- After Six-hour Meeting, Council Approves over N300bn Projects
A six-hour Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting presided over by President Muhammadu Buhari wednesday in Abuja approved a volume projects valued at over N300 billion in various parts of the country and across different sectors of the economy.
wednesday’s FEC meeting which took off at 11 a.m. and ended at some minutes before 6p.m., was the longest ever presided over by the president. Following its inability to exhaust the agenda before it, the meeting will continue today in its commitment to exhaust 42 memoranda it is considering before the end of 2017.
Of the 42 memoranda tabled before FEC in the Council Chamber yesterday, 22 were considered and approved while the remaining 20 have been scheduled for consideration today. It is the first time that FEC meeting would be held on two consecutive days since the advent of the current Buhari administration.
Leading four ministers into the press gallery to brief journalists on issues considered at the meeting, Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Malam Garba Shehu, said both the massive approvals made yesterday as well as the resolve to continue the meeting today underscored the level of government’s commitment to the wellbeing of Nigeria.
In his briefing, the Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Mr. Babatunde Fashola, said some of the projects approved were institutional while others bordered on transport, roads, power and education.
He was joined in the briefing by his counterparts in Transportation Ministry, Rotimi Amaechi; Water Resources, Suleiman Adamu, and Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Muhammad Bello.
According to Fashola, the institutional projects approved included the completion of Police Service Commission (PSC) headquarters whose cost was reviewed by the council from initial N3.4 billion to N3.9 billion as well as a review of the cost of building Nnamdi Azikiwe Mausoleum in Anambra State from hitherto N1.496 billion to N1.953 billion.
He also said FEC approved N155.7 billion for the construction of Abuja-Kaduna-Zaria-Kano road and another N14.4 billion for the rehabilitation of the Efire-Araromi-Aiyede-Ayila Road to connect Ondo State with Ogun State.
He also said the council approved the augmentation of Amanze section of Onitsha-Enugu expressway at the cost of N38.74 billion as well as the full rehabilitation of Umunya section of the road earlier awarded at the rate of N23.4 billion, both totaling about N62.06 billion.
The minister also said the council approved the provision of independent power plants to nine universities and one teaching hospital at the cost of N38.965 billion to provide power for students’ use and street lighting.
Fashola also said his ministry was working assiduously to ensure the restoration of power to Ondo South senatorial district of Ondo State which has been in black for over three years.
In his own briefing, Suleiman said council approved N5.6 million for the completion of Adada dam which was started in 2010 in Igbo-Etiti Local Government Area of Enugu to supply water to Nsukka in 2018.
He also said the council approved N16.5 billion for the completion of the second phase of Galuma dam, an irrigation dam in Kaduna meant to supply water to Zaria as well as the review of consultancy fee for a dam in Ogwashiukwu in Delta State at the cost of N133 million.
In his own briefing, Amaechi said the council resolved to fund early childhood education including the distribution of text books to pupils in primary 4, 5 and 6 in public schools nationwide at the cost of N6.9 billion.
He also disclosed the approval of the construction of Jos central library and faculty of animal sciences and engineering at the cost of N587 million, adding that the council also approved the purchase of two vessels hitherto being hired by the Nigeria Ports Authority (NPA) to escort vessels to sea port at the cost of N1.9 billion.
Amaechi also said approval was made for the purchase of two other vessels in eastern port of 17 metres to assist vessels in the sea port at the cost of N1.2 billion.
Other projects approved according to Amaechi, were the purchase of calibration inspection at the cost of N111.6 million; a new terminal at Aminu Kano Airport, Kano, at the cost of N621 billion and direct procurement of installation and inaguration of wide area of multilateration for the Gulf of Guinea at the cost of N3.9 billion. He said this purchase would help to capture equipment flying below the radar.
Also briefing, the Minister of FCT, Bello, said approval was made for the completion of Goodluck Jonathan expressway whose section was opened recently to aid traffic flow in Abuja at the cost of N3.8. billion. Bello said the completion would aid movement from Keffi to Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) in Garki.
He also said Wassa resettlement site in South-eastern part of Abuja consisting of 197 roads of 88.9 kilometres was approved at the cost of N26 billion.
Meanwhile, Buhari yesterday swore in six new permanent secretaries before the formal take-off of the FEC meeting.
The new permanent secretaries are: Mustapha Sulaiman (Kano); Adekunle Adeyemi (Oyo); Ekaro Chukwumogu (Rivers); Adedayo Apata (Ekiti); Abdukadir Muazu (Kaduna); Osuji Ndubuisi (Imo) and Bitrus Nabasu (Plateau).
Labour, FG Agree to Suspend Strike for Two Weeks as FG Put Electricity Hike on Hold
FG Has Put Electricity Hike on Hold for Two Weeks and Announced Palliatives for Workers
The Nigeria Labour Congress and the Trade Union Congress have suspended the strike scheduled to commence today (Monday).
This followed an agreement reached with the Federal Government at a meeting which started at 8.30pm on Sunday and ended at 2:50am this morning.
After exhaustive deliberations on the issues raised by the labour centres, the meeting agreed to suspend the application of the cost-reflective electricity tariff adjustments for two weeks.
The Minister of Labour and Employment, Chris Ngige, read the five-page communique signed by the representatives of the government and labour.
The NLC President, Ayuba Wabba; and his Trade Union Congress counterpart, Quadri Olaleye, amongst others signed on behalf of Organised Labour while the Minister of Labour, Chris Ngige; Minister of State Petroleum, Timipre Silva; Minister of State Labour and Employment, Festus Keyamo (SAN); Minister of Information, Lai Mohammed; and the Secretary to Government of the Federation, Boss Mustapha and others, signed on behalf of the government.
Olaleye confirmed the development in an interview on Monday morning.
He said, “Definitely correct. We just left a press conference. We signed a document to suspend the action for two weeks for the government to implement those things that we agreed in the agreement. So, we are suspending for two weeks.
“We don’t need a notice again to re-convene if there is a need to do that.”
The parties agreed to set up a technical committee comprising Ministries, Departments, Agencies, NLC and TUC.
It would work for a duration of two weeks effective September 28, to examine the justifications for the new policy “in view of the need for the validation of the basis for the new cost-reflective tariff as a result of the conflicting information from the fields which appeared different from the data presented to justify the new policy by NERC; metering deployment, challenges, timeline for massive rollout.”
The members of the committee include the Minister of State Labour and Employment, Festus Keyamo (SAN) as Chairman; Minister of State Power, Godwin Jedy-Agba; Chairman, National Electricity Regulatory Commission, James Momoh; Special Assistant to the President on Infrastructure, Ahmad Zakari as the Secretary.
Other members are Onoho’Omhen Ebhohimhen, Joe Ajaero (NLC), Chris Okonkwo (TUC) and a representative of electricity distribution companies.
The committee’s terms of reference are to examine the justification for the new policy on cost-reflective electricity tariff adjustments; to look at the different DISCOs and their different electricity tariff vis-à-vis NERC order and mandate; examine and advise government on the issues that have hindered the deployment of the 6 million meters, among others.
“During the two weeks, the DISCOs shall suspend the application of the cost-reflective electricity tariff adjustments,” the communique noted.
It also noted that the FG has fashioned out palliatives that would ameliorate the sufferings that Nigerian workers may experience as a result of the hike in cost electricity tariffs and the deregulation of the downstream sector of the petroleum industry.
The palliatives will be in the areas of transport, power, housing, agriculture and humanitarian support.
The meeting also resolved that the 40 per cent stake of government in the DISCO and the stake of workers should be reflected in the composition of the DISCO’s boards.
It agreed that “an all-inclusive and independent review of the power sector operations as provided in the privatization MoU to be undertaken before the end of the year 2020, with labour represented.
“All parties agreed on the urgency for increasing the local refining capacity of the nation to reduce the overdependency on importation of petroleum products to ensure energy security, reduce cost of finished products, increase employment and business opportunities for Nigerians.”
To address this, the parties resolved that the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation should expedite the rehabilitation of the nation’s four refineries located in Port Harcourt, Warri and Kaduna to achieve 50 per cent completion by December 2021, while timelines and delivery for Warri and Kaduna will be established by the inclusive steering committee.
“To ensure commitment and transparency to the processes and timelines of the rehabilitation exercise, the management of NNPC has offered to integrate the national leadership of the Nigeria Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers and Petroleum and Natural Gas Senior Staff Association into the steering committee already established by the corporation,” the communique stated.
It added that a validation team comprising the representatives of the NNPC, Nigeria Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative, Infrastructure Concession Regulatory Commission, NUPENG and PENGASSAN would be established to monitor progress of the rehabilitation of the refineries and the pipelines/strategic depots network and advice the steering committee periodically.
It also said that post-rehabilitation, NNPC shall involve the PENGASSAN and NUPENG in the process of establishing the operational model of the nation’s refineries.
The statement added, “The Federal Government will facilitate the delivery of licensed modular and regular refineries, involvement of upstream companies in petroleum refining and establishing framework for financing in the downstream sector.
“NNPC to expedite work on the Build, Operate and Transfer framework for the nation’s pipelines and strategic depots network for efficient transportation and distribution of petroleum products to match the delivery timelines of the refineries as agreed.”
The government and its agencies agreed to ensure delivery of 1 million CNG/LPG AutoGas conversion kits, storage skids and dispensing units under the Nigeria Gas Expansion Programme by December 2021 to enable delivery of cheaper transportation and power fuel.
A governance structure that will include representatives of organized labour shall be established for timely delivery.
To cushion the impacts of the downstream sector deregulation and tariffs adjustment in the power sector, the FG agreed to announce in two weeks a specific amount to be accessed by workers with subsequent provision for 240,000 workers under the auspices of NLC and TUC for participation in agricultural ventures through the Central Bank and the Ministry of Agriculture.
The timeline will be fixed at the next meeting.
The meeting further resolved that the FG will facilitate the removal of tax on minimum wage as a way of cushioning the impacts of the policy on the lowest vulnerable.
The government would also make available to organized labour 133 CNG/LPG-driven mass transit buses immediately and provide to the major cities across the country on a scale up basis thereafter, to all states and local governments before December 2021.
“On Housing, 10 per cent to be allocated to Nigerian workers under the ongoing Ministry of Housing and Finance initiative through the NLC and TUC,” the communique disclosed.
GE and Niger Delta Power Holding Company (NDPHC) Successfully Restore up to 360MW in Nigeria Amidst COVID-19 Pandemic
Power GE safely completed service interventions on three GE 9E gas turbines at the Niger Delta Power Holding Company (NDPHC) power plants in Calabar and Sapele, Nigeria; With compressive safety measures due to COVID-19 in place, GE and NDPHC quickly ensured both employee safety and on-time project execution; Outages were executed on time and the restored power will enable NDPHC to provide the equivalent electricity needed to power up to 2 million Nigerian homes.
GE (NYSE: GE) today announced the successful rehabilitation of three 9E.03 gas turbines, at three Niger Delta Power Holding Company’s (NDPHC) Power Plants in Calabar and Sapele, Nigeria. These operations reduced the risk of unplanned downtime of its power generation equipment, enabling the plants to reliably secure and restore the supply of up to 360 megawatts (MW) of electricity to the national grid, the equivalent electricity needed to power approximately two million Nigerian homes. Despite the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic, GE and NDPHC worked together to swiftly implement safety procedures to ensure a safe and on-time execution.
“Being Nigeria’s largest electricity generating company, with a total installed capacity of 4.0 gigawatts (GW), representing about 35% of Nigeria’s generating capacity, we are committed to strengthening Nigeria’s power sector, despite the unexpected logistical challenges of the COVID-19 outbreak,” said Chiedu Ugbo, Managing Director, NDPHC. “GE’s efficiency to mobilize local teams on-site with the required technical skills and expertise, as well as GE’s global supply chain scale was crucial to ensure the timely and safe completion of the outages at the sites and help us achieve our goal.”
The outages involved stage three bucket changeouts on three 9E gas turbines as well as additional combustion inspections. Engineers from GE and FieldCore, the field services execution company owned by GE, worked together and in close collaboration with NDPHC to implement additional safety measures and reduce the risk of exposure to COVID-19, including frequent disinfections at the site, physical distancing, standard passive and active temperature screenings for personnel, and the use of personal protective equipment such as masks and gloves.
“We are committed to supporting power plant operators like NDPHC to be able to provide reliable power with exceptional support and services from GE throughout these uncertain times, while ensuring and maintaining the health and safety of our employees and suppliers.” said Elisee Sezan, CEO for GE’s Gas Power business in Sub-Saharan Africa. “The successful rehabilitation of the power generations assets at Calabar and Sapele plants will help increase the 9E gas turbines’ efficiency, while lowering emissions and providing essential power for industrialization, healthcare facilities, homes, schools and businesses.”
This year, GE’s 9E gas turbine fleet celebrates 40 years of operations globally. The 9E is a robust, proven platform that delivers high availability, reliability, and durability while lowering the overall cost-per-kilowatt. It has a large installed base of over 650 units in the world located primarily in Asia, China, Europe, Africa and the Middle East.
GE has been collaborating with energy stakeholders to deploy innovative technologies tailored to respond to the needs in the region since the 1950s with reliable baseload and flexible emergency power. In 2018, the company celebrated its 100th power plant in Sub-Saharan Africa and today, up to 17 GW of gas power generation on the grid runs on GE gas turbines. GE delivers across the entire energy ecosystem from generation to transmission and distribution and throughout Nigeria, GE-built technologies are supported by local service and maintenance teams from the company to ensure access to reliable and sustainable energy.
Power Generation Hits 4,312MW, 16 Plants Record Increase
Electricity generation in the country rose by 979.2 megawatts on Sunday to 4,312.1MW as 16 power plants saw an increase in their output.
The number of idle plants dropped to nine as of 6am on Sunday from 11 at 6am on Saturday, when power generation stood at 3,332.9MW, according to data obtained from the Nigerian Electricity System Operator.
The plants that did not generate any megawatts of electricity as of 6am on Sunday were Afam IV & V, Sapele II, Alaoji, Olorunsogo II, Ihovbor, Gbarain, Ibom Power, AES and ASCO.
Sapele I and Omotosho II, which were idle as of 6am on Saturday, generated 36MW and 26.1MW on Sunday.
The nation generates most of its electricity from gas-fired power plants, while output from hydropower plants makes up about 30 per cent of the total generation.
Generation from Kainji, Jebba and Shiroro hydro plants, which stood at 182MW, 289MW and 412MW, respectively as of 6am on Saturday, rose to 305MW, 300MW and 450MW on Sunday.
Electricity generation from Egbin, the nation’s biggest power station, increased to 454MW as of 6am on Sunday from 304MW on Saturday.
Other plants that recorded increases in their outputs on Sunday were Delta (gas), Omotosho I, Olorunsogo I, Geregu II, Odukpani, Okpai, Azura-Edo, Afam VI, Omoku and Rivers IPP.
The amount of power generation capacity left unused fell to 3,005.9MW as of 6am on Sunday from 3,558.9MW on Saturday.
Gas constraints and low load demand by the distribution companies hampered the generation of 2,019.7MW and 986.2MW respectively on Sunday, according to NESO.
The system operator put the national peak demand forecast at 28,290MW; installed generation capacity at 12,910.40MW; available capacity at 7,652.60MW; transmission wheeling capacity at 8,100MW; and peak generation at 5,420.30MW.
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