Chineme Okafor in Abuja
The Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Mr. Babatunde Fashola and contractors handling the various electricity projects undertaken by the Niger Delta Power Holding Company Plc (NDPHC) and the Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN) have agreed to review the status of their projects.
Fashola and the contractors have also made commitments to secure the release of power project materials and equipment that are held in Nigeria’s seaports, which NDPHC claimed, contributed to delay in completion of projects by the contractors.
A statement from the ministry of power in Abuja explained that a meeting where these agreements were reached was convened by the minister.
The meeting according to the ministry was aimed at helping power project contractors overcome the challenges that had stopped them from completing projects awarded to them by the NDPHC and TCN.
The statement was signed by the Assistant Director of Press in the ministry, Mr. Haruna Ibrahim.
Fashola was quoted in the statement as appealing to the contractors to go back to their sites and ensure speedy completion of the projects, promising that their complaints would be resolved within a reasonable time frame.
He further disclosed that the purpose of the meeting was to share the concerns of the contractors and ensure that those who abandoned their projects are immediately mobilised to resume work on their projects.
According to the statement, Fashola was briefed on the status and challenges of projects undertaken for the NDPHC, including issues relating to the evacuation of power from the eastern axis.
Such issues according to the statement had to do with the Alaoji- Ikot Ekpene 300kVA double circuit line and the switching station located at Ikot Ekpene in Akwa Ibom. Both transmission projects are owned by the NDPHC.
On the agreements that were reached at the meeting, the statement said contractors were to submit to the minister, a list of projects that have achieved up to 70 per cent completion but for which provisions were not made in the 2016 budget approved for TCN; a list of contractors who have assured on the completion of their projects before the end of 2016 and relevant information about their projects; and a list of contractors who have completed and handed over projects and details of such projects but are yet to be paid.
Also, contractors that have their equipment stuck at the ports and which have attracted accumulated port charges would have the government intervene to get them released.
However, the responsibility of moving out the cargoes from the ports would be borne by owners.
Fashola equally called on them to begin to look in-ward and make the most of locally manufactured equipment like transmission towers; clamps and cables in completion of their projects to save them the troubles of looking for foreign exchange for importation.