Power Plant Contractors Rush Back To Site,After Buhari's Election

Contractors for some power projects covering the first and second phases of the National Integrated Power Plant (NIPP) programme and the distribution projects that have abandoned their projects nationwide have returned to sites following the reform postures of the President-elect, Major General Muhammadu Buhari, New it was as learnt. The outgoing Jonathan administration has been battling to get the contractors to fulfill their obligations to no avail.
The Niger Delta Power Holding Company (NDPHC) has issued several threats of blacklisting the contractors, but this did little to persuade them to go back to sites. Vice-President Namadi Sambo, who is the chairman of NDPHC and the Managing Director of NDPHC, Mr. James Olotu had, on several occasions, threatened to withdraw the contracts and compel the contractors to refund the mobilisation fees they collected. “These threats have been futile based on the enormous power that some of these contractors wield in the corridor of power – especially in the ruling party – the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP),” a source at the presidency, who is close to some of the deals, said at the weekend.
For instance, Sambo at a meeting with stakeholders and contractors handling Federal Government power transmission projects last year, expressed government’s dissatisfaction with the inability of contractors to connect and energise completed 33KVA feeders to inject substations of Enugu, Jos and Port Harcourt DISCOS. “Any contractor who fails to deliver the project at the end of two months will have their names blacklisted from holding any contract in Nigeria any longer.
And this information will be sent to the Bureau of Public Procurement in order to have them in their data bank so that any time they see those names as potential contractor in the future, they will not be considered”, Sambo, represented by the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Power, Dr. Godknows Igali, had said. Olotu also stated that the NDPHC was carrying out through the NIPP, about 297 distribution projects nationwide and only 57 had been completed while the rest, about 60 per cent, are at various stages of completion. He said the government was ready to punish the contractors at the end of the 60 days if they failed to deliver on the projects.
“By June, 2014, all the projects must be delivered. I use this medium to appeal to all distribution companies in Nigeria to ensure that they deliver these projects immediately,” he had said. But the source at the presidency said the contractors, who appeared not to have taken the warnings serious, are now returning to sites having heard some of the comments made on the power sector by the President-elect. He said: “To the surprise of many of us, some of these contractors who had for about two years abandoned their projects are returning to site.
“You can see a palpable fear of the President-elect gripping everybody – both the contractors and those who awarded the contracts to them. We are all avoiding a situation where anyone will be found wanting after a possible probe.” While the Federal Government approved the second phase of the NIPP, which included the development of more hydro power stations and increase in the electricity transmission grid, the source said some contracts awarded during the first phase were yet to be delivered. “Even some contractors whose projects were delayed based on non-release of funds are also mobilising resources to make their presence felt on site,” the source added.
Meanwhile, a document of the NDPHC seen at the weekend listed the challenges on power supply to include non-availability of 33 KVA bays at the 132/33KV substations, inadequate transmission capacity at the TCN substations of Abuja, Ikeja and Port Harcourt DISCOS. Others are insecurity in the North-East, connection of weak existing 33 KV source to new completed injection substations at Kaduna and Ibadan and refusal of new DISCOS owners to connect completed project in Jos and Port Harcourt.
Besides, it noted that the harvest of project delivery started briefly in 2012 with Olorunsogo Power Plant built by Serco III and Transmission Projects of the likes of Katampe (Abuja), Mando (Kaduna), CBD Abuja and Kumbutso (Kano) Sub stations of Chanel/AK-AY blazing. The trail, according to the document, continued in 2013 with numerous others such as Enter built by GE, Omotosho (CMEC), Geregu (Siemens), Ogorode (Marubeni), Ihovbor (Marubeni), Alaoji (RE) for power plant delivery in full or significant part.


Chris Kehinde Nwandu is the Editor In Chief of CKNNEWS || He is a Law graduate and an Alumnus of Lagos State University, Lead City University Ibadan and Nigerian Institute Of Journalism || With over 2 decades practice in Journalism, PR and Advertising, he is a member of several Professional bodies within and outside Nigeria || Member: Institute Of Chartered Arbitrators ( UK ) || Member : Institute of Chartered Mediators And Conciliation || Member : Nigerian Institute Of Public Relations || Member : Advertising Practitioners Council of Nigeria || Fellow : Institute of Personality Development And Customer Relationship Management || Member and Chairman Board Of Trustees: Guild Of Professional Bloggers of Nigeria

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