO Mojek International and Mr. Mofid Karameh Chairman Mikano Group. Dr. Ogho Okiti, publisher of Economics Times, Abuja was the Moderator.

Fashola reiterated government’s resolve to get electricity to the rural areas by engaging universities located in rural areas.

’We are deepening rural electricity, we are using universities as anchors for these rural areas. These universities are located in the rural areas. In the universities where we are carrying out this rural electrification programmes, we are challenging the students in Electrical Engineering Departments to develop a power plan to add to what we have on ground already before they graduate from that university’’.

Mrs Ibukun Awosika Chairman of First Bank PLC spoke at the second session on the topic ‘’ Empowering the Made-in-Nigeria Economy: Private Sector’s role in Infrastructural Revival in Nigeria. She went on to say ‘’Building infrastructure is how well you can achieve the goals you set for yourself’’.

We have two kinds of infrastructure- the Hard Infrastructure which are the roads, transportation, e.t.c and Economic Infrastructure. We need to develop several infrastructures around’’

‘’I noticed that most of the bags our children use in this country comes from abroad. I just said to myself, a textile company can just develop these bags and our economy will be better for it, this will count as infrastructural development. We need to create infrastructure support for industries in our economy’’ Mrs. Awosika opined.

The Made in Nigeria Festival comprises a 3-day Summit, an exhibition, a technology exposition and a daily showcase of Nigeria’s finest foods and flavours, movies, fashion, music and art. Over 5,000 Nigerians have already signed up to be part of this year’s festival.

The grand finale of the festival is a special celebration of Nigeria’s independence comprising a phenomenal showcase of music artistry that would also take place at Eko Atlantic City.

The Made In Nigeria Festival is being organized by the MaIN Group, a collaboration of private sector organisations. Board of Advisors of the initiative include: Prince Adesegun Oniru, Mr. Aliko Dangote, Dr. (Mrs.) Stella Okoli, Mr. Ronald Chagoury, and Senator Oluremi Tinubu.

Fashola Promises Uninterrupted Power Supply

Former governor of Lagos State and minister of power, housing and infrastructure, Babatunde Raji Fashola has said the problem of Nigeria’s power sector is man-made and that he is determined to make sure the sector works, promising to deliver on uninterrupted power supply.

Fashola, who is one of the speakers at the maiden edition of Made in Nigeria Festival taking place at Eko Atlantic, Lagos, presented a 3-phase blue-print of power-generation, steady supply of power and uninterrupted power supply.

Speaking on the challenges, Fashola said ‘”we had an issue some time ago during an electrification project; we got to this expanse of land and we were told that the land where we need to lay electricity cable belongs to ‘spirits’. The indigenes of that area scared the contractors away by invoking a curse on the project. I was briefed about this and we entered negotiations with them. You won’t believe this, but by the time we finished the negotiation, the ‘spirits’ collected money and we were able to continue with our project.

“Another instance was where we had a telecommunication mast obstructing electrification of a village. The former regime and the telecommunication company were exchanging letters; all I did was call Otunba Mike Adenuga and the mast was removed in a week.

‘The power challenges are not impossible [to fix], most of them are man-made. I am determined to ensure we get to the point where Nigeria has uninterrupted power supply.”

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Vandalisation Of Pipelines Has Made Nigeria Lose 3000mw Of Electricity – Fashola

The Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Babatunde Raji Fashola, has attributed a colossal loss of 3000 megawatts in the last six months (between April and September) to consistent vandalisation and sabotage of the country’s pipelines and assets.

Fashola who gave this disclosure at the Wilson Centre, Washington DC, USA on the sidelines of the just concluded United Nation’s meeting, said, “over 3000 megawatt of power had been lost over the last six months due to consistent vandalism and sabotage of oil and gas pipelines and assets.”

He added that “the generating cap acity of the hydro plants was enhanced as their turbines,

abandoned and not maintained for over three decades, received due attention pointing out that the increase in rainfall would not have meant much if the turbines were not repaired.”

According to him, “In the last one year, we have done a lot of repairs and maintenance work so that every year, of course, there is increased circle of rainfall and water levels, but if you have three turbines and only one is working, you can only depend on one. So where we had one working, we now have two, where we had two, we now have three.

”The hydros are giving us almost 400MW of power and that is a lot of power given our situation. And we have added about 1MW of Solar and there is more on the way.”

FG Implementing infrastructure Roadmaps to Curb Recession – Fashola

The Minister of Power Works and Housing, Mr. Babatunde Fashola, has highlighted the specific steps being taken in the infrastructure sectors to reenergize the economy, saying the measures were meant to correct the mistakes of yesterday and move the country from economic stagnation.

Fashola, who spoke at the Wilson Centre in Washington DC, USA, while presenting a paper on “Leadership and Politics of Reform In Africa: Lessons from Nigeria,” said the immediate and long term solution to the problem of economic recession lay in massive investment in infrastructure which, according to him, has already commenced.

The Minister, however, explained that it did not mean that Nigeria lacked infrastructure but that what was available was insufficient for the population and that although the past administrations failed to utilize resources of the oil boom period to make the needed investment, the present administration was determined to turn the situation around even with the lean resources available to it.

Speaking specifically on the sectors under his Ministry, Fashola, who reiterated that most of the problems, especially in the power sector, were not technical but man-made, added that his Ministry had evolved clear roadmaps that were already being implemented to achieve sustainable solutions to the problems in the three critical sectors.

In the Works Sector, especially roads and bridges, Fashola, who said the Ministry inherited 206 roads that were not budgeted for or poorly funded, added, that the roadmap consisted of identifying and prioritizing on heavy traffic bearing roads that convey essential goods and services across the country.

The Minister declared, “We have to build roads that evacuate our sea and airports, roads that drive our energy for now, roads that go to the tank farms to evacuate fuel from South to North and roads that sustain us, that is roads that bring in our feed stock, cattle and vegetables and livestock from the North down to the South.

“And that is why you see us building from Lagos-Ibadan road to Ilorin, to Jebba to link all the way to Kaduna and Kano and go on up North. And we are doing the same thing trying to connect River Benue through the Loko- Oweto Bridge and the Second Niger Bridge; Kano-Kaduna, Kano-Maiduguri. Those are the choices we have made , because this is a period of hard choices trying to do more with less”, he said.

According to the Minister, “Those are the choices that we have made, they are not esoteric choices; they are simple and rational choices. All the roads we are working on have been awarded before I got into office by the previous administration, over 206 roads. You don’t have resources to build 206 roads so where you put your limited resources is in those areas”.

Reiterating that the problem in the sector was also man-made, Fashola said the problem lay in under-budgeting which, according to him, resulted in contractors not being paid for three years, lack of project supervision and discipline to manage 206 road contracts that were not budgeted for or if budgeted for, were poorly funded.

“The total outstanding contractual liabilities are in the region of N1.5 trillion and this administration is taking them in batches starting from the critical heavy traffic highways that evacuate goods from ports, fuel from tank farms and move foodstuffs and agro-produce across the country”, he said.

In the Housing Sector, Fashola said the roadmap comprised the designing of houses that would respond to the diverse cultures and climatic conditions of the citizens living in the six geopolitical zones of the country adding, however, that this has been resolved by developing two broad categories of designs comprising blocks of flats for the Southern states and bungalows with courtyards for the Northern states.

Saying that the process of standardization of the house fittings has been concluded, Fashola reiterated the government’s decision to source all the fittings, including windows, doors, hinges, tiles, plumbing and electrical appliances locally in order to stimulate production by medium and small enterprises.

In the Power Sector, the Minister, who said the problem was that of insufficient power to distribute, listed some of the projects currently being implemented to increase power to include the 450MW Azura Power Plant in Edo State, the 700MW Zungeru Hydro Power Plant in Niger State, the Gurara Hydro Power Plant in Kaduna, the Kashimbilla Plant and the 115MW Kaduna Plant.

The Minister also listed areas where transmission expansion projects are currently ongoing to strengthen transmission to include the Eastern Axis where the Ikot-Ekpene – Alaoji Transmission project takes off up to Enugu from where it would boost power all the way to Makurdi adding that the local issues that earlier hindered work had been resolved.

Buhari Inherited N1.5trn Debt on Road Contracts – Fashola

The administration of President Muhammadu Buhari inherited road contractual liabilities worth N1.5tn, the Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Mr. Babatunde Fashola, has said.

Fashola said this in a statement in Abuja on Sunday by his Special Adviser, Communications, Mr. Hakeem Bello.

The minister said the ministry inherited 206 roads that were not budgeted for or poorly funded, but added that it had now developed a road map consisting of identifying and prioritising heavy traffic bearing roads for conveying essential goods and services across the country.

He said, “We have to build roads that evacuate our sea and airports; roads that drive our energy for now; roads that go to the tank farms to evacuate fuel from the South to the North; and roads that sustain us, that is roads that bring in our feed stock, cattle and vegetables and livestock from the North down to the South.

“And that is why you see us building from Lagos to Ibadan, to Ilorin, to Jebba to link all the way to Kaduna and Kano, and go on up North. And we are doing the same thing trying to connect River Benue through the Loko-Oweto Bridge and the Second Niger Bridge; Kano-Kaduna, and Kano-Maiduguri. Those are the choices we have made because this is a period of hard choices, trying to do more with less.”

Fashola added, “Those are the choices that we have made; they are not esoteric choices, they are simple and rational choices. All the roads we are working on had been awarded before I got into office by the previous administration – over 206 roads. You don’t have resources to build 206 roads; so, where you put your limited resources is in those areas.

“The total outstanding contractual liabilities are in the region of N1.5tn and this administration is taking them in batches, starting from the critical heavy traffic highways that evacuate goods from ports, fuel from tank farms and move foodstuffs and agro-produce across the country.”

The minister also said Nigeria lost more than 3,000 megawatts of electricity to the activities of vandals in the last six months.

Fashola said this in a presentation titled, ‘Leadership and the Politics of Reforms in Africa: Lessons from Nigeria’ at the Wilson Centre, Washington DC, United States.

The minister added that electricity supply increased by 4,00MW in the last two weeks due to increase in the generating capacity of the hydropower plants occasioned by the repair and maintenance carried out on them in the last one year.

He attributed the loss of over 3,000MW of power to consistent vandalism and sabotage of oil and gas pipelines and assets.

Buhari May Cut Fashola’s Ministry To Give Way For Kachikwu

As President Muhammadu Buhari land in the United States of America for the United Nations Assembly summit, a new report has revealed details of a possible ministerial re-shuffling by the presidency.

As Nigerians await the alleged ministerial reshuffling from the presidency, SaharaReporters in a new post on their official Twitter page, has revealed that Babatunde Fashola’s ministry of Works, Power and Housing’s three portfolios might be reduced to give way to Ibe Kachikwu, the minister of state for Petroleum who will now have a full portfolio to himself.

FG unveils plan to stimulate housing sector

The Federal Government will de-risk lending to developers and provide guarantees and credit enhancement to stimulate growth in the housing sector.

The Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola, made the disclosure yesterday at the 32nd Annual Conference and General Meeting of the African Union for Housing Finance (AUHF) in Abuja.

Also unveiled was plan to deploy modern technology for mass production of housing, using traditional procurement and Contractor Finance Initiative Model to reduce housing deficit.

The minister, who urged the AUHF to support innovative housing finance in Nigeria, regretted that years of inadequate investment and poor maintenance culture have left the country with a huge housing deficit, slowing development and economic growth.

Fashola also blamed lack of housing finance in public and corporate institutions, lack of access to land, double digit housing loans, high cost of building materials, inflation and population explosion as reasons many Nigerians do not own houses.

Represented by Eucharia Alozie, Director, Public Private Partnership (PPP) in the ministry, Fashola said government recognises that provision of leverage and guarantees are critical to attracting private sector funds to the industry, thereby creating thousands of affordable houses yearly and generating employment and commercial activities.

“From the inception of government’s initiative in organised housing finance system to date, only meagre sum have so far been injected into the system. This accounts for less than 0.5 per cent of the GDP compared to other climes, like the United Kingdom and South Africa. This is due to the inability of financial systems to provide low cost finance that meets the need of low and medium income earners,” he added.

Also speaking, the Central Bank’s Director of Other Financial Institutions, Ahmed Abdullahi, noted that the housing market in Africa and in Nigeria is underdeveloped, and that the contribution of the market to the GDP in the country is less than one per cent, compared to the United States, which is about 80 per cent.

Abdullahi therefore stressed the need to address absence of long-term capital that could be used to create mortgages, high cost of building materials, and problems of registering and enforcing property rights.

FG Vows to Enhance Safety, Prevent Economic Losses on Highways

The Federal Government has vowed to intensify efforts towards reconstruction and rehabilitation of highways cross the country in order to promote safety and prevent economic losses on the roads.

In that regard, the Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Mr. Babatunde Fashola, has directed Federal Controllers of Works to ensure the removal of all obstructions on the Right of Ways across the country.

The Minister also directed that the issuance of permits to erect structures on Right of Ways on Federal Highways should no longer be granted and there would be no renewal for those who already have such structures on the highways.

Fashola, was quoted in a statement issued by Hakeem Bello to have giiven the directives at a meeting in Abuja with Federal Controllers of Works and Sector Commanders of the Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC) from across the Federation, said that while those with permit would be allowed to stay till the expiration of such permit, those with no permit should immediately leave the Right of Way.

Expressing dismay at the ease with which the permits are issued in the name of Internally Generated Revenue (IGR), Fashola told the controllers, “Our first step is how to secure our Right of Way back. We have the right of way in this country; 45 metres from the centre line”.

The Minister pointed out that roads are built to move human beings, goods and services with ease adding, “If after building the roads we issue all sorts of permits on the Right of Way of the roads we have built in the name of Internally Generated Revenue are we not defeating the purpose we set out to achieve?”

He added, “If that road works, you will take personal benefits. One, you will spend less on food, I assure you, because the average transporter, whether the road is good or bad, will move and by the time he gets to his destination he just calculates how much extra fuel he has burnt and he will pass it into the full cost”.

“Then when you come next month you complain that rice has gone to N20,000; you caused it because he cannot do that business at a loss. If a journey that should take him four hours takes him eight hours instead, he will burn more fuel and he will pass the cost to the trader”, the Minister said.

Fashola said although there might not be any scientific measure to put a cost on what the driver had spent, he would like to get as much as he could to cover his cost, adding, “So, you can issue your permit for the Right of Way but be sure you have diminished the value of your own salary; because price of rice has moved up and you must buy. That is one way that we all undercut ourselves”.

Listing further benefits of unhindered traffic, Fashola declared, “If that road moves freer and faster, even if today you don’t get a reversal, at least prices will stay where they are. You may not get immediate price reduction but you can get a stable price economy you can plan your life with”.

The Minister said, however, that although it was in the interest of the government to clear the Right of Way, there was no suggestion to start breaking the structures currently on them adding, “There is an enlightenment process that we must pursue in doing this. But we must plan it together. Tell the people there is no more renewal of licenses you have given. Stop the renewal”.

He further warned, “So anybody who is still renewing is looking for trouble for himself. The ones that have no permits then we tell them to go”, adding that he has notified the Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) to stop issuing permits for petrol stations on Right of Ways.

According to the Minister, although there is need for petrol stations as people have to buy fuel, such fuel stations should not be built on Right of Way.

“So petrol stations must be approved within the appropriate setbacks. This is where you should partner with the state governments because the state is the planning authority. You have to work with them so that when the final permits are given they don’t land on your Right of Way. They must observe the setbacks” he told the controllers.

Fashola, who said the enforcement of the ban would need the cooperation of State Governments as well as the Federal Road Safety Commission (FRSC), urged the controllers to return to their states with a new mind-set that getting it right on the roads and highways would need the cooperation of all the stakeholders.

The Minister told them, “You must know the number of roads under you and in how many local governments and how many people. You should know how many of your Right of Ways are obstructed. You need to have that data; you must file that report; is it 10 per cent, 20 per cent or 80 per cent? Which one has the heaviest traffic that we may have to attend to quickly?”

Reiterating the benefits of a free flow of traffic, Fashola, who noted that government would not attend to everything at the same time, added, “I am sure if you free all the right of ways, traffic will move better. Some of the best sides of our roads have been covered up by parking”.

Power Generation Capacity Down by 3,000Megawatts

Nigeria is losing about 2,000 megawatts of electricity to the attack on the Forcados subsea pipeline by Niger Delta militants,
the Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Mr. Babatunde Fashola has revealed.

The Minister told energy reporters at a recent conference they organised in Lagos that not long after the attack on Forcados pipeline, power generation dropped to about 2,000MW from 5,074MW.

Fashola, who was represented by the acting Managing Director of Niger Delta Power Holding Company, Mr. Chiedu Ugbo, however argued that even at the 5,074 in February, the country was still short of where it ought to be as a nation.

He said: “In the short period between when we started work in November 2015 and February of this year, our generating capacity rose to 5,074 MW, the highest we have ever generated as a nation.”

The minister stated that in the 63 years of government monopoly between 1950 and 2013, the country’s maximum generation was 4000MW.

According to him, the solution was that the needed more power, adding that it is the basis of the first phase of his road map. Fashola argued that it is not gas alone that will allow the country to achieve incremental power, stressing that gas is only one solution amongst many other underutilised solutions.

He said the 3000MW-capacity Mambila Power Station, for example, is likely to be the government’s most defining in the road to incremental power.

He noted that one of the things that struck him during the budget process was the furore about which part of the country got “the lion share” or how many roads were being built in the North or how many bridges were in the South. The Minister insisted that those conversations were unworthy of the country’s collective national responsibility. He added that every road, every bridge, every streetlight, every pipeline is a shared national asset.

‘Why Buhari Put Three Ministries Under Me’ – Fashola

Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Mr. Babatunde Fashola, has spoken of the decision of President Muhammadu Buhari to merge the Ministries of Power, Works and Housing.

Fashola said this at a ‘Town Hall Meeting and Policy Dialogue for Good Governance’ organised by the Alumni Association of the National Institute for Policy and Strategic Studies (AANI).

A statement issued by his media aide, Mr. Hakeem Bello, yesterday in Abuja stated that the minister had in response to a question on the challenges he has running three ministries, said he welcomed the responsibility as it was a cost saving initiative by the president.

“Now, two of those ministries have had a natural relationship over years. They were either works and housing or land, works and housing. In adding power to it, let us also remember that the work left in lower is just to complete the privatisation and to complete the transmission grid.

“The distribution is now in the hands of companies. All of the work that NEPA used to do distributing power is now in the hands of 11 companies. All of the work that NEPA used to do generating power is now in the hands of six companies.

“Now, there is an agency called NERC (Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission) created by law made by people you and I elected. That is the regulator of the power sector now, in getting licenses issued and so on and so forth and a statutory company called NBET (Nigerian Bulk Electricity Trading Plc). So, all of these institutions are taking positions and evolving.

“So, it is no longer a government driven sector; it is now a government regulated sector driven by the private sector”, he added.

Fashola added that if anyone has any issue about his job, “I think you should complain to Mr. President. For me it is a privilege to serve my country in whatever capacities I am designated to do so.”

Fashola Confirms N70bn Payment To FG Contractors

The Minister of Power Works and Housing, Babatunde Raji Fashola has confirmed that about N70 billion has been paid to contractors out of the N102 billion released to his ministry.

He disclosed at the ongoing town hall meeting in Abuja, that following the payment, contractors were able to resume back to their construction sites.

According to him, there are over 200 on-going road projects valued at N2 trillion under supervision of the ministry. He added that the N19 billion initially released from the 2015 budget was grossly inadequate.

Fashola emphasized that work has resumed at Kano-Katsina road, Port-Harcourt-Enugu road, Lagos-Ibadan expressway, Loko-Oweto Bridge, and this has invariably led to economic improvement in the communities around those sites.

He said previous governments gave more attention to recurrent expenditure as against the capital expenditure, which according to him, worked negatively against the nation’s infrastructure and the economy.

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Fashola confirms N70bn payment to FG contractors

N35.6bn Inadequate For National Housing– Fashola

Minister of Works, Power and Housing, Babatunde Fashola, yesterday faulted the N35.6bn provided for the National Housing Programme in the 2016 budget.
He spoke  during an interactive session with members of the House of Representatives Committee on Housing chaired by Rep Mustapha Bala Dawaki (APC, Kano). Fashola said the amount would “not even scratch the country’s housing deficit in the back”.

He said: “When the housing programme takes off properly, we’ll be talking about hundreds of billions and even trillions. Let’s look at the N35.6bn as a way of implementing the concept, then we should have massive funds for the whole programme.”
Also  the director of architectural services in the ministry, Arch Sani Gidado, said they were ready for the implementation of the programme nationwide, but that only 17 states had provided lands for the programme, while two had indicated interest.
But members of the committee picked holes in the inability of the department to come up with proper designs almost six months into the year, calling for equal spread of houses among the states.
Credit: DailyTrust

Nigeria Is Ready For Nuclear Energy- Fashola

The Federal Government on Wednesday, said Nigeria was ready to commence the production of nuclear energy. The Minster of Power, Works and Housing, Mr Babatunde Fashola, who made this known at the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) Forum in Abuja, said Nigeria had secured the necessary certification from the International Atomic Energy Agency(IAEA).

Fashola said: “`This thing has protocols and standards; we are already in it; we are not venturing into it; we started a nuclear programme 17 years ago.

“We have gone through the training level; we have produced 25 graduates of master’s level under certification by the International Atomic Energy Agency.

“We have found the sites; the sites have been approved, two sites have been approved by International Atomic Energy Agency.

“We have started the design for the financing; that is the stage we are now; once we conclude that, we move to the design for the construction.

“If all things go well, by quarter four of next year – that is the schedule that I met – we should have started construction, so that is what I meet.“

Fashola said it was important for Nigeria to focus on the gains and safety of nuclear energy as obtained in other developed countries. He said that since the whole world was moving toward a cleaner fuel and the use of more sustainable form of energy, Nigeria could be an exception.

Credit: Vanguard

N1.7tr Needed To Fix Nigerian Roads– Fashola

The Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola, has said that N1.7tr is needed to complete the 206 road contracts already awarded across the country.
In a statement signed by his Special Adviser on Communication, Hakeem Bello, Fashola said at the Lagos  African Capital Alliance’s 2016 Investor Day Dinner in Lagos at the weekend: “With about 206 road contracts already awarded in the past and not completed, it does not make sense to start any new roads when the amount needed to complete them is about N1.7tr and the budget for the three ministries is N433bn as  proposed by the executive”.

He said the ministry’s priority was to complete as many already roads whose contracts had been awarded, adding that investors were welcome to invest on new roads and alignments under the Public Private Partnership (PPP) arrangement.
Fashola noted that to be able to finish as many roads as possible, the ministry planned in the 2016 budget  to depart from the old practice of giving every road the same amount of money irrespective of whether it is just starting or nearing completion.
“The Ministry of Works was to get N268bn, Power N99bn and Housing N66bn. So, instead of splitting N268bn over 206 roads and not finishing any, we plan to phase 206 roads over three years and ensure that we complete or substantially progress the completion of existing roads in each of the six geo-political zones”, he said.

Credit: DailyTrust

Fashola Restates FG’s Commitment To Power, Road And Housing Development

The Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Mr. Babatunde Fashola, has restated the Federal Government’s determination to develop stable power supply, good road network and affordable housing for Nigerians.

This is contained in a statement made available to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Sunday in Abuja by the Minister’s Special Adviser (Communications), Mr Hakeem Bello.

It said that Fashola gave the assurance when he spoke at the African Alliance 2016 Investors Day in Lagos.

It stated that the ministry was determined to achieve results by doing things differently to develop sustainable infrastructure to convert current challenges to opportunities for economic growth.

He was quoted to have decried the problems inherent in the entire power chain, “from distribution to transmission, generation and gas supply, including a cross-cutting liquidity problem”.

The statement said the existing gap of meter supply in the distribution segment of the power chain had created enormous opportunities for local production for estimated three million consumers.

“Local producers or investors are expected to meet a significant local content participation that would help Small and Medium Enterprises supply an estimated three million consumers who needed to be metered.

“Apart from metering, the distribution companies have aging assets: Transformers, ring main units, poles, cables, breakers and so on, some of which are 20 to 30 years old.

“It is a problem on one hand and enormous opportunity on the other hand,” it said.

The statement stated that the ministry planned to complete about 47 transmission projects to deliver 1,000 MW more carrying capacity this year to expand national growth plan.

The statement said that the Federal Government, in spite of low oil revenue, had upgraded budgetary allocation to ensure completion of existing roads across the six geo-political zones.

“This is the first step to sustainability. But it is not enough to budget.

“It is important to implement the budget and use the finances properly.

“We plan to phase 206 roads over three years to ensure completion or substantial progress of existing roads with heaviest traffic and strategic economic significance in each of the six geo-political zones.”

The statement also reported the Minister as saying that an agreed common purpose and parameters must be defined to have a sustainable and affordable housing design that had national acceptability.

The minister disclosed that the Federal Government, in partnership with the private sector, was on a Nigerian housing model that would consider geo-political cultural differences.



Babatunde Fashola Lists His Take Away From President Buhari’s Foreign Trips

In making this public intervention, I seek to highlight the benefit of global relationships and cooperation in a world that is changing daily as a result of globalisation and transborder economics, social and even criminal activities where no one is safe, except all are safe, and to leave the dispassionate observer his opinion after deep reflection on the value, or lack of it, of President Muhammadu Buhari’s foreign trips.
This way I hope every Nigerian who cares about our country will have some information about what their president is doing about the things that concern them.

First I will start with context.

Barely two decades ago (between 1994 and 1998), we would not have quarrelled with the description that we were a pariah nation. We were ostracised from global events because of bad governance. We
had lost the respect accorded nations like ours were they well-led and well-run. I recall that not a few Nigerians complained that the green passport was becoming, if it had not already become, a burden. That was at the height of the dictatorial government that broke the rules of international relations.
It was from there that we started to heal. Investors entered our country. Many brands that we sought after abroad started coming to set up shop in our country. The tourist footfalls in our country increased slowly but surely, but again we began to slide. That was when Buhari declared at a meeting in Lagos during his campaign in 2015, that if elected, he would make us proud about our country again. Proud to be Nigerian again.
That is the context in which I view his foreign trips and the manifesto of the All Progressives Congress (APC) on Foreign Relations which promised to:
:: Make the Nigerian national interest the overriding factor in its foreign policy and international relations.
::Work to reform global governance in multilateral institutions and agencies.
::Work to strengthen the African Union (AU) to become a more effective organisation on global affairs.
::Engage the BRICS countries (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) on the basis of equality.
::Play a leadership role to develop a MINT (Mexico, India, Nigeria, and Turkey) as a counterforce to BRICS.
I will limit my takeaways to four trips that I attended with the president namely: the G7 Summit in Germany, the Oil and Gas Summit in Iran, the Renewable Energy Conference in Abu Dhabi and the state visit and Business Forum in China; and two trips that I did not attend, but whose deliberations I followed, namely: Paris for the COP 21 and USA for the Nuclear Energy Summit.
G7 in Germany

This is a club of eight of the most industrialised, economic and technologically advanced nations. For the benefit of those who do not follow international politics, it was originally the G8 comprising the USA, Britain, Germany, France, Canada, Japan, Italy, and Russia, who were later suspended and had sanctions imposed on them to make it G7 as a result. It was formed in 1975 as a club of six before Canada and Russia were admitted. They look after each other, and the rest of the world to put it simply. They have gone to war together if you remember Iraq and Libya in recent memory and they are all largely collaborating to fight terror. (Most recently the FBI was rendering assistance to Belgium in the aftermath of the terror attacks in that country).

Why G7 one might then ask?
Answer: German Chancellor Angela Merkel, as host, invited President Buhari on his inauguration to be their guest along with some three or four other African countries. Their agenda was global security, global economy and global health in the aftermath of Ebola, which was still raging in some African countries. Apart from the personal aides of the president, Governor Shettima of Borno, General Abdulrahman Dambazau and myself were the only ones who accompanied the president.

I recall that upon our arrival in Germany, they expressed surprise that our delegation was small and asked if others were still coming. In the pre-departure briefing, in addition to highlighting how the security and economic agenda of the G7 coincided with two of his campaign promises, security, (corruption) economy, President Buhari stated the reasons three of us were invited.
Governor Shettima was in the front line of terrorists and criminal activities in the North-east; General Dambazau was a former Chief of Army Staff, and also a faculty associate of Harvard University Weatherhead Centre for International Affairs; I had run the single biggest economy of a state within Nigeria for eight years and was in the frontline of Ebola. Without ministers, one week after taking office, he felt we were the ones best suited to assist, if he needed it, on the issues of security, economy and health on the G7 agenda. In the event, he did not need us. He held his ground admirably. He was the first person called upon to speak at a Summit in which Nigeria was not a member. I was proud to be a Nigerian.

At global summits, we usually got to speak when others had spoken and the hall has emptied. President Barack Obama was the first G7 member to speak after President Buhari and he said that Nigeria has elected a president that brings a reputation of scrupulous integrity to the table. I was proud to be a Nigerian.

The opening session was robust and welcoming, we saw some of the world’s most powerful men and women take off their jackets, call each other by their first names in a club-like setting while addressing the world’s most serious problems. Problems that affect you and I daily. I was proud that my president was in a room where decisions concerning my planet were being deliberated upon.
British Prime Minister David Cameron, Chancellor Merkel and others also spoke in similar vein about our president’s reputation and our nation’s strategic position in Africa and the world. They pledged support for Nigeria on terror and the economy.
Importantly, I learned that their scientists were worried about increasing resistance of strains of infections to antibiotics; and that they were committing enormous resources into finding out why and what to do. They highlighted the difficulty of time and resources that it will take to develop new antibiotics and the risk to global health.

If we all appreciate how vulnerable we can be without effective antibiotics, especially our children, and if we remember how low life expectancy was and how poor global health was before the discovery of Penicillin after the World War, we will appreciate the seriousness of the platform to which Nigeria was invited. I was proud that our president was there. If the seven most powerful nations stand with you, who can stand against you? I need not say more except that I can attest that President Buhari has been following up on these matters, and the progress on security is visible, while results on the economic front will manifest soon enough.
Iran Oil and Gas Summit

For those who are not aware, one of the reasons why oil prices went up, and from which we benefited in the past, was that Iran, the world’s 7th largest producer of oil, was facing global sanctions from which she was due to emerge in 2016. Because Iran was soon to be selling oil, the likelihood of a further crash of oil prices that had drastically fallen was a threat to Nigeria’s economy if oil prices crashed further. (Our 2016 budget proposals had just been formulated on a $38 per barrel assumption).
I was witness to President Buhari’s persuasion to Iran to come to the market slowly instead of pushing out large volumes which will raise supply and crash prices, even though Iran also needed the cash. You can’t do that type of diplomacy by letter or by phone, in my view, not when the major players were all there in person. I witnessed the meeting with the Venezuelan prime minister, who was leading the South American producers to sell more and get cash even if the prices were lower.

President Buhari’s logic was different. Hold your volumes, steady the price, and don’t let us hurt one another. Recorders of history will recall that the Venezuelan government suffered a major political defeat in Parliament, while President Buhari’s logic has at least steadied oil prices. It might interest you to know that all European nations sent their oil ministers, except Russia, where Vladimir Putin came in person, because having been suspended from the G8 and facing sanctions, this was the meeting where his country’s interests were best served.
For the record, Russia pledged a $5 billion state support to Iran, and if the purpose of this is lost on anyone, I interpret it to mean, “Take cash, don’t pump out your oil. It will hurt me.”

This is the reality of international politics.
Finally on Iran, President Buhari told us, how when he flew to Iran in his days as Petroleum Minister, he noticed how much gas they were flaring and now he returned as president, all the flares were gone. We found out that all the gas had been harvested and piped to every home for heating, cooking etc.
His mandate: “If they can do it, we must do it.” I am proud to be led by a president who sees good things outside and seeks to bring them to his people.

Abu Dhabi Renewable Energy
This is reputed to be the richest of the Emirates in the United Arab Emirates (UAE). Apart from seeking cooperation to recover Nigeria’s stolen wealth stored in the UAE (his anti-corruption commitment pursued in person), President Buhari addressed a renewable energy summit where we learned about initiatives to bring solar power price down to five US cents per kilowatt hour, (approximately N10) as against the price of 17 US cents (N34) per KW/h tariff in Nigeria fixed at privatisation by the last government.
President Buhari’s mandate was for us to explore collaboration for the manufacture of solar panels in Nigeria to bring down the price and deploy it to the sunlit areas of Nigeria, especially the North that is most prolific for irradiation. We are currently working on the Energy Mix for Nigeria which is the implementation process of the energy policy that will take us there. Hopefully, we will soon be signing the first set of solar deployment agreements for Nigeria.

In this way, more solar and hydro will be used in the North, more coal and hydro in the Middle Belt, and more gas in the South; so that we take power generation closest to the most prolific source of fuel to bring down the cost and make it more affordable. On the trip to China (which I will comment on) we met a few Chinese solar manufacturers (who recognised us from Abu Dhabi) who want to set up business of manufacturing solar panels in Nigeria.

China Investment Forum and State Visit
This is the visit that provoked this write up, because I had bottled what I knew. But it was time, I believe, to share some of it. China is the second largest economy in the world with a per capita income of $8,000 which they are planning to raise to $12,000 by 2020. By her own assessment, according to President Xi Jinping, they are still a developing nation seeking to achieve what he described as “initial prosperity” by 2020.

If you look at the back of your phone, your TV, your watch, your I-Pad, your mobile charger, many other accessories that you use, you are likely to find these three words “Made in China” printed somewhere. For such a nation, (with trillions of dollars in reserves, that plans to spend $2 trillion on imports in the next five years and earn $100 billion annually) who still sees itself as a developing nation, such modesty in the face of success, assiduous hard work and productivity is a destination to seek cooperation in the pursuit of economic development.
This is where President Buhari led an array of Nigerian investors including Erisco Foods, (who now makes our tomato paste at home and employs people locally including farmers who supply the tomatoes), power operators (DisCos and GenCos), and the Dangote Group, to meet with and address their Chinese partners.

During the meeting with the Chinese President, six collaboration agreements were signed including for agriculture and food production improvement techniques, rail and power infrastructure development, for funding the Dangote Group to continue to expand and create jobs at home and keeping some of our reserves in the currency of the richest nation in the world. This last mentioned agreement was a legitimate coup by President Buhari because the intelligence was that some West African countries were going to sign before us. President Buhari seized the moment.

Of course he had to apologise for our previous failures on our agreement made to part-fund four airport projects in Lagos, Kano, Abuja and Port Harcourt and Abuja-Kaduna rail project.
The Chinese had provided their agreed part of 85 per cent but the remaining 15 per cent Nigeria did not honour during the last administration.
Some of the recent revelations about financial scandals estimated at $2.1 billion in the office of the National Security Adviser (NSA) alone during the last administration suggest how impactful such funds would have been in delivering these critical infrastructure; but we all know what happened.

This is why President Buhari is travelling. To repair our reputation severely damaged by the last government, and to assure our partners that Nigeria has CHANGED. And from there to re-negotiate an existing funding agreement to complete critical transport infrastructure. Because of his reputation, President Xi Jinping believed him, and to quote him, he said: “It is better late than never.”
Through him China literally opened the door to Nigeria in areas of infrastructure (power, railways and roads), agriculture, education and manufacturing especially in our Free Trade Zones. To paraphrase the Chinese President, “ask us for whatever support or partnership and we will be happy to respond.”
“We wish to see you take your rightful place and we are happy that you are the first African president visiting China, after my visit to Africa last year to pledge a $60 billion support for the development of the continent.”
If this was not initiative I doubt what is?

As for the trips to Paris, COP 21 and the USA, Nuclear Security Summit, I will only say this:

a) The threat of climate change, global warming, desertification in the north of Nigeria and coastal erosion in the Atlantic (Bar beach in Lagos) and in the south, affecting Rivers, Bayelsa and other coastal states, the clear scientific evidence lays the blame at the door of the world’s most industrialised nation for their pollution.
b) Since the Kyoto protocol they have paid lip service to remedying the situation, which unfortunately affects developing nations more adversely.
c) COP 21 was the first serious commitment that these leaders made to ensure that global temperatures do not rise above 2°C and indeed are reduced to 1.5°C. I am proud that Nigeria was not missing at this historic moment. When the planet is saved, the next and future generations of Nigerians will recall that President Buhari was present, when all of the world leaders were present to save the planet.
d) In the aftermath of COP 21, the commitment of these nations is to increase production and technology for renewable energy and to reduce the use of carbon fuels. One way they plan to achieve this is increased deployment of nuclear energy.
e) These nations are at the cusp of sharing safe nuclear technology for peaceful uses with developing nations for power generation. This for me was reason enough and a good one at that for President Buhari to be in the USA because Nigeria has been pursuing a nuclear power programme for about 17 years, not as an alternative to gas or Hydro, but as additions to them.

The world leaders must trust you for you to partake. At that summit, in the group photograph, President Buhari stood on the second row along side Britain and Turkey. In the past, we used to be on the last row. This is CHANGE. As he meets with world leaders outside Africa, he has not forgotten the home front. He is regularly visiting and receiving his sister and brother presidents on the African continent.
President Buhari has earned their trust for all of us and I am proud to carry my green passport. Yes, some results are not yet manifest, and may take a little while to do so, but a solid foundation for a sustainable, respectable and prosperous future is being laid, block by block. This is how to build a solid “home” from whence we can project respect abroad with confidence. How many of us will do business with total strangers without a reference or a good reputation in this age of due diligence?

President Buhari is building affiliations everywhere that if well-managed in future, will develop into a global network of friendships, trust and respect for Nigeria and Nigerians. I once heard that the role of a leader, like that of the head of a family, is that of an aggregator, opening doors and opportunities, breaking down barriers and forging alliances. I agree.
This is my Takeaway on these trips.

– Mr. Fashola, Minister of Power, Works and Housing, writes from Abuja

Michael O. Ogunjobi: This Bitter Change

A cursory look at the state of our polity barely a year after the ‘Change’ revolution ushered in by the 2015 General Elections brings to the fore the tortuous path trodden, like a ‘Long Walk To Freedom’. The plight of the average Nigerian can be best captured in these lines of the late renowned poet Kofi Awoonor, a casualty of the terrorist attack by al-Shabaab militants at the Westgate Shopping Mall in Nairobi, Kenya on September 21st, 2013 in his poem- ‘Songs of Sorrow’-

‘My people, I have been somewhere

If I turn here, the rain beats me

If I turn there the sun burns me

The firewood of this world

Is for only those who can take heart

That is why not all can gather it.

The world is not good for anybody

But you are so happy with your fate;

Alas! The travelers are back

All covered with debt.’

Despite hallowed economic and political problems in our fatherland, emphasis has to be laid on the impact on the average Nigerian.  The hash tag #Bringbackourcorruption is already trending on social media platforms. We do not need to order for copies of- “A Commonsense Revolution” by Senator Ben Murray-Bruce from USA to decipher that times are hard. Obviously, our law makers don’t feel the heat since they can afford exotic cars which cannot be used in their constituencies due to the deplorable state of roads.

Education has lost its ‘nullus secondus’ status to entrepreneurship and skills acquisition. University graduates now make life unbearable for Secondary School Certificate Examination holders, taking all available employment opportunities meant for the latter, despite impressive class of degrees. Even National Youth Service Corps is hapless trying to convince State Governors on the need to pay up debts owed corps members. These enthusiastic youths are awakened, post their aluta years having scaled through the hurdle of Academic Staff Union of Universities’ incessant strikes, the only bane they know, to confront the reality of being rejected at the Place of Primary Assignment where they are meant to engage in their mandatory one year youth service. Having read the tongue-in-cheek love notes of the ruling party- All Progressives Congress and the litany of ‘what they cannot do’ incorporated in their manifesto, the hope of these youths for a stipend of #5,000(Five Thousand Naira) to make up for NYSC monthly allowance of #19,800(Nineteen Thousand, Eight Hundred Naira) which ceases upon completion of youth service had only recently been truncated. Yet their parents are expecting to repay debts incurred during their schooling years when they eventually get the ‘white collar jobs’(sic) now turn mirage.

Of course, they hope to teach their children the nursery rhyme- ‘On My Honour/ As A Scholar/ I Will Do My Best…’. Indeed, they are heroes, turn unsung ‘awaiting future leaders’. Tomorrow seem non-forthcoming. Even to afford garri, sachet water, and kerosene to prepare eba have become ‘mission impossible’, how much more pay utility bills or buy fuel for ‘I beta pass my neighbour generator’. The barometer with which we measure the quality and quantity of happiness of the average Nigerian is nothing but the ‘e go beta’ idiosyncrasy, due to our religious dispositions. Marriages are no longer celebrated, due to bride price palava, yet there are numerous breakups. Criminal acts like rape, kidnapping, ritual killing, amongst others are on the increase.

With numerous virus making waves globally, our medical doctors are groaning. Who bears the brunt- the masses dying of malaria or their leaders going abroad for medical checkup? Our idle youths have become the devil’s entrepreneurs. Our streets are now flooded with depressed souls adopting various strategies to beg, ranging from ‘selling Jesus’; some clad in white asking that you honour Osun, the Yoruba Goddess of River with alms; some unemployed yet sharing fliers of ‘Job Vacancies’; some harassing you with their pitiful look of ‘who will buy my wares?’.

Of note, the least migraine the average Nigerian hopes not to bother about at this stage is an outbreak of epidemics. Sunday July 20, 2014 was the day the nation’s Ebola patient “zero”, or index (first) case – the late Liberian-American, Patrick Sawyer, imported the Ebola virus into Nigeria.
The aftermath of this was the emergence of a heroine, Late Dr. (Mrs.) Ameyo Stella Adadevoh. There is the cliché- “what goes around comes around”. Most times, this has a negative connotation. In the advent of alien ailments like zika virus, laser fever, ebola, and with the hope that the list is not endless, trending globally, no doubt HIV/AIDS will feel slighted, bemoaning its ill fate. There is no gainsaying that our local herbs have so far not led up to expectations. Or rather, we have forsaken the less trodden path of our ancestors.

Of course, we live in an e-world. Our e-mentality condemns our forebears’ ‘once upon a time’ crude ways of doing things. The outcome is that today, different continents of the world now confront peculiar calamities. Third world countries are groaning over sit tight syndrome of political office holders, corruption as canker worm to development, poverty, insurgency, unemployment, underemployment etc. Whereas the ‘G this and that’ are groaning with nuclear weapons rivalry, curtailing immigration, ammunition control, drug abuse, natural disasters, amongst others. Different strokes for different folks indeed! While the latter relish their domineering status, the former is united in resisting suppression.

Despite these variant priorities, mankind is unanimous in this trying moment to combat the menace of alien epidemics which is the prime problem bedeviling global serenity. Concerted efforts are being made by various nations of the world and international organizations. Our fatherland must not be found wanting!

Today, the many sins of Former President Goodluck Jonathan which is being propagated by the various modules of the media like the ‘Good News’, confirms the saying that the fulcrum of greatness is acceding that ‘the buck stops with the leader’. The ruling party have remarkably polluted the minds of the populace by emphasizing shortfalls of their predecessor, but unmindful of the trite point that ‘power does not last forever!’. This has raised a curtain on the culture of ‘yellow journalism’, where the media traffic in salacious fare in an effort to gain readers.

No doubt, there are so many questions begging for answers. Things cannot continue this way, while we claim to channel all our energy towards combatting corruption. Can we continue to suppress ethnic agitations in this tense state of affairs? It seems impossible just as telling a devout mother to dispose the remnant garri she has been preserving for supper simply because she saw a rat drawing ‘X AND O lines’ on same!

Having been compelled by fate to thread the path of ‘Change’ with the All Progressive Congress, how long can we rest on the thin rope of hope, awaiting when the average Nigerian will say, in the words of the poet, ROBERT FROST in ‘THE ROAD NOT TAKEN’– “Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—/I took the one less traveled by,/And that has made all the difference”?

The Federal Government of Nigeria must vigorously pursue policies aimed at liberalization of the Nigerian Economy with alacrity. Nigeria operates a federal system of government, and each tier of government adopts its own fiscal policy without proper coordination. Consequently, resources are not properly coordinated and purposefully deployed to projects with specific macro-economic goals, resulting in macroeconomic instability. There is need for strong legal sanctions where money is being spent outside the purpose it is appropriated for. The moral tone of the society must also be raised by all and sundry. Concerted efforts should be made to remove socio-economic injustices, imbalances and inequities in the society, alleviate the suffering of the people and provide job opportunities for the right atmosphere for genuine business and investment to thrive. A re-orientation in our sense of values is very necessary, starting from the highest echelons of society downwards. However, all of these will make no sense to the average Nigerian until he/she can afford the basic necessities of life.

*Michael O. Ogunjobi writes from Lagos.

Views expressed are solely that of author and does not represent views of www.omojuwa.com nor its associates

FG Will Rehabilitate Roads – Fashola

The Federal Government says passage of the 2016 Appropriation will help to fast track the rehabilitation of strategic roads across the geo-political zones of the country.


It added that once the budget was passed, the settlement of debts owed contractors for road projects across the country would commence in earnest.


The Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Mr Babatunde Fashola, announced the intention of the government when he visited Kwara Governor, Alhaji Abdulfatah Ahmed, in Ilorin on Monday evening.


Fashola, who had earlier passed through the Jebba-Ilorin road, decried the deplorable state of the road which resulted to unending traffic hold up that left many motorists stranded for days.


He noted that President Muhammadu Buhari had identified the Jebba – Ilorin road as one of the strategic roads that would be given urgent attention by his administration.


“It is a very strategic road which Mr President himself has identified as one of his strategic economic roads; and the identification is with a lot of merit. Even on our short journey here we saw cattle, we saw fuel, we saw yams, we saw grains, and we saw containers going to and fro.

“So, it tells anybody who cares to observe that this is a strategic economic artery for the movement of goods between the north and south of Nigeria.

“This is the road that farmers use to get their goods to the markets. It is the road that petroleum distributors use to get their cargo to this part of the country and so on.”


He commended the contractor for continuing work on some failed portions of the road, despite non-payment by the immediate past administration.


“When I assumed office, the entire budget for road works was N18 billion for the whole of Nigeria. And all of us are now seeing where the money went. So, it is understandable, that people like this contractor who were working to build roads were not paid.

“But all of that will change under this administration as soon as the new budget is passed.

“So, I am hopeful that the challenges and the discrepancies in the budget will be overcome by meeting of minds between parliament and the executive.


There are no sides in this matter. We are different shades of the same government. So, it is imperative that we quickly get these issues behind us and get a budget in place,” he added.


Fashola said that the federal government has also set up a committee to verify federal roads rehabilitated by state governments to ensure that the standard set were followed.


On housing, he said that the government was looking at formulating policies that would promote the use of locally produced materials for sustainable buildings to enhance job creation.


“We would use more locally made materials so that our people can get back to increased productivity, create jobs and then our job would have been done as a government of change,”  Fashola declared.


Responding, Gov. Abdulfatah Ahmed described Fashola’s appointment as an opportunity for him to bring his experience and achievements in Lagos to move the country forward.

“No doubt, what you did in Lagos have shown that we require people like you to move some of the most critical areas to drive Nigeria’s economy forward. We are all very clear that the issue of road and the issue of energy are very germane to our growth and development.

“So, somehow we have a lot of pressure on us but we are happy that you are coming at a very critical time to see how you can at least support some of the roads in the state, “ Ahmed said.


He added that the government had marked out lands in strategic areas of the state for the development of housing schemes and commercial zones.




Fashola Renders Explanation For Tariff Hike

The Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Mr Babatunde Fashola, says the new electrify tariff is the first major decision that will attract needed investment in the sector.

Fashola’s comment in Lagos on Monday came just as the Nigeria Labour Congress the Trade Union Congress and their allies held nationwide protest against the tariff hike of 45 per cent.

“The question on the lips of everybody is; why can’t we have power first before we pay?

“I wish we could do that, but if they understood that power business is funded from finance from banks. So, no bank is going to lend money to you if you can’t show a recovery price.

“That is the reason we can’t have power first before tariff. It has to be produced before we have it and it has to be paid for.

“The supplier of gas is not going to supply unless he sees his cash,” the Minister explained.

On the protest by the unions, Mr Fashola urged them not to start a new fight, saying “we don’t need one”.

“In any event, there are part of the employee of all these DISCOs and GENCOs that are still working, so let’s get to productivity. Let’s stop fighting (and) let’s produce.”

On the level of electricity supply which the unions are insisting must improve before a new tariff is issued, the Minister said that the capacity Nigeria had in January had never been reached before.

“In the last week of January, we recorded all time high generation of 5,000mw. Nigeria has never reached that level of generation (and) we need a lot more.

“But even with that 5,000mw, there is a lot of service work that needs to go on so that people can access the power.

“So not paying for power, you are disrupting the system; diverting lines, you are disrupting the system; vandalising pipes, you are disrupting the system, you are cheating the system, it is part of anti-corruption (and) everybody must pay for what he uses.”

Credit: ChannelsTv

Fashola Begs Nigerians To Accept Hike In Electricity Tariff

The Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Mr. Babatunde Fashola, SAN, has noted that the increase in electricity tariffs is the first major policy the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari is coming up with, describing same as “a painful pill,” which consumers have to “swallow.”



Fashola disclosed this Monday during the second monthly meeting with stakeholders in the power sector in Lagos, where he also inspected some projects at the Alagbon Transmission and Distribution Complex.


Fashola’s comments came at a time Nigerian workers under the aegis of the Nigerian Labour Congress, NLC, Trade Union Congress, TUC, joined by Civil Society Organizations embarked on peaceful protests against the policy which has grounded commercial activities in several cities in the country.


His words, “Importantly, I understand that people who have been disappointed over a long time will feel a sense of concern that again tariffs have gone up. But the truth is that these tariffs ought to have been there from day one.


I don’t know why the government of yesterday was not courageous enough to tell us this was the price. “It is a painful pill that I must appeal that we swallow. It is like quinine and malaria. It’s painful; it’s not sweet, I know that, but I do it because we are not left with many choices. This is the first major decision in power that this administration has taken. There are other problems. “I can only appeal for some understanding and some trust that we do this in the best interest of our country. It is a hard decision, but I think down the line, we will have cause to look…”


The minister, who faulted the way the privatisation of the power sector carried out by the immediate past administration of Goodluck Jonathan, said the sector was being plagued by several problems including gas supply shortfall and transmission issue.

Fashola, while responding to a question on what the problems in the sector were, said, “The problem is everywhere. The problem is with us. The problem is with gas. The problem is with transmission. The problem is with the way the privatisation exercise itself was conducted. “But as I have said before, I am not going to lament what has happened in the past. I am going to move on with it. So, the first move we have made when we accessed the situation, nobody was happy with it when we took over. “This is a problem that has been here for 16 years, if we put it mildly. It is a problem that has been here 100 years ago, if we put it really extremely. I have been here for less than a 100 days, and I think we can solve this problem if you give us the tools that we need to do it. I think that this problem can be solved, and the day that we feel that it cannot be solved, I will gladly come and tell you that I don’t think it will work,” he stated.


Credit : Vanguard

Fashola Begs Nigerians To Accept Hike In Electricity Tariff, Faults Jonathan’s Privatization Of Power Sector

The Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Mr. Babatunde Fashola, SAN, has noted that the increase in electricity tariffs is the first major policy the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari is coming up with, describing same as “a painful pill,” which consumers have to “swallow.”Fashola disclosed this Monday during the second monthly meeting with stakeholders in the power sector in Lagos, where he also inspected some projects at the Alagbon Transmission and Distribution Complex.

Fashola’s comments came at a time Nigerian workers under the aegis of the Nigerian Labour Congress, NLC, Trade Union Congress, TUC, joined by Civil Society Organizations embarked on peaceful protests against the policy which has grounded commercial activities in several cities in the country.

His words, “Importantly, I understand that people who have been disappointed over a long time will feel a sense of concern that again tariffs have gone up. But the truth is that these tariffs ought to have been there from day one. I don’t know why the government of yesterday was not courageous enough to tell us this was the price.

“It is a painful pill that I must appeal that we swallow. It is like quinine and malaria. It’s painful; it’s not sweet, I know that, but I do it because we are not left with many choices. This is the first major decision in power that this administration has taken. There are other problems.

“I can only appeal for some understanding and some trust that we do this in the best interest of our country. It is a hard decision, but I think down the line, we will have cause to look…”

The minister, who faulted the way the privatisation of the power sector carried out by the immediate past administration of Goodluck Jonathan, said the sector was being plagued by several problems including gas supply shortfall and transmission issue.

Credit: Vanguard

Nigeria’s Power Generation Will Increase By 2,000MW In 2016– Fashola

The minister of ?p?ower, ?w?orks and ?h?ousing, Babatunde Fashola, says the power generation will increase this year by 2,000 megawatts.

This is contained in a statement sent to ?the ?News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Wednesday in Abuja by Etore Thomas, an assistant director in the ministry.

According to the statement, Mr. Fashola made the statement while defending the ministry’s budget before the Senate Committee on Power and Mines.

It added that a lot had changed in the management of power in the country in recent times.

The statement said ?the ?distribution of power was no longer ?the ?government?’s? business, but had been taken over by private companies.

It stated that government privatized power generation with transmission aspect being managed by Manitoba International of Canada at present.

According to the statement, the 2016 budget focuses more on the transmission, completion of on-going projects, refurbishing power plants and tackling gas supply issues.

Credit: PremiumTimes

FG Will Renegotiate Contracts Awarded Under Jonathan – Fashola

Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola, at the weekend ended speculations that the current administration will revoke contracts awarded under former President Goodluck Jonathan.



Fashola spoke in Abuja at the Nigerian Pension Industry Strategy Implementation Roadmap meeting.



The former Lagos governor lamented how successive governments revoked contracts of previous regimes, noting that the practice destroyed investor confidence in an economy.


The minister stated that if approved contracts must be touched, the best approach was to renegotiate rather than outright revocation.



“We must not play politics with our economy. Investors want continuity,” he said.



Fashola warned against playing politics with economic survival, as investors want continuity of government policies.



Credit : Daily Post

2016: Ambode Promises More Opportunities For Lagos Youths

The Lagos State Governor, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode, on Friday gave an assurance to residents that his administration would provide more opportunities for youths in 2016 with its N25bn Employment Trust Fund.

Ambode, who gave the assurance in his first New Year broadcast to Lagosians, said he was optimistic that 2016 would be a groundbreaking year for the good people of the state.

A statement made available to Saturday PUNCH by the governors’ Chief Press Secretary, Mr. Habib Aruna, which was credited to Ambode, expressed optimism that the state government would help the youth to set up their businesses.

The statement read in part, “Our pledge is to make Lagos clean, safe and secure. We will witness a remarkable boost this year. We commit to work as hard as possible to create more jobs for our youths. The Employment Trust Fund is designed to help our youths to set up their businesses and it will commence this year.

“Our massive investment in education, health, entertainment, sport and tourism to effectively develop and engage our youths will start in this year 2016.

“We will pursue greater channels to better engage our youths just as we have developed many programmes toward the welfare and better involvement of our senior citizens.”

The governor also promised to ensure that the state would witness improvements in infrastructural development, job creation and security.

While acknowledging the economic challenges in the country in the last seven months, Ambode said his administration had been able to hit the ground running to deliver the dividends he promised the people during his campaign.

He said, “The last seven months have been challenging, but with your patience, support and positive criticism, we have begun to display a positive outlook on innovation and inclusion we promised during our campaign.

“Lagos has always been a cosmopolitan potpourri of vibrant people that have driven the greatest growing economy in Africa. We, however, need the continued support of our citizens through regular payment of their taxes and strict adherence to their civic responsibilities.”

Fashola Gets N433.4bn for Power, Works And Housing

The Federal Government has earmarked N433.4 billion in the 2016 budget for the Ministry of Power, Works and Housing led by Babatunde Fashola.
President Muhammadu Buhari stated this on Tuesday in his 2016 budget speech delivered at the Joint session of the National Assembly.
“To deliver our development objectives, we have increased the capital expenditure portion of the budget from N557 billion in the 2015 budget to N1.8 trillion in the 2016 budget.“For the first time in many years, capital expenditure will represent 30 per cent of our total budget.“In future years, we intend to raise the percentage allocation for capital expenditure,” he said.

FG’ll Pay Great Attention To Roads, Others – Fashola

The Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Mr. Babatunde Fashola, has said the Federal Government will pay great attention and invest heavily in road infrastructure, power and housing in the coming years.

The sectors, he said, would be prioritised on account of their contributions to national economy due to their capacities to generate multiplier effects and employment on a large scale.

The minister said this during the opening ceremony of the 2015 induction for newly registered quantity surveyors and practising firms and the 4th annual professional clinic on risk management, organised by the Quantity Surveyors Registration Board of Nigeria, on Thursday in Abuja.

Fashola said the government would be counting on the support of registered Nigerian quantity surveyors and other professionals in the construction industry in its quest to deliver good governance to the people.

The minister, who was represented by the Director, Survey Department, Ministry of Power, Works and Housing, Dickson Onojah, urged quantity surveys to bring their expertise as construction cost managers to bear on the costing of projects in order to achieve value for money and cost efficiency in the implementation of projects in both the public and private sectors of the economy.

He said, “I am delighted to be playing a part in today’s induction ceremony for a group of professionals like registered quantity surveyors, who are key players in the built environment, which is a strategic sector of our economy.

“Here, we are talking about infrastructure such as roads, housing and urban development, all of which come under the purview of the Federal Ministry of Power, Works and Housing, which I have been charged with the responsibility of overseeing.

“It is one sector, which this government will give due attention to in view of its contributions to the national economic due to its capacity to generate multiplier effects and employment on a large scale.”

Fashola commend the QSRBN for “the good work you have done so far in the pursuit of your mandate not only in the regular registration and induction of eligible quantity surveyors, but also in the area of professional development as well as accreditation of quantity surveying programmes in the universities and polytechnics.”

The QSRBN President, Mallam Hussaini Dikko, stated that 317 newly registered quantity surveyors and 34 practising firms of quantity surveyors were inducted, bringing the total number of registered quantity surveyors and practising firms in the register of the board to 2,777 and 236 respectively.

He warned that the board would clamp down heavily on any registered quantity surveyor that engaged in sharp practices.

Dikko said, “In this regard, registered quantity surveyors must queue behind President Muhammadu Buhari in his anti-corruption crusade. Quantity surveyors have a key role to play in fighting corruption in the building and engineering industry.”

Power Supply Expected To Rise By 2,000mw In Months– Fashola

Based on the availability of adequate gas supply and subject to sufficient budgetary funding, the minister of power, works and housing, Babatunde Raji Fashola, has said that power supply could rise by 2,000 megawatts (mw) in the next 12 to 15 months.

He stated that the Ministry of Petroleum Resources will build some critical infrastructure, subject to budgetary funding, to transport gas to the power plant that will add the 2,000mw to grid supply in the coming months.

Disclosing this at his inaugural media briefing in Abuja, Fashola said that apart from the availability of gas infrastructure other issues like environmental concerns and appropriate pricing for gas have had negative impact on power supply.

He noted, however, that the recent review of gas from $1.30 per unit to $3.30, although still below the $4.00 International market price will help bridge the availability gap.

On transmission network, he said, “Today’s reality is that available power is slightly larger than the capacity which it can support else we will experience persistent system collapse. So government, through the Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN), has identified a total of 142 critical projects of which 45 are at 50 per cent and above level of completion. Of this lot a further 22 projects can be completed within a year.

“With budgetary provision, government intends to aggressively pursue completion to increase the carrying capacity of the generation companies to the distribution companies from which the transmission carrying capacity must expand well ahead of the generating capacity that will take care of future expansion in power generation,” he said

Credit: Leadership

FG Preparing To Pay Contractors, To Continue Work Next Year- Fashola

The Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Mr Babatunde Fashola, has promised the Federal Government’s preparedness to pay contractors handling projects across the country and get them back to work next year.

The Minister, who made the promise at a media conference in Abuja on Tuesday, said that:”For us, our ability to achieve connectivity on load, depends on capital spending in 2016 to pay contractors and get them back to work”.

Mr Fashola informed reporters about his blueprints for handling issues in the three ministries he oversees.

He also emphasized his determination to implement an effective market tariff system for the power sector.

According to the Minister, a tariff system which allows consumers of electricity to pay for only what they consume is one sure way to having stable electricity supply.

“For emphasis and clarity, let me also say that the previous administration had approved the tariff in January 2015 but what they did was not to fully implement it.

“The implementation was suspended at the onset of elections and after elections. The operators asked government to implement and pay for what they had produced.

“I think the outages we saw during and after elections was because the gas companies were not paid.

“At the onset of this administration, the first batch of debt was paid and that is why power went up and which prompted some of the outages that are being experienced now.

“So, what we expect to do is to liquidate the verifiable and agreed debt that have accrued and to approve a market tariff.

“For us, the surest way not to have power is to oppose the implementation of the tariff order; without a tariff system, there will be no power.

“As at May 2015, many contractors had stopped work because of payment. Many families; husbands, wives, had to be laid off,” the Minister stated.

Credit: ChannelsTV

FG To Re-Introduce Toll At Federal Roads – Fashola

Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola has hinted that the Federal government will be re-introducing tolls at Federal roads in Nigeria. Fashola says the money generated from the tolls will be used for the maintenance of the roads. He said this during his first news conference tagged ‘Setting the Agenda for Delivering Change’ in Abuja today December 8th…

“Maintenance would be our watchword. We are setting up a robust maintenance regime to keep our highways in good shape. This shows that tolling is necessary to support government funding. So, it will not be too much if we ask every road user to pay little to augment government funding for road maintence. It is eminent commonsense for us to find that money. We will use technology; so if we don’t pay cash, you will pay by tokens or tickets and the money is accountable and it will go to the right place. We will manage that fund properly and we will hold those who we put there to account.” he said

Badejoko Adewale: All Hail Babatunde Fashola Nigeria’s New ‘Prime Minister’

Let me be the first to employ the word Fasholaism, which should today and henceforth be incorporated into the Nigerian vocabulary as a fervent believe in a superhuman named Babatunde Raji Fashola. Apparently I’m not alone in this belief; His Excellency President Muhammadu Buhari shares my faith, albeit subtler in expression as the president isn’t a man to give away too many emotions, but then, giving one man about three ministries isn’t giving too many emotions, is it?

Who is this exemplar named Fashola isn’t the question I intend to answer in this piece, Wikipedia and Google are rife with articles on that subject already; why does he deserve to be taken into account, and at all serious, is what I propose to paint in my little object dart. Wednesday, November 11, 2015, the President inaugurated 36 ministers from all over the country, all of who will be administering, hands in glove, with him to ensure the smooth sailing of Nigeria, a country that appears to have been tilted overboard by previous administrations. Of these men and women of valour selected is of course Babatunde Fashola representing Lagos state.

Surprising to many but interesting to progressives, the man Fashola was appointed Minister for Power cum Minister for Works and Housing which has generated several ‘beer-parlour arguments’. Some regard the appointment as nothing but a compensation of Asiwaju Ahmed Tinubu’s efforts to the ascension of the president (Asiwaju figuratively representing Fashola’s political father). Others, based on ethnic or religious sentimentality just think the appointment silly. Why should he be given such posts, why can’t someone else be given the other positions instead of saddling him with ‘too much work’ some others have questioned?

Well, it will be entirely wrong to make sweeping statements that the above cited sentiments are completely devoid of any truth. Nobody gets into power without being helped, it’s no news Asiwaju played a vital role in the last presidential election, and so if he indeed worked why shouldn’t he be duly compensated, after all the mouth of the ox that treadeth out the corn shouldn’t be muzzled. As to the sentiment of ‘too much work’, here’s an unspoken rule in leadership many are ignorant of: The reward for good leadership or stewardship is more responsibility. Great leaders don’t (and won’t) die of too much work, truth be told, it brings the best out of them, it challenges them to go beyond themselves, break new boundaries and finding newer horizons. The president isn’t a fool; his ample leadership experience was why Nigerians voted him in in the first place, and with the depth of decay in the Nigerian society, there’s need for persons with not just head knowledge but great leadership skills to make the vision of change a reality.

Of course, there’s the case of the blind loyalists who doggishly cited “Fashola’s work” in Lagos state as an outright justification for his appointment, here’s my reply: whose duty is it to provide citizens with amenities and basic rights? Isn’t good road or good schools part of the government’s duty too? So why the incessant praise-singing for someone who has done what he was voted, and as a matter of fact paid to do. Or was Fashola’s time as governor of Lagos on a Charity basis? But in a deformed society as ours where government failure is the menu of the day, the few ones who perform expected duties a little above average deserves some commendation.

On a concluding note, it would be sheer stupid of anyone (the media especially) to pray or await Fashola’s fall on his new assignment; but to fail himself is to set unrealistic goals like the MDGs; who can eradicate world’s poverty? For when all is said and done, Fashola’s failure or success affects the 170 million Nigerians still waiting for the dividend of their democracy.

Written By: Badejoko Adewale. He is @tha_krone on twitter

Julius Berger, RCC Return To Lagos-Ibadan Expressway

Contractors handling the re-construction of the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway, Julius Berger Plc and Raynolds Construction Company (Nigeria), are back on site in continuation of the job.

Julius Berger’s men were seen working at the Redemption Camp and Arepo areas at the Lagos end of the road on Friday. But the work was more of a palliative as the firms only attended to the failed sections of the road. No reconstruction or expansion was done.

The News Agency of Nigeria also indicated in a report on Sunday that while palliative work was ongoing at the failed spots around the Redemption Camp area of the road, major construction work was being done at the Arepo area.

The repair on the Arepo spot caused gridlock on the Long Bridge on Friday and travellers spent about two hours moving from the Berger Bus to Arepo, a distance that should take less than seven minutes.

It was, however, not clear the role of the Ogun State Government in the return of Julius Berger to the site. A signpost erected by the state government was still at the Arepo spot as of Sunday, showing that it was responsible for the palliative work.

Julius Berger is handling Section One of the project, which stretches from the Sagamu Inter-Change to Lagos, while RCC is in charge of Section Two, stretching from the Sagamu Inter-Change to Ojoo, Ibadan.

Motorists have clamoured for an early completion of the road, which is about the busiest highway in the country.

A source at the Julius Berger end of the road, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said that the company was back on the road for good, saying: “It is time to move forward on the project.”

The expected date for the completion of the project, which is being financed through Public-Private Partnership, is July 3, 2017.

Meanwhile, motorists and commuters who use the road have continued to appeal to the Federal Government to speed up work to make travelling on the road pleasurable.

A commercial vehicle driver plying the road daily, Ojo Agege, told NAN that it was high time the government ensured the speedy completion of the project.

Another commercial driver, Lateef Mohammed, said motorists would continue to have nightmares on the road until the Federal Government fixed it.

“All we are saying is that the government should help to fast-track the construction of the road to ease the delay being experienced daily by travellers,” he said.

A female trader, Simisola Joseph, expressed optimism that with the coming of Babatunde Fashola as Power, Works and Housing Minister, the construction would soon be completed.

A driver, Femi Ajegun, told NAN that vehicular movement was now easy with the completion of work on some critical areas at the Ibadan end of the road.

“With the quality of job done and removal of long stretch of diversion by the RCC, motorists and travellers now experience some pleasurable ride,” he said.

Sule Maito, a bus passenger, at Ogere area of the road, told NAN that if the contractor could continue with the way it was going, the job would be completed on schedule.

The Federal Ministry of Works last week, after a meeting of stakeholders with the Presidency, said that the government had committed N50bn to the project.

The ministry promised that no stone would be left unturned to ensure the completion of the rehabilitation on time.

Fashola’ll Aid Lagos Devt– Ambode

Lagos State Governor, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode, says his predecessor, Mr. Babatunde Fashola, who is now the Minister of Works, Housing and Power, is the key to the rehabilitation of dilapidated infrastructure in the state.

He said the unprecedented synergy between the Federal Government and the Lagos State Government would accelerate and actualise his administration’s plans for infrastructural development in the state.

Ambode was quoted as saying this while delivering a keynote address at the Lagos Business School Alumni Conference, according to a statement by his spokesman, Mr. Habib Aruna, on Thursday.

“We are privileged to have my predecessor in office at the centre in charge of Works, Power and Housing. This effectively means we have a synergy between Lagos and the Federal Government to accelerate and actualise our current plans for infrastructural development,” Ambode said.

He added that apart from building infrastructure to improve the quality of life, his administration would also focus on security and traffic.

He said, “Dealing with the terrible traffic problems that afflict so many Lagosians on a daily basis is my area of focus in relation to infrastructure. Our problems with traffic have to be addressed. It is harmful to the quality of life of many people in our city.

“Lagos will continue to grow and the more we succeed, the larger the population will grow thereby generating more traffic. We are looking at the potential of rail and water transport systems; and we will repair the roads and work with the private sector to deliver the projects.

“We are putting in place the finances we need to enable us to make our plans a reality.”

He also informed the gathering that there would be a traffic summit in Lagos next week to address the issues by combining the perspectives of international best practices and local knowledge and experience.

Speaking at another function, Ambode said he had nothing else to give to humanity than to uphold the tenets of good governance.

He said this while speaking as guest lecturer at the annual lecture and award ceremony of The Hubert H. Humphrey Fellowship Alumni Association in Nigeria.

The governor, who spoke on the theme, ‘Deepening the Democratic Culture in Nigeria’, said as part of efforts to deepen democracy and make Lagos work for all, he had set up the office of Civic Engagement and Ministry of Wealth Creation.

While describing Lagos as the fastest growing city in the world, Ambode said in the midst of several challenges, Lagos State since 1999 had managed to sustain the momentum of growth.

Earlier, the President of the Hubert H. Humphrey Alumni Association in Nigeria, Mr. Jude Ememe, described Ambode’s commitment to public service as unparalleled and unprecedented, and expressed confidence in his leadership.

Tope Adesipo: “Babatunde Fashola Must Reverse Privatization Of The Power Sector”

Much excitement has greeted the announcement of Mr. Babatunde Raji Fashola as the minister of Power,works and housing. Fashola who is a former governor of Lagos,has earned a reputation for being a performer from his time as Governor of that state.whether rightly or wrongly, I dobt doubt his competence but the truth is I’m not one of Fashola’s fans. i don’t usually agree with him I’m one of those who thinks there is so much hype around his works in Lagos which are in sharp contrast with the reality of the state and the average Lagosians. nonetheless, i badly want him to succeed in his new role. Nigeria can not afford not to get electricity right once more. it has been the bane of our development.electricity is central to the development of any Nation and Nigerians, almost six decades after independence still live in perpetual darkness while millions are not even connected at all.
Two years after the privatization of the power sector, Nigerians still depend on  generators for their power needs. so much cheer and excitement came with the privatization in 2013, all that optimism are now starting to wane.it is no news that electricity supply has failed to improve since the power sector was privatized. The former Government of Jonathan blamed vandals and insufficient gas to power but that was a spurious excuse. the truth is the cronies they handed over power distribution and generation to are clueless.  The private cronies have shown an obvious lack in capital base, technical knowledge, history/experience and the will to turn around the sector. Virtually all the private companies that bought the power sector borrowed a large chunk of money used in acquiring Power Holding Company of Nigeria (PHCN) subsidiaries in what is seen as one of the biggest scam perpetuated in Nigeria. These sharks first hurriedly registered companies for the purpose of bidding for the distorted and balkanized power sector, got some international energy company to agree as their technical partners and secured loans from the banks.despite the obvious degenerating power supply, the Nigerian electricity regulatory commission (NERC) has continued to increase tariffs.
The history of Nigeria’s electricity crisis itself reflects the history of failure of Leadership in Nigeria. In spite of the enormous wealth that accrued to the country since independence, the country’s electricity supply has not left its colonial height. No new power plant was built by successive administrations (both military and civilian) between 1980 and 2005. Yet several billions of dollars were committed to the power sector in this period. In 2005 when the Obasanjo regime tried to build some new power plants, it was clear that it was to become another conduit pipe for massive looting of public wealth. While over $10 billion was committed to building new power plants, less than 700 MW of electricity have been added to the national grid. The failure and then virtual collapse of NEPA/PHCN allowed the government to claim that nationalisation was the obstacle to providing electricity and that privatization was the answer. while that may be true,it was not only about nationalisation, NEPA failed because it was looted from within and from without. Outside contractors made millions from contracts which often were never implemented while elements within NEPA looted it for themselves. But despite many promises privatization has not improved supply but it has quickly brought price hikes.
The power sector is one sector that is heavily capital intensive and requires planned coordination and synergy amongst the different component (generation, transmission and distribution) of the power sector. According to the International Energy Association (IEA) around $6.1 billion (about N1 trillion) is needed in investment annually for the next ten years to provide electricity for all Nigeria. when you look at how much the investors have invested it is peanuts compare to how much is needed yearly to provide universal access to electricity for all Nigerians. how do you describe a situation where government sustained expenditure in the sector is more than what was pre privatization. The private companies at a time, were finding it difficult to maintain the staffs they met on ground  While generating companies (Gencos) also found it difficult to pay for gas to power the plants and replace obsolete parts of plants at some point.
The stark improvement that we saw shortly after Buhari came in, was as a result of the fear of reversal of the privatization. Now it is becoming clearer to them that Buhari government may not reverse the privatization program which the investors feared Buhari may undertake initially. it is now clear to them that the president is going to continue with it and they have gone back to their old ways. In the past two years of privatization, Nigerians have had to pay stupendous amount of money to the DISCOS in form of fixed charge of N750 by over 25 million households and a regime of crazy/estimated bills that could be as high as N20, 000 monthly for residential consumers. It is clear that with the power privatization, the government handed us over for exploitation and super profit drive of the DISCO’s and GENCOs’ who have no capacity to generate and distribute stable electricity to Nigerians at an affordable price. Why are we using estimated billing? where are the prepaid meters they promised will be supplied?
To solve Nigeria’s electricity problems the new minister must reverse the privatization program for starters . what happened is not privatization it is cronyism. going forward, we must also begin to look at sustainable form of energy generation. the NIPP projects seems to be contributing more power than the legacy Power Holding Company of Nigeria (PHCN) power plants to the national grid today. While the NIPP projects are under the government, the legacy PHCN power plants are the ones that have been sold to the private generation companies (genco’s).
Tope Adesipo
Abeokuta, Ogun State.
Views expressed are solely that of author and does not represent views of www.omojuwa.com nor its associates

Discos Set Agenda For Fashola

For the new Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Mr. Babatunde Raji Fashola, is to make any headway as he tackles the perennially weak public power supply in the country, then he must, among others, focus on privatising the Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN), electricity distribution companies (Discos) have said.

The Discos say the weakness of the grid and the power tussle within TCN, especially the alleged meddling by the Ministry of Power officials, had further dimmed the hope of a vibrant transmission network for the country.

These were among the issues canvassed by the Director of Research and Advocacy for the Association of Nigerian Electricity Distributors (ANED), Sunday Olurotimi Oduntan, in an interview with The Guardian.
“The power sector expects Fashola to sort out the problem in TCN,” he said.

He also called attention to the need for the minister to lead the campaign for a cost reflective tariff and also for the Federal Government to allow the Discos access to funds from Sovereign Wealth Fund.

Credit: Guardian

Babatunde Fashola Receives International Award

Former Lagos state governor and Minister Designate, Babatunde Fashola yesterday received the Stephen J.Solarz Award in honour of his commitment to building a peaceful and vibrant society and work to improve social and economic conditions in Lagos as well as his role in preventing the Ebola outbreak from becoming a crisis in Nigeria. Fashola is pictured above receiving the award from billionaire Mo Ibrahim, the founder of Mo Ibrahim Foundation at the 20th Anniversary Award dinner of the International Crisis Group in New york, USA. See more photos below…


Fashola, Six Others For ICG Award In US

The immediate past governor of Lagos State and ministerial nominee, Babatunde Raji Fashola will tomorrow be conferred with award by International Crisis Group (ICG), a worldwide conflict prevention group. Other six exceptional personalities will also be conferred with the awards.

The annual award will be held in New York, United States.

In a statement by ICG, Stephen J. Solarz, the award will be given to Fashola “for his commitment to resolving social, economic and security challenges in one of the world’s most challenging urban environments.”

Some of the other awardees include;  former United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, Sadako Ogata, Former Italian Foreign Minister, Emma Bonino, former Australian Foreign Minister and two others.

How Fashola Cleared The Air On N78m Website At Ministerial Screening

Former Lagos State Governor has once again cleared the air over the controversial  N78 million spent for the upgrade of the website – www.tundefashola.com  under his watch as governor in the state.

The former governor, who indirectly addressed the issue after the question, ”Did you really open a Website with 78Million Naira?” was raised by Senator Enyinnaya Abaribe at the senate while he, Fashola was undergoing screening as a ministerial nominee at the senate chambers said he doesn’t sign checks or award contracts.

He added, “I don’t fix contract prices, it is an institutional process. The only training I have is that of a lawyer, But in order to execute works on a project we need the input of architect, quantity surveyors, structural engineer and we have consulting ministries; For civil works it is the Ministry of Works, for science it is the Ministry of Science and Technology among others.

Now periodically, they do market surveys with the Ministry of Economic Planning , the Statisticians are there to fix prices from biro to Iron rod to cement and it is approved and becomes the  benchmark price of government procurements, nobody can award any other contract over that benchmark.”

Read More: vanguardngr

Nigerian Workers Demand Amaechi, Fashola, Others Declare Their Assets Publicly

Nigerian workers on Thursday urged the National Assembly to ensure that all ministerial nominees declare their asset publicly before confirmation.

Among the 21 persons nominated as ministers by President Muhammadu Buhari are former Lagos State governor, Raji Fashola, ex-Rivers State governor, Rotimi Amaechi, and spokesperson of the ruling APC, Lai Mohammed.

The workers, members of the Trade Union Congress of Nigeria, TUC, stated this in a joint statement by the union’s president, Boboi , and General Secretary, Musa Lawal.

The TUC said that the declaration would be in the public interest.

The labour union said the public declaration of asset was necessary following “worrisome” allegations of fraud against some ex-ministers and officials.

“There is need to verify the financial and material status of each nominee before they are allowed to assume such high offices,” the workers said.

Read Morepremiumtimesng

APC Lagos Is One Big Family United By A Progressive Cause – Tinubu

Fashola Spent N139m On Two Boreholes- LASG

Former Governor of Lagos State, Mr. Babatunde Fashola, spent N139m on the drilling of two boreholes at the Lagos House, Ikeja.

The project was completed by Deux Projects Limited according to a report published by the state government

The report, which was part of the awarded contracts by the Lagos State Tenders Board in 2013, was seen on the website of the Lagos State Public Procurement Agency.

Read More: punchng

Enlightening Documentary: Tax Administration In Lagos State Part 1

Lagos as a state is one we all envy for their income generation and development by way of Infrastructure and Development. It is one of Nigeria’s most productive state and is one of the most talked about state in Nigeria with the daily progress and activities carried out by the Government of the state. Nothing ever just happens without action and Lagos did not just spring up from the blue.  But with hard work and strategic planning it has created wealth that has made its level of Income generation and production reached a maximum level among other states in Nigeria. Watch this story and see strategies that were employed in Tax and income Generation By The APC Government In Lagos State.

Fashola defends N78m website, slams CACOL

A former Governor of Lagos State, Mr. Babatunde Fashola, has defended the decision of his government to spend N78.3m on the upgrade of his website, www.tundefashola.com.


Fashola had come under fire after the Lagos State Public Procurement Agency posted a report on its website stating that N78.3m was paid to a firm, Info Access Plus Limited, for the upgrade of his website through the Office of the Chief of Staff to the Governor.


However, Fashola, in a five-page letter he personally signed, admitted that the money was actually spent on his website.


He, however, said the breakdown of the transaction was left out and that that was the cause of the confusion.


He said, “As far as the website contract is concerned, yes there was a contract. It went through procurement and was approved by the government agency authorised to do so. One of the services was an upgrade quoted for N12.5m but awarded for N12m.


“There were other services that were new like a hand over countdown clock, mobile Apps for Google, for IOS and Ipad, for Microsoft and for Research in Motion (Blackberry), which the existing website did not have, as well as the annual maintenance cost for managing the website.


“It was for all these services that the contract was issued for N78m, which the Lagos State Procurement Agency gave no objection based on the advice of the Ministry of Science and Technology, who are the government’s adviser on ICT matters.


“In publishing this contract award which was the government tradition under my watch, the procurement agency’s website summarised it as ‘upgrade’ only without detailing the other services and this has been distorted by the agents of hate and their suspected smoking gun.”


He, however, said the contract was published in a way as to misinform members of the public.


“It is regrettable that a summary of the contract has been deliberately distorted to misinform the public,” he said.


He said the website helped him to do his job effectively when he was governor. He said till date there have been over 27 million hits on the site while thousands of videos and pictures had been uploaded on the site.


The former governor hinted of an alleged plot by some to smear his name. He said for instance, there were allegations of having extra-marital affairs and having children outside marriage.


He said the allegations were baseless. He said the only children he had outside marriage were the two children he adopted after their parents were killed in the 2012 Dana plane crash.


The Senior Advocate of Nigeria, who is rumoured to be in a cold war with the National Leader of the All progressives Congress, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, said he had no hand in the June 9 National Assembly elections in which the leadership of the APC lost out.


He said he was outside the country until the morning of the election.


“As far as my alleged involvement in the National Assembly elections are concerned, they remain only the products of imagination of those who made the allegations. I was out of the country at the material time and returned only in the early hours of that morning to Abuja and from there proceeded to Lagos,” he said.


Fashola, while reacting to recent bashings by the Peoples Democratic Party over the over N419bn debt he left behind, noted that all the loans taken by the state were approved by the House of Assembly.


He said the debts were being serviced, adding that the debt profile of the state had not affected it negatively.


Fashola also berated human rights group, Coalition Against Corrupt Leaders, for dragging him to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission and for calling on President Muhammadu Buhari not to give him a political appointment.


He said he did not care if he was given a political appointment or not as he had served Lagos State for over 12 years


He told the people of Lagos to expect more allegations soon as he had been told that several people had been given money to assassinate his character.


He said, “I expect that there may be more distorted allegations without evidence for reasons that remain in the realm of speculation because I have been informed reliably that large amounts of money are being paid to some of these agents to bear false witness.


“I cannot conclude without responding to the crusade of CACOL and their ilk seeking my prosecution on allegations that have no proof and writing pre-emptive letters to the Presidency.


“In case they are unaware, I am not looking for a job. I expect them to know that allegations of wrongdoing are not resolved without evidence, neither are they resolved in press conferences.”


While taking an indirect swipe at those leaking information about his deeds in office, the former governor said, “For those who still wish to remain in the mud, they should look in the mirror. For those who wish to throw mud at me, they should look at their own hands.”


Source : Punch

How I Spent N78 Million On Website, Mobile Apps, Others- Fashola

The immediate past governor of Lagos State, Babatunde Fashola, has finally responded to the allegation that he approved a contract worth N78 million for the upgrade of his personal website.

Last weekend, analytic firm, BudgIT, revealed that Mr. Fashola approved, before he left office, a contract of N78.3 million from the state treasury for an upgrade of his personal website.

The news caused outrage among Nigerians who accused the former governor of financial recklessness and the misappropriation of public fund.

In a statement he personally signed on Thursday, Mr. Fashola admitted that indeed a contract valued at that amount was awarded, but it involves the provision of other services beyond the upgrade of the website.

Mr. Fashola’s statement comes on the heels of the denial by the contractor, Info Access Plus, that it received N78 million. The company said though it quoted N12.5 million for the upgrade of the website, www.fashola.com, it only received N10 million from the state government.

On Thursday, the former governor said only N12 million was actually awarded for the upgrade of the site while other services such as the handover countdown clock, mobile apps for Google, for iOS ipad, for Microsoft, and Blackberry and the annual maintenance cost for managing the site make up the total of N78 million.

He said due process was followed before the contract was awarded and that the procurement agency, PPA, did not raise any objection as at the time the contract was awarded.

“It was for these services that the contract was issued for N78 million, which the Lagos State procurement agency gave a No Objection based on the advice of the Ministry of Science and Technology, who are the government adviser on ICT matters.

“In publishing the contract award which was the government tradition under my watch, the procurement agency ‘s website summarized it as ‘upgrade’ only without detailing the other services and this has been distorted by the agents of hate as their suspected ‘smoking gun’”, he said.

Read Morepremiumtimesng

Fashola Dragged To EFCC Over N78 Million Website Scandal

The Civil Society Network Against Corruption, a coalition of anti-corruption organisations in Nigeria, has petitioned the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission over the “questionable expenditures” of the administration of Babatunde Fashola, the immediate past governor of Lagos State.

In a petition dated August 10 and addressed to the EFCC Chairman, the group called for the probe of the controversial N78 million spent on the personal website of Mr. Fashola

There was outrage last weekend after analytic firm, BudgIT, revealed that Mr. Fashola approved, before he left office, N78.3 million from the state’s treasury for an upgrade of his personal website.

The contract for the refurbishment of the website was awarded to Info Access Plus Limited by the office of the Chief of Staff to the former governor.

The company, however, denied receiving the amount, insisting that it was paid N10 million.

Read More: premiumtimesng

“Don’t Give Fashola An Appointment”, CACOL Tells Buhari

civil society group, Coalition Against Corrupt Leaders, has urged President Muhammadu Buhari not to consider the immediate past Governor of Lagos State, Mr. Babatunde Fashola (SAN), for appointment.

The Executive Chairman of the group, Mr. Debo Adeniran, told our correspondent during an interview on Thursday that Fashola’s administration was engulfed in several controversies which could not be overlooked.

Adeniran said his organisation was troubled by many dilapidated schools in the state. He noted that when the Socio-Economic Right Accountability Project invoked the Freedom of Information Act to know how the Fashola government spent a $200m World Bank education funds, the state government refused to disclose it.

He said instead, the state government continued to run its affairs in secrecy by claiming that the FOI Act did not apply to state governments.

Adeniran said independent investigations by his organisation showed that the 1.36km Lekki-Ikoyi Link Bridge which was reportedly built for N25bn, cost only N6bn.

He said he had written a series of petitions to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission to probe the various projects of the Fashola government in the face of the over N500bn debt left behind by the government.

He said he was shocked to find out that the commission had continued to ignore all the petitions despite the fact that Fashsola no longer enjoyed immunity, having left office over 60 days ago.

In a letter addressed to the President titled, ‘Don’t elevate Fashola,’ the group said if Buhari wanted to actualise his mission of ‘change’ he would need to distance himself from controversy.

The letter read, “Mr. President, we are constrained at this point in time to bring to your attention our critical reaction to the unbridled speculation making the rounds for some time now, from the members of the public as well as the media, as to the fact that the immediate past governor of Lagos State, Mr. Babatunde Fashola, is being considered by the presidency for higher national responsibility. Feelers have it that his name is prominent on the list of the president’s nominees for key offices in your administration.

“It is gratifying that you have promised at various fora that your appointments would be purely based on merit and that tested technocrats, with impeccable records, would be given their rightful places in your administration, as a way of ensuring good governance to the people of Nigeria. It is against this background that our organisation is appealing to you to please take the pains to dig deep into Mr. Babatunde Fashola’s record of performance as well as that of financial propriety on the part of his government while in office.”

Fashola’s spokesperson, Mr. Hakeem Bello, did not respond to telephone calls as well as a text message sent to his phone.

APC Blasts PDP Over Call To Probe Fashola

Lagos State chapter of the All Progressives Congress, APC, has berated the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, in the state for calling on Governor of Lagos State, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode to probe his immediate predecessor, Babatunde Fashola.

Lagos State Publicity Secretary of the APC, Joe Igbokwe, while reacting to the statement, said, “Lagos PDP has lost it and is in a journey of self derision and ridicule. APC is not surprised that Lagos PDP continues to demonstrate traits that show it as a jesting group that has no meaningful thing to contribute to the growth and progress of Lagos.”

Read Morevanguardngr

Buhari Gives Fashola Major Task

President Muhammadu Buhari may have confirmed the rumours that he is prepping up former Lagos state governor, Babatunde Fashola as his chief of staff.

Buhari has reportedly handed over the 800-page Mallam Ahmed Joda-led Transition Committee Report to some of his trusted associates, with Fashola heading the team to review the report.

Fashola has being tipped severally as the favourite to emerge as chief of staff to Buhari because of his experience as a former chief of staff, 2-term governor and a Senior Advocate of Nigeria.

According to Vanguard, Buhari instructed that the voluminous document be handed to Fashola to reduce the report into an implementable format for him to read and take necessary actions.

“Hopefully, from next week, some appointments would be announced. Buhari is a fast reader and he will be able to take immediate actions based on the transition report,”  a source said.

Read More: naij

How Nigerian Police Officers Detained MD, Collected N500K Bail

A Managing Director in the Lekki area of Lagos, Mr. Abiye Karibi-Whyte, has petitioned the Assistant Inspector General of Police, Zone 2 Police Command, Onikan, Lagos, to investigate his alleged abduction by the police and the N500,000 that was paid for his bail.
PUNCH Metro learnt that Karibi-Whyte, who alleged that he was apprehended by the police in the Lekki area for no justifiable reason, said he was taken to Awka, Anambra State, and detained for three days.
He added that he was made to pay N500,000 before he could secure his bail.

Our correspondent gathered that on Tuesday, April 28, Karibi-Whyte was called on the telephone to pick up a parcel in the Lekki area. However, it was learnt that when he got to the location, some policemen whisked him away after allegedly torturing him.

In the petition, dated May 6, Karibi-Whyte described the treatment he received from the policemen as harsh, adding that it made him felt that they were kidnappers.
He said,
“At about 5.30pm, I was called to pick up a DHL parcel by a caller whose phone number was 08178115226. However, when I got to the place, I was met by a man known as Jagaban, who introduced himself as a policeman. He slapped me and accused me of being a ritual killer.
“Two other armed men joined him and they beat me up. They handcuffed me and threw me in the back of my car with my driver. I kept asking them what I had done, but they told me to shut up. At a point, I was terrified as I was no longer sure they were policemen.
“They said they were heading for Ikeja. Later, I was told that I was not actually the one they were looking for and that they would let me go if I took them to a certain individual called Dapo Balogun, who was a man I knew.
“After passing the night in a cell, the policemen took me round Lagos the following day to find Balogun. I was given no access to my friends or family to know my whereabouts. Later that day they used my phone to call one of my friends, Yemi, who was picked up in the same manner.”
Our correspondent learnt that Balogun was later arrested by the operatives on that day, after raiding his residence.
Karibi-Whyte said after the police had apprehended the suspect, they still detained him and transferred him to the Special Anti-Robbery Squad, Awka, Anambra State.
He said,
 “At about 3am on the third day, Dapo Balogun, six of his friends, Yemi, my driver and I were put into vehicles and taken to Awka, Anambra State.
“On April 30, we arrived in Awka, and thereafter, I was asked by the police team leader how much I was willing to pay to be released. I told him I had no money. He said if I could pay N500,000, he would let me go. He allowed me to reach my family on the telephone and they sent the money to the police.”
Our correspondent learnt that the family paid into an Ecobank account number 0672010144.
“The account number belonged to one Okafor Ikechukwu. I was asked to sign a bail bond after the payment and I was released. My car, however, remained detained at the police command.
“My three-day abduction has caused severe shock and distress to my family and friends. The policemen subjected me to torture. Please, kindly investigate this matter and bring the culprits to book,” Karibi-Whyte added.
The Anambra State Police Public Relations Officer, Mr. Uche Eze, said Karibi-Whyte should make a formal report to the state Commissioner of Police.
He said,
 “I have not heard of any report of such. If the complainant is very sure of what he is saying, let him write a petition to the Commissioner of Police or to the Police Public Relations’ office. I promise you that we will look into it.”

Source: The Punch

Northern Group Warns Against Plot To Undermine Bola Tinubu

A group under the aegis of the Patriotic Northern Coalition for Justice, Peace and Equity has called on the leadership of the All Progressives Congress (APC) to beware of politicians and elements within the party plotting to undermine the party’s chieftain and national leader, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu.

The national coordinator of the coalition, Alhaji Babangida Sule Jnr, told newsmen in Kaduna that Tinubu is the bedrock of APC and still commands great respect in his region and in the party, adding that any plot against his interest will be very counter-productive.

“Politicians are already strategising for 2019 and they will stop at nothing to achieve their aim. Some of them are in APC and we have uncovered that part of their aims is to undermine the party’s chieftain, Bola Ahmed Tinubu, because they see him as a stumbling block.

“But we the Patriotic Northern Coalition won’t allow them because we are still grateful to Tinubu for what he has done for the North in the 2015 general elections, particularly his efforts in the emergence of President Muhammadu Buhari. We know that many people played crucial roles in the emergence of Buhari, but Tinubu tops them all.

“Personally, I know of the many times he came to Kaduna to meet with Buhari and assure him that he would do all he could to support him and ensure his victory.

“Tinubu’s Political Career Is Over”- Bode George

A former National Deputy Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party, Chief Bode George, has said that the political career of the National Leader, All Progressives Congress, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, is over.

George said this during a telephone interview with our correspondent while reacting to the emergence of Senator Bukola Saraki as the Senate President ahead of Senator Ahmed Lawan, who was the preferred candidate of Tinubu.

Specifically, George said Tinubu should start preparing to quit politics as his political influence has grossly diminished.

The PDP leader said Nigerians had become fed up with Tinubu and Chief Bisi Akande’s style of politics which he alleged involved imposition of candidates.

He said having nominated the APC National Chairman, Chief John Odigie-Oyegun; and the Vice-President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, Tinubu should have “taken things easy” but “Tinubu continued to push his luck too far.”

He said, “You know I predicted weeks ago that the APC is just a congregation of strange bedfellows. The most beautiful thing about what has happened is that Bola Tinubu’s political influence in Nigeria is coming to a sunset and it is about five minutes to midnight for him.

“If he cannot see this now, then it will be foolish of him. He brought in the APC national chairman and the vice-president and he thinks Nigeria belongs to him. So, he thought what he did in Lagos was what he could replicate at the national level and they have shown him that he cannot continue to be the lord of the manor.

“So, if he is wise, he will slow down. President Muhammadu Buhari, as an army general, has fought more battles than him and has an understanding of things.”

George said the re-election of Senator Ike Ekweremadu as the Deputy Senate President was a victory for the PDP.

He said this was in line with his prediction that the PDP would bounce back. He praised the PDP senators for carrying out a successful ‘political manoeuvre’.

George said, “The PDP was never dead. We were only given a bloodied nose, not a technical knockout. So, this is an opportunity to start regrouping and getting ready for 2019. I want to salute the dexterity and perfect political manoeuvres for which the PDP is well known.

“People like Tinubu and Chief Bisi Akande in Osun have always been local champions. Now, they have come to the national level of politics and they are now learning the tricks that all that glitters is not gold.

“I congratulate Saraki and Ekweremadu. They understand what Nigeria is all about.”

George slammed the National Publicity Secretary of the APC, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, for rejecting the outcome of the elections.

He said the APC had no powers to sanction Saraki.

“The APC would discipline Saraki? Is Saraki a child? They probably think they are playing local politics like the one they play in Lagos State. I welcome them to the real world,” he said.

Credit – punch.ng

Buhari Reportedly Considers Fashola, Fayemi For Position Of Chief Of Staff

According to multiple reports, President Buhari is considering naming former Lagos Governor, Babatunde Fashola or former Ekiti state governor Kayode Fayemi as his Chief of Staff. Abubakar Mamu is also being considered for the position. There are indications that President Buhari might today reveal who the Secretary to the Government of the Federation will be as well as other aides.

Fashola Fires Back At Okonjo-Iweala Over Unpaid Salaries

The outgoing governor of Lagos state, Babatunde Fashola, has called minister of finance, Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, to a public debate. The governor, who spoke during an interview with journalists from select media houses, added that the debate would enable the public to understand that the country made a budget on the basis of certain assumptions.

Fashola said this relativey to Okonjo-Iweala’s statement some weeks ago that Nigeria had no money to pay salaries to government workers, blaming the falling oil prices for the situation.

Fashola said: “I won’t want to have a public debate with the Finance Minister because if it was a matter she was willing to debate, let her call a meeting and we will have a public debate on it. I think the sense for the public to understand is that the country made a budget on the basis of certain assumptions. There was a national budget. Those assumptions have become unrealistic.

“It is possible for the uninformed members of the public to misunderstand that statement and think that they couldn’t pay salaries because they didn’t want to pay. But the admission you must first make is that their income has declined. Let us go forward and all of us must understand this: the money that goes to each state from the federation account is for the entire state, not for the public service.

Jonathan Averted Evil By Conceding Defeat – Fashola

Outgoing governor of Lagos State Raji Fashola (SAN)in an interview with select media houses gave his opinion on president Jonathan conceding defeat .

I won’t join the debate because it is a raging debate; some say he is now a statesman, some say he is now a hero, others say he is not a hero as he did what he was expected to do. I will just say that first you must understand what we have become. All of us are looking at an election. Do we normally, as a people, accept that we have been defeated? Let us ask ourselves that question. Let me animate it a little: can you remember how many times in football that we lost – we can’t qualify – and some people will still be saying ‘no, if somebody beats somebody by 20-0, we will qualify?’
And they will continue to raise hope where, clearly, hope is gone. Logic says to you ‘this is over.’ That is us. We don’t accept that it is over. It can be a positive energy somewhere else, to fight to the last. But in that context, I think we should acknowledge what President Jonathan did as the right thing. If you lose, you should concede that you have lost.
I won’t join the debate on whether he is a hero or a statesman, people will have their views. But was that the right thing to do? Yes. And I hope that from there we can pick an example. Was it courageous? I would think so in the circumstance that I have created. He had to go and tell a party that wanted to rule for 60 years that we have lost and I have accepted it. There is a saying that while it seems ordinary to praise people for doing what is right or what is good, we must understand that it is not just for doing what is right or good that they got the praise or acknowledgement. It is because they avoided evil. And the kind of evil we could have seen is unfolding in Burundi now. The question is to ask the many ifs; ‘what if he (Jonathan) had said,’ no?’ That is my final word.

 What are the things you are going to miss the most when you leave office?

I cannot think of missing anything. This is a public trust; it has a beginning and an end. And it finishes when it is finished. My life did not change when I took this job; not in any way that I know. My food has not changed; my clothing has not changed. Perhaps, the only thing I had to do more was travel, and now I will travel less. This is not something to miss; this is something to say that you have done your bit, get off the stage and let the next manager take over.

 Does it mean you are going to be relieved after leaving?

I will not use the word relief. I will just be done.

 Are you leaving a fulfilled man?

Yes, to the extent that I was able to deliver substantially on everything I promised, and more. I have done my bit. You must contextualise fulfilment with the nature of the undertaking. It is an undertaking that never ends; it is a job that never finishes. The question is ‘did you add value?’ Yes. ‘Did you make an effort?’ Yes.

Culled from Punch

Fashola Blasts Critics Over Lagos Debt Profile

Perhaps as a parting shot, the Lagos State Governor, Mr. Babatunde Fashola (SAN), has asked critics of his administration to evaluate the gains of the infrastructure development brought about by the loans of his administration and stop emphasising the figures.

Fashola, who made this clarification at the weekend during an interview session with select journalists at the State House, Alausa, Ikeja, also noted that there was a distinct repayment schedule for the bonds obtained by the state government with credit worthiness.

“The borrowing you are talking about, when you measure it against the asset, today, we took N275 billion bond over about eight years. The first thing we had to do was to repay the old bond of N15 billion because Lagos State drew N15 billion out of the N25 billion bond. We had to repay so that we can take full benefit of what we were trying to do, which was going to be issued in series and we did all these things in public.

“What did we use that money to finance? We used that money to finance infrastructure. So as the monthly Internally Generated Reveue (IGR) is coming, we are refunding 15 per cent of that IGR and don’t forget that the N20 billion you are talking about, 15 per cent goes straight into a consolidated debt service account. We can’t touch it. So, take 15 per cent of N20 billion out. We have close to about N100 billion in that account to pay the debts. So, those who are saying we owe; the system to pay the bond is secured.

“We just paid the second bond, which was the first that I took. We paid it; I think it was last year. The next bond will be due in 2017 and it’s about N60 or 70 billion, but we have N100 billion in the account,” he explained.

The governor however reiterated that the state had “secured our liabilities as far as the bonds are concerned. As far as the local short term loans from banks are concerned, we are able to pay and if you don’t want a life of debt, it means first that Lagosian must agree that let us reduce our budget to only what we earn. We have a budget of about N489 billion, let’s use the IGR example, 30 x 12 is 360, and so, we are already in a hole of about N119 billion,” he explained.

Fashola noted that most of those attempting to criticise the administration are doing so without paying attention to the advantages that the bonds have brought to the people of the state, particularly in the area of improved living standard of the populace.

Read Morethisdaylive

No Fights Between Me & Fashola- Tinubu

The Former Governor of Lagos State, Asiwaju Tinubu, has come out with a statement that there is no fight between him and the current Governor of Lagos State, Babatunde Fashola.

This comes after Oba of Lagos, Riliwan Akiolu, expressed at the Blue Roof event that he had settled the fight between Tinubu and Fashola. The event was held in celebration of the Governor of Lagos.

Tinubu also took to social network, Twitter, expressing that all of this is in the past and what Lagos has achieved is through hadrwork.

Read MoreDailytimes

Better Days Ahead For Lagosians —Lawmakers

Lawmakers-elect for the Lagos State House of Assembly, western Nigeria, have pledged to make life better for the residents of the state when the eighth session of the Assembly commences in June.

Some of the lawmakers said they are grounded enough to continue to lift the state above the common standard of excellence when the session begins.

Speaking with Assembly correspondents shortly after receiving his certificate of return on Wednesday, Moshood Olanrewaju Oshun, a ranking member of the House returning to represent the people of Lagos Mainland Constituency 2 for a third term, thanked God for the victory at the polls and added that the Assembly would consolidate on previous achievements in order to make Lagos the envy of Nigeria.

“If you know the Lagos State House of Assembly, we always perform beyond common standard of excellence.

“It is about standard, it is about bringing development to the people. Even when we were 40 members of the same party, there were still disagreements, but it is all about moving the state forward. We sometimes disagree to agree,” he said while promising that the House would continue to cooperate with the government of Akinwunmi Ambode for successful governance in the state.

On whether he was still running for the post of the Speaker of the Assembly, Oshun said that God is in charge of everything, and that he is qualified to vie for the position as a ranking member of the House.

Moshood Oshun

He said that to be the Speaker, one must consider three basic things, which he said include God, one’s political party and the support of one’s colleagues in the House.

Oshun emphasised his commitment to his constituents and Lagos residents, adding that as usual, he would continue to operate an open door policy.

Another member of the House representing Epe Constituency 1, Tobun Abiodun, thanked his constituents for the opportunity to serve again.

“I expect that we would have a more robust Assembly with new ideas. The people should be expecting greater things to come,” he said.

Chairman of the House Committee on Information, Publicity and Strategy, Segun Olulade, said the House needed an experienced lawmaker to continue from where Adeyemi Ikuforiji would stop as Speaker.

On his part, Deputy Chief Whip of the Assembly, who has been re-elected to represent Shomolu Constituency 2, Rotimi Abiru, condemned the violence that almost marred the election in some parts of the state and commiserated with the families of those that lost their lives.

Gbolahan Yishawu from Eti Osa Constituency 2 while speaking on the position of the Speaker that is allegedly zoned to Lagos Central and his interest, said that everything depended on his colleagues in the House.

He disclosed that he had some to initiate in the eighth Assembly while calling for support from residents for the lawmakers.

Immediate past council chairman elected to represent Lagos Mainland Constituency 1, Adekanye Oladele, said though a new comer, he would ensure he contributes his best to lawmaking, assist in eradicating unemployment, and eliminate poverty among his people.

Thirty-two lawmakers-elect on the platform of the All Progressives Congress, APC, and eight on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, got their certificates.

Governor Fashola To Be Honoured Internationally For A Job Well Done

The global conflict prevention organization, International Crisis Group (ICG), has named the Lagos State Governor, Babatunde Raji Fashola, as one of seven outstanding personalities worldwide to be honoured with its annual awards for 2015.

The organization in a press release yesterday, says Gov. Fashola is being conferred with the Stephen J. Solarz Award “for his commitment to resolving social, economic and security challenges in one of the world’s most challenging urban environments.”

Other awardees include Richard Branson, founder of Virgin Group, former UN High Commissioner for Refugees, Sadako Ogata, two Tunisians, President Béji Caïd Essebsi and Nahdha Party leader, Rached Ghannouchi, a former Italian foreign minister, Emma Bonino and former Australian foreign minister, Gareth Evans.

Fashola, Tunisian President, Others Win International Crisis Group’s 2015 Awards

The global conflict prevention organization, International Crisis Group (ICG), has named the outgoing governor of Lagos State, Babatunde Fashola, as one of seven outstanding personalities worldwide to be honoured with its annual awards for 2015.

The Brussels-based think tank, in a media release Thursday, says Mr. Fashola is being conferred with the Stephen J. Solarz Award “for his commitment to resolving social, economic and security challenges in one of the world’s most challenging urban environments.”

Other awardees include Richard Branson, founder of Virgin Group, who is being recognized for “his visionary reshaping of private sector initiatives to promote peace, human rights and sustainable development” and former UN High Commissioner for Refugees, Sadako Ogata, who was chosen for her “exemplary efforts to prevent conflict and mass atrocities, alleviate suffering during the Balkan crisis, and protect refugees worldwide.”

Two Tunisians, President Béji Caïd Essebsi and Nahdha Party leader, Rached Ghannouchi, were both chosen for their “unwavering dedication to pluralism, inclusion and compromise during Tunisia’s democratic transition.”

Others to be honoured are the former Italian foreign minister Emma Bonino for her “tireless role in deescalating tensions and promoting peace” in several countries, and former Australian foreign minister, Gareth Evans, who passionately promoted the principle of Responsibility to Protect (R2P) and also headed the International Crisis Group as its pioneer president.

Read More: premiumtimesng

Bolanle Ambode: One Half Of The New Lagos Power Couple By Onyeka Kerous Ibeanusi

If there is a Nobel prize for First Ladies in Nigeria, how many would have come to Lagos?

Unarguably, Lagos state has produced two active first ladies in the last 16 years. From Remi Tinubu, Asiwaju’s better half who is presently a serving Senator of the Federal Republic to  Abimbola Fashola, the wife and companion of the outgoing Governor of Lagos.  Also, with the declaration of Akinwunmi Ambode as the winner of the April 11th gubernatorial polls, the very hard working and industrious Bolanle Ambode becomes the next first lady of Lagos state.  A new addition to the noble list of the First ladies of Grace? Absolutely!

Although, many may not have seen the wife of the Governor-elect Akinwunmi Ambode frequently during the course of the campaign or oblivious of her contributions to the success of the process. However, as it’s typical of women of substance, Bolanle Akinwunmi Ambode has been a huge inspiration, motivation and the force behind Mr Ambode’s undying strive towards excellence.

Born into the Odukomaiya family in Epe, Lagos, on February 15, 1964, Mrs Ambode received her secondary education at St. Theresa’s College, Ibadan, Oyo state, before proceeding to the Lagos State University(LASU), Ojo, Lagos to study Physics/Mathematics. Her zeal for excellence through improving the intellect spurred her to pursue a  higher degree as she applied and earned a Masters (M Sc) in Public Administration in 1994.

Interestingly, her passion for excellence could not have denied the light of love a space to shine. She met and fell in love with Mr Ambode who was then working with the Ojo Local Government Council while she was an undergraduate at LASU.  They got married in 1991 and the union is blessed with a set of twins – a boy and a girl.

On her life as a role model, she has inspired many women who have hitherto been finding it hard to combine career life with raising a family.  Her rich resumé reveals her career exploits, having  worked with firms like the People’s Bank of Nigeria(now defunct), Instant Finance Nigeria Limited and Aguagem Consulting before starting her confectionery business which required her to attend short courses in Bakery Technology in Israel. As an entrepreneur per excellence, she is presently the MD/CEO of Rehoboth Chops and Confectioneries Limited where she’s matching experience with results.

As an embodiment of a supportive wife, mother , professional and  business woman, Mrs Ambode continues as a model for aspiring industrious women in all walks of life — whether they’re involved in running businesses at Balogun market in Lagos Island or within the corporate ladder pursuing a professional career, etc.  In addition, the St. Theresa’s College Old Girl shares the passion for charity with Mother Theresa as it is evident in her regular donations to various orphanages within the Lagos metropolis.

Quite emphatically, Mrs. Ambode will be able to utilise her professional skills as an administrator, business owner and philanthropist  to support and address pressing issues affecting women in the state as way of complementing her husband’s “Next Level” project. In fact, her professionalism and experience will contribute to improving the welfare of Lagosians.

With a masters degree in public administration and intellectually gifted in her own right, Mrs. Ambode can subtly steer, council, advice and support her husband when difficult administrative decisions need to be made. With these qualities, Mrs Ambode can be described as the Nigerian Hilary Clinton. Also, considering the experience and intellectual capability of the Ambode’s, it is safe to say Lagos state is about to witness an era of unprecedented economic, social and cultural growth. One that can only be likened to that of America under Bill and Hilary Clinton.

Undoubtedly, we can say with a bit more certainty that Lagos state, with the Ambodes at the helm of affairs, will be safe in capable hands.

Onyeka Kerous Ibeanusi

Views expressed are solely that of author and does not represent views of www.omojuwa.com nor its associates

Ambode: Lagosians Have Chosen Service – Gov. Fashola

Governor Babatunde Fashola of Lagos State has said that Lagos residents have chosen service, competition and choice over very banal patronage a few weeks to an election by voting for All Progressives Congress, APC, governorship candidate, Akinwunmi Ambode, even as he urged the governor-elect to stay connected with the people.

Babatunde Raji Fashola

Fashola, in his reaction at the Lagos House, Marina after the formal declaration of Ambode as winner of the state governorship poll by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), commended residents for keeping faith with the model of common widespread development that gives people the dignity to compete and be the best that they can be rather than be a model of patronage a few days to an election.

The governor added that the people have chosen service, competition and choice over very banal patronage a few weeks to an election.

He expressed happiness that “all the hard work in the last eight years has been vindicated and that the people of Lagos with this mandate to Ambode have connected with the choice and model of governance and have chosen the accelerated development where one doesn’t need to know anybody before he gets an opportunity.”

On his advice to governor-elect, Fashola said he would not advise him in the open rather his advice for him would largely be privately given and that the important thing is that he should stay connected to the people.

Earlier in a tweet on the declaration of the results, Fashola had tweeted; “Lagos wins. Congrats Ambode. Well done Jimi. Eko oni baje ooo”.

– SOURCE – www.vanguardngr.com

Lagos Will Survive On Tax Income Despite Dwindling Oil Revenue, Says Fashola

Gov. Babatunde Fashola of Lagos State on Wednesday said the state would continue to survive on tax income generation following the decline in Nigeria’s oil revenue.

Fashola spoke at the public presentation of a book titled,” Nigerian Tax Law and Administration in Lagos”.

The 15-chapter book was authored by the Lagos State Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice, Mr Ade Ipaye.

The governor said the crash in oil prices had led to shortages in allocations received by states from the Federal Government.

“Today,many states cannot pay salaries due to dwindling allocation and whenever the government cannot pay salary, it affects the economic life of the state.”

Fashola said that taxation was a legal obligation which was critical to the prosperity of any society, adding that withholding of taxes under any guise, was a crime.

“If there is a bad government in power, your recourse is not to withhold tax. Your recourse is to withhold your vote for that government at the next election.”

The governor advocated judicious use of the state’s resources for the provision of infrastructure and other services.

Also speaking, Justice Amina Augie, the presiding judge, Court of Appeal, Lagos Division, said the book would assist the jurists in reaching their decisions on issues relating to tax.

Mr Babatunde Fagbohunlu (SAN), who reviewed the book, said that government was gearing to increase its revenue base through a more aggressive and efficient tax administration because of the contraction in oil revenues.

– See more at: http://www.vanguardngr.com/2015/03/lagos-will-survive-on-tax-income-despite-dwindling-oil-revenue-says-fashola/#sthash.nxjcutje.dpuf

Okonjo-Iweala Is Frustrating Governors, Says Fashola

Governor Babatunde Fashola of Lagos State, western Nigeria has accused the Nigerian Minister of Finance and Co-ordinating Minister of the Economy, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, of frustrating state governments in the country by denying them access to funds for development.

Fashola said Okonjo-Iweala’s actions are political and meant to starve states of funds for development primarily to create financial challenges in states ahead of the elections.

The governor, who was at the State House of Assembly Tuesday evening, to inform the lawmakers about the current state of the Nigerian economy, lamented that the economy had been run aground by the President Goodluck Jonathan administration and that as a result, the state has to maintain some level of austerity.

“Today the Honourable Minister for Finance, if any honour still attaches to her actions, has stopped Nigerian banks from funding state governments because of elections, as if the needs of the people for roads, healthcare, drugs, education and security has stopped.

“She has insisted that inspite of individual appraisals of each bank by their credit committees, all State requests for funding by banks must be approved by her Ministry.

“To the best of my knowledge, she has not granted any of the requests submitted to her for approval in her new coordinating role as the retail banker for the Nigerian economy.

“A recent study that I commissioned just two months ago shows that construction workers are losing their jobs in the thousands across the country.

“Reports from four major construction companies show that a total of 5,170 local workers and 450 expatriate workers have been laid off between December 2014 and February 2015 and there will be more to follow, from only four companies.

“Your guess is then as good as mine about what is happening in several other hundreds of middle and small construction companies.

Lekki Robbery: 2,123 Policemen Were Securing Jonathan – Fashola

Lagos State Governor, Babatunde Fashola has revealed that 2,123 policemen provided security for President Goodluck Jonathan while armed robbers raided a bank in Lekki, Lagos last week.

Fashola, who spoke at the Agricultural Food Value Chain held in Agege area of Lagos, Southwest Nigeria on Tuesday said when the president came to Lagos last Thursday, while citizens were being robbed, the president was protected by 2, 123 security personnel.

“Let me be very clear, the president is entitled to every protection, he’s our president, but the question to ask is that; when you were being traumatised yesterday, where were these 2,123 men? Because you are also entitled to be protected. The reason why the president gets all that protection is so that he can protect all of us,” he said.

The governor also decried Monday’s protest march for Jonathan in Lagos by members of the Oodua Peoples Congress, OPC and other pro-Jonathan groups in which the protesters terrorised Lagosians while brandishing dangerous weapons.

“Yesterday, they also showed the difference between us when the supporters of the PDP and President Jonathan came out. You know on 7th of March this year, just about a week ago, the APC held a solidarity rally in Lagos. Did anybody attack you on that day? So, yesterday, they held their own, but what I heard, because I received telephone calls and text messages from residents who explained to me, I received emails.

“I am sorry for the pain and trauma they put you through because residents continuously complained yesterday that they were traumatised by those people who supposedly were carrying out a rally in support of the president and in support of their gubernatorial candidate, just kidding.

“So instead of canvassing for your votes and showing you why their service record is better, they were showing you knives, cutlass and dangerous weapons. Some residents phoned to say that they were banging on their cars. Let me remind all of us, that the work of a party and a government is to protect citizens and not to terrorize them,” he stated.

Fashola said for those who still said that they did not know what the issues in these elections were, Monday’s event brought one issue sharply in focus, which he said was the issue of security.

He stated that the peace and safety that “all of you have enjoyed for eight years is now at risk. You have seen the kind of people who support the other party on Monday, you have seen the kind of people who support their presidential and gubernatorial candidate, those are the people that you will see around them. Monday’s experience, may God forbid it, would be what you would experience till 2019.

“Unless you come out massively on March 28 and on April 11, that is the only way that God would forbid that kind of thing from continuing in Lagos. It is your vote that would change it. A vote for General Buhari would put to end this kind of abuse of state power. A vote for Ambode will continue the security that we have built and protected you for the past eight years.

Lekki Robbery: Blame Jonathan, He Took Away Police Officers- Fashola

Babatunde Fashola, has said that the robbery incident in Lagos, Thursday evening, could have been averted if enough police officers were available.

About six people, including three police officers, were killed by about half a dozen armed robbers who stormed a bank on Admiralty Way in Lekki Phase 1.

“Perhaps what would be would have been, but it’s sad to see all our security personnel, all our security vehicles deployed to protect one man,” said Mr. Fashola, who spoke at an event, An Evening with Buhari and Osinbajo, in Lagos.

Read More: premiumtimesng

I Have Kept My Promises,Jonathan Has Not – Fashola

Governor Fashola has said he has kept his promises,while president Jonathan has not ..Speaking at the commissioning of of the 2.18 Kilometer Glover Road, Ikoyi,

“I have said time again, that the issues with the presidential election is not new promises by the PDP presidential candidate (Goodluck Jonathan), it is the record of service about what he has done with the promises he made in 2011.”
We promised to build the Lekki-Ikoyi link Bridge in 2010 and in three years we have finished a first class architectural masterpiece which put Lagos back on the global architectural reckoning.
“For our political opponents, they say it is expensive, they say every negative thing about it, but we used the same contractor, Julius Berger, to build that bridge. The same contractor has not been able to help them deliver the Second Niger Bridge that the president promised since 2011.

After building that bridge I promised you that we would improve connectivity here and give commuters choice, we have finished Glover Road, we are on Second Avenue and other roads, I have kept my promises.

Don’t Sell Your Dignity For Dollars- Fashola Pleads With Nigerians

Lagos State Governor, Babatunde Fashola, has advised Nigerians against voting for politicians with no good track record.

The governor said this while commissioning nine network of roads in Maidan-Aina-Agiliti area of Mile 12, Kosofe Local Government Area of the state. Fashola told them not to be carried away by the empty promises being made by the incumbent federal government as it was yet to fulfill any in the last four years.

He advised Nigerians not to be bought by dollars and other incentives being shared by  PDP, as inducement in its desperation to win elections in the state. Fashola said, “”If you collect dollars, know that you have collected your security, your roads and your infrastructure. Tell them your dignity cannot be bought by naira or dollars.”

Read More: dailypost

Lagosians Are Not In Bondage, Gov Fashola Reacts To Jonathan’s Comment

Governor Babatunde Fashola of Lagos State yesterday reacted to President Goodluck Jonathan’s statement that victory for the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP in the forthcoming elections would free Lagos residents from oppression, saying “Lagos is not in bondage.”

Meantime, Fashola stunned a gathering in Lekki axis of the state when he said he bought his own vault where he will be buried after his demise four years ago.

The governor while reacting to the Presidents statement said “It is an un-presidential statement made in an act of desperation.”

It will be recalled that Jonathan made the statement during a meeting with leaders of market women groups, “Iyalojas”, in Lagos.

According to him, “the question to ask him (Jonathan) is that if he had come to free residents of Lagos from bondage and he lived here for five days meeting with people and distributing money in dollars. That means he lived in bondage in five days while trying to free people.

“If he can live here for five days moving with patrol vehicles that we paid for, let him go and spend five days in Chibok and he will know what bondage is,” he added.

LEAKED: What Jonathan, Buhari, IBB, Fashola said at Council of State Meeting on Poll Shift

An insight has been provided into the debate at the National Council of State meeting of February 5, 2015 where the issue of whether or not the general election should be postponed was extensively discussed.

Writing in his column in THISDAY on Thursday, celebrated journalist and former presidential adviser Olusegun Adeniyi, revealed that contrary to media reports, the council did not direct Attahiru Jega, chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), to go ahead with the polls.

He gave an account of the positions of President Goodluck Jonathan and Muhamamdu Buhari, the respective presidential candidates of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and All Progressives Congress (APC), on the postponement. Adeniyi, who served the late President Umaru Musa Yar’Adua as special adviser on media and publicity, also gave details of the contributions of Ibrahim Babangida, former military president, as well as Babatunde Fashola, governor of Lagos state, and Liyel Imoke, governor of Cross River state.

Read More: sunnewsonline.com

Victory For PDP In Lagos Would Free Lagosians From Oppression – Jonathan

President Goodluck Jonathan said on Friday in Lagos that victory for the Peoples Democratic Party in the upcoming general elections would free Lagos residents from oppression.

He stated this when the leaders of market women groups, known as Iyalojas, in Lagos and environs, paid him a solidarity visit at the State House, Marina, Lagos.

Jonathan, who was reacting to the complaint of high-handedness and witch-hunting made by the market women against the All Progressives Congress-led Lagos State Government.

He told the market women, and indeed, all traders in the country that the PDP administration would provide the enabling environment for them to ply their trades.

“Our victory at the polls will free all Lagos traders from oppression. You need to be free; we will remove Lagos from bondage,’’ he said.

He commended the women for supporting his re-election bid and urged them not to be intimidated by their opponents.

The President added, “I have listened to you; you have been carrying the PDP flag; you have been humiliated but you still marched on.

Fashola Accuses Jimi Agbaje of Tax Evasion

Lagos – Lagos State governor, Babatunde Fashola, has accused Jaykay Pharmacy, owned by the governorship candidate of the PDP, Jimi Agbaje of owing the state N1.6 million as unpaid land use charges, Sun reports

Fashola made the disclosure at the 8th Annual Lagos State taxation Stakeholders’ Conference held in Ikeja. Fashola, who explained that Land Use Charge was a consolidated tax combining ground rent and tenement rate, said tax is prescribed by the 1999 constitution. It states that it shall be the duty of every citizen to declare its income to the appropriate and lawful agency; and pay the required tax promptly.

The governor declared that the pharmacy paid LUC in 2013 and 2014 because the management and the candidate of the PDP realized that the election would be holding in 2015.

Read Moresunnewsonline.com

Fashola Accuses FG of Diverting SURE-P Money- Vanguard

Governor Babatunde Fashola of Lagos State, yesterday, accused the Federal Government of diverting Subsidy Reinvestment and Empowerment Programme, SURE-P, money for the funding of the campaigns of President Gooodluck Jonathan.

Fashola made the allegation at the All Progressives Congress (APC) campaign rally in Badagry area of the state. The governor, who took a swipe at the Federal Government for disappointing Nigerians, added: “The money they took for Sure-P is in Sure Pocket, that’s what Sure-P means. It has nothing to do with the people.”

He accused the Federal Government of non-challant attitude, stressing that at a time they ought to have been committed to serving the people. “They were busy doing TAN rallies. They started the campaign one year ago , they were doing Transformation Ambassadors of Nigeria (TAN) rallies instead of serving you.

“They were spending Sure-P money in TAN. If they had used that money to build health centres, highways and prosper your life, the story will be different,’’ Fashola said.

Read More: vanguardngr.com

You Can Not Fight Terrorism With Weapons Of 1985 – Fashola Chides Jonathan

The Lagos State Governor, Babatunde Fashola, has faulted a statement credited to President Goodluck Jonathan that Muhammadu Buhari did not buy any weapon for soldiers when he was in government.

Fashola spoke at the 2014 series of the Obafemi Awolowo Free Education Lecture organised by the Faculty of Education, Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, Osun State on Thursday.

He wondered if President Goodluck Jonathan planned to fight terrorists with 1985 weapons.

He said, “When a man says, ‘When they were there, they did not buy guns’. Ask, If they had bought guns in 1985, will he be fighting war with 1985 guns?

“It is a good thing to take a man by his words. Awolowo prepared himself to speak in public because he knew the value of the spoken word and more importantly knew electoral promises were a matter of very serious honour, and to break them was a matter of great dishonour and breach of trust.

“Indeed, nothing honours or dishonours a man like the value of his words.”

Fashola also faulted activist of free education in Nigeria, saying they were not well informed about what it meant to give free education at all levels.

He explained that free education could only be guaranteed at the primary and secondary level, adding that many people had failed to differentiate between education and specialisation.

I Rate Fashola’s Performance In Lagos Better Than Mine – Tinubu

The National Leader of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Chief Bola Tinubu, on Wednesday said that the Mr Babatunde Fashola administration had performed better than his.

Tinubu, the immediate past Governor of Lagos, spoke in Ikeja at the flag-off of the party’s campaign for the forthcoming general elections in the state.

Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu

He said that the Fashola administration had performed tremendously well in the last eight years.

“In the year 2007, I handed over to one young man, brought him to you and said he would perform better.

“A man with sound brain and sound mind; that person is Babatunde Fashola. He did not disgrace us.

“I thank God for eight years of excellent performance, unbroken promises, sound experience and constructive government,” Tinubu said.

He said that Fashola had performed well in construction of roads and school buildings, employment of youths and healthcare delivery, among others things.

Tinubu urged Lagos residents to vote en masse for the party’s governorship candidate for Lagos State, Mr Akinwunmi Ambode, in the general elections.

He said that Ambode would build on Fashola’s achievements.

APC And PDP Members In Campaign Space Show Down In Lagos

WITH less than 30 days to the general elections, the political parties have put their machinery in motion canvassing votes from the electorate through posters at strategic points, a development that is raising dust in Lagos.

In Lagos State, the frontline political parties, the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) and the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) are talking tough.

As a way of creating awarenesPolitical-Bilboards for the parties and candidates for the various elective positions, posters and billboards are being pasted or erected on every available space in the state.

The Lagos State Signage and Advertisement Agency (LASAA) is the agency responsible for the regulations of pasting of posters, billboards and any form of advertisement in the state.

But crisis seems to be brewing between the APC and PDP over the removal and defacing of posters as both parties have continued to point accusing fingers at each other.

While the APC on its part is saying that the PDP and its supporters have been responsible for removal of posters belonging to candidates vying on its platform, the PDP says otherwise.

Prior to this, the Lagos State Police Command had asked LASAA to desist from removing the campaign posters and billboards of political parties.

The state Commissioner of Police, Cornelius Aderanti, was reported to have given the warning at the command headquarters in Ikeja, Lagos.

Aderanti, who said the police had also held a meeting with LASAA authorities on the matter, added that the electoral act did not permit any agency or people to remove candidates’ campaign posters.

According to him, “We note with concern the series of complaints which have been made against LASAA by candidates of various political parties about removal of campaign billboards and posters purportedly by personnel of the agency. The Electoral Act 2010 as amended is clear in Section 100(2), where it said that state apparatus, including the media shall not be employed to the advantage or the disadvantage of any political party or candidate in any election.

With Akinwunmi Ambode Lagos will Be Fine – @Lanre_Olagunju

The phenomenal transformation Lagos has encountered in recent years is basically due to the brilliant heads that have governed the state. For the next gubernatorial polls, superficially looking at the calibre of the top two gubernatorial candidates, one can hastily say that Lagos, most likely will just be fine with any of them.

But considering the fact that democracy magnifies the essence of political decision-making, and punishes electorates when they decide not to look beyond the nose when taking political decisions; for that singular fact, I advice that Lagosians get their facts right to ensure developmental continuity in Lagos. Lagos can’t settle for less at this point, anyone replacing Fashola must have adequate experience to occupy that seat, not just any brilliant technocrat who is passionate about delivering Lagos to the People’s Democratic Party.

During an interview conducted by the convener of Good Governance Group (3G), Former President Olusegun Obasanjo was asked to shed light on the leadership problem in Africa, and some of his responses were quite revealing. “There is nothing wrong with Africa, there’s a lot wrong with our leadership. Will you say that God has not endowed us enough? Will you? Will you say God has not given us men and women who can stand on their own anywhere in the world? Will you?”  Obasanjo asks.

He further expatiates on the leadership problem in Africa, recalling his own experiences as a Former President. “After I left government as military head of state, I realized that there are two areas of problems, I call one mistake of omission, mistake of omission is when leaders in any walks of life just don’t know any better, either because of limitation of education, limitation of experience, limitation of training, limitation of knowledge…whatever”

Obasanjo opened up that sometimes, those of them who have occupied leadership positions do not know any better, he illustrates this truth pointing at one of his un-thoughtful decisions – which had to do with putting a good and brilliant person in a  position that basically requires knowledge and relevant experience. “When I was military head of state, using the example of the national carrier -The Nigeria Airways.  The Nigeria Airways was a mess, whatever we tried to do we did not get it right, but I had the presidential pilot or the pilot of the Head of States, a man called Paul Taha. Paul was a first class man, decent, honest and well behaved. So one day I just got fed up with Nigeria Airways so I called Paul and said Paul I want you to take over running the affairs of the Nigeria Airways and Paul agreed, Paul never ran an airline before but he was a good pilot.

Well I should have known that being a good pilot does not mean that you will be a good airline manager, so every other day I will phone him “Paul how are you getting on?” He would say he is alright, one day I phoned him and he said “Sir, I feel like committing suicide” I said, I will pull you out rather than allow you to commit suicide, what is the matter? And he said there’s this airline either Lufthansa or KLM, they have an expert who used to visit Nigeria Airways for about a week, once in six months. So this man came and looked at the flight timetable that Paul had prepared, and when he looked at it he flung it, this took him two nights, and the man said “it might have taken you ten nights but what I see is that you go from Lagos to Kaduna everyday on Monday you take off at 8:30, on Tuesday you take off at 7, on Wednesday you take off at 8. How much convenient would it have been for you and your customers to know that there is a flight to Kaduna everyday, it is 7am daily except Sunday, simple thing!”

And Paul said that thing was so simple but the fact that he did not know of it .…” That’s what I call “mistake of omission”, because of limitation of experience and training” Obasanjo narrates.

In line with the above illustration by Olusegun Obasanjo, I strongly feel that Lagos will benefit a lot by having Akinwunmi Ambode as the next governor, considering his wealth of experience and knowledge, plus the credible achievement he has attained in his career and professional life. I am delighted about his candidacy. He is well versed as an Accountant, Administrator, Public Finance expert and also in civil service matters.

Akin Ambode Lagos gubernatorial aspirant

Akin Ambode Lagos gubernatorial aspirant

Ambode’s profile doesn’t agree with the perception that the public service is only filled with civil servants who are unimaginative. This is a man like Fashola who knows the Lagos State civil service and the working of government like the back of his hands. He has served as Assistant Treasurer to Badagry Local Government, Auditor to Shomolu Local Government, Council Treasurer to Alimosho Local Government and Council Treasurer to Mushin Local Government.

He was later appointed Auditor General of Local Government Councils. Thereafter, he become Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Finance and later became the youngest Accountant-General of the state at the age of 37, a position he occupied till 2012, after which he voluntarily resigned – making his retirement the first ever recorded voluntary retirement by a Permanent Secretary in the Lagos State Public Service.

Under his watch, Lagos state’s budget performed at an average of 85 percent annually.

He has been able to transfer his wealth of experience into private practice by establishing Brandsmiths Consulting Limited in 2012. Brandsmiths presently consult for federal, state and local government on financial advisory services.

Should we ignore Ambode’s 27 years of quality experience working with the State, where he has held key positions and made tangible contributions as Auditor General for Local Governments, Permanent Secretary and Accountant General?

Should we then suddenly start demanding change just for the sake of it and then suspend our reasoning as electorates? Experience counts a lot. The days of having good men in leadership positions merely because they are good are over. Anyone who must lead must be garnished with relevant experience that can be translated into development. Such must also have relevant and successful track records. You’ve got to be passionate about the people and that must show via your track records.

My fear with Jimi Agbaje is that in every sense of it, he doesn’t come close to Ambode’s wealth of relevant experience. Say I’m biased, but truthfully I have researched and concluded that Agbaje’s private sector experience isn’t any stellar. Let’s say it’s a little above average. At best! I wonder where he has been after he lost in 2007, only to show up all of a sudden.

The PDP certainly needs his good image to gain Lagos. But truthfully Lagos’ development needs more than that. This state needs to develop into a real megacity and Lagosians need to keep holding the leadership responsible at all times, so they can be accountable.

 Eko O ni baje.

 I am @Lanre_Olagunju on Twitter.

Views expressed above are  solely that of the author.