The Federal Executive Council (FEC) on Wednesday approved a power sector recovery programme comprising policies and actions that government hopes will create a viable sector with emphasis on private sector participation.
The meeting presided over by President Muhammadu Buhari, also approved the construction and rehabilitation of several roads in 12 states and Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Abuja at a total cost of N82.5 billion.
While briefing State House correspondents after the meeting, the Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola, said the power sector recovery programme will also monitor service delivery by Distribution and Transmission Companies as well as the whole value chain.
According to him, “the programme comprises of many pet policy actions, operational and financial interventions that needs to be carried out by government to improve transparency service delivery, performance of DISCOS, transmission company and the entire value chain in order to create a more viable power sector that is private sector run.”
He gave the highlights of the programme to include how to simplify and reduce the cash deficits that have accumulated as a result of previous unilateral reductions of tariff by the last administration during the run-up to the elections.
Fashola listed other highlights to include “How to make the DISCOS viable, accountable and responsive to customers, ensure stability of the grid and expansion of the grid, transparency and communication within the sector and also processes for Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) debts and how to improve sector governance, our roles in the buzz the quality of personnel on the board of the DISCOS.
“It addresses access to renewable energy especially in rural areas using mini-grids and stand alone solutions and how we are going to carry out the solutions that have been developed for 37 federal universities and seven tertiary hospitals.
“It also addresses how to solve the Niger Delta problem and also how to ensure there is a stable and predictable foreign exchange policy for the sector so that it is somewhat protected from sudden head winds of the volatility of the foreign exchange market so that they can plan and deliver.
“It also highlights how to address the issue of vandalisation at consumer and production levels of pipelines and so on as this will help bring confidence to the market and stimulate the appetite that currently exists globally for Nigeria’s power sector.
“We see a lot of people who want to invest but some of them are tied to what other international financial institutions do and the institutions are also waiting to see us commit to these things.”The Power minister said Council also approved the construction of 12 roads in various states across the country in the sum of N80 billion.
The roads are in Adamawa, Taraba, Sokoto, Zamfara, Bauchi, Plateau, Osun, Kwara, Kano, Oyo, Kaduna and Kano.Similarly; he said council also gave approval for the Engineering and Consultancy design for access road 1 and 2 to link Asaba in Delta State and Onitsha in Anambra State to link the Second Niger Bridge project which was initiated by the past administration. The consultancy costs are N150, 840 million.
Fashola added: “Subsequent to the award of further works of the Second Niger Bridge, we have started work now by this approval on the design of the link road that will connect the two states to the bridge.
“The design is expected to be completed in six months and we will start procurement and as the bridge advances, we can then connect the two states. The contract sum is N150, 840 million.”
Fashola said council also gave approvals for the extension of the consultancy and project management contract for the Katsina Wind Energy Farm project which was originally awarded in 2010 and should have been completed in 2013.
The Minister of Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Mohammed Bello, said Council approved three key infrastructure projects for the city including N19.473 billion contract for the provision of additional infrastructure in Jahi residential district of Abuja and the construction of 5km road to link Ring Road III to Wasa Junction with Karshi -Ara-Apo Road at the cost of N2.454 billion.
He added: Council gave “approval for the award of contract for Phase II of the Abuja Mass Transit Lot 1B (26.77km) which is from Ring Road I, passing through Area 10 beside Wuse Market, Berger Junction, Jabi Motor Park, through Life Camp to Gwagwa.
“It also approved the remaining part of Lot 1A (5.76km), Rolling stocks, Workshop Equipment and three years Management contract awarded to CCECC to be funded by Chinese EXIM Bank at the cost of $1.79 billion.