From Juliana Taiwo-Obalonye, Abuja
In order to boost electricity supply across the country, the Federal Executive Council (FEC), presided over by President Muhammadu Buhari, has approved multi-billion naira contracts for the power sector.
Minister of Power, Abubakar Aliyu, while briefing State House Correspondents, said all three memos presented by his ministry scaled through, adding that the approvals were for the purchase of major electricity transmission equipment.
He said: “I presented three memos today, the first one was a variation of a subsisting contract for the Katampe to National Stadium, 132 direct circuit line which is about 90 per cent completed. The contractor sought the variation because of some delays on the project. All the necessary due processes have been followed and the variation approved by FEC today is N201, 949, 811.00.”
The Minister further disclosed that the council approved two contracts for the procurement two sets Power transformers and the construction of a transmission line in Kebbi State.
“The second approval was for the design, manufacture and supply of two 60 MVA 132/33 KV power transformers. The cost has two components; the offshore is $1, 294, 447 then the onshore is N16, 485,000.
“The third approval is a contract to also design, construction and installation of a 260-kilometre transmission line from Birnin-Kebbi, through Zuru to Yauri in Kebbi State. Also, the cost has two components; the offshore is $25.8 million and the onshore is N10.2 billion,” he explained.
The Council also approved a contract of N853.25 million to engage consultants that will prepare the concessioning of Ajaokuta Steel Plant and National Iron Ore Complex, Itakpe, in Kogi State to prospective bidders.
Minister of Information, Lai Mohammed, said the approval followed a memo presented during the meeting by Minister of Mines and Steel Devolvement.
Mohammed said that the contract, includes a Value Added Tax of 1.5 percent.
According to him, with the approval of the consultancy contract, “significant steps have been made to bring the plants back to life and fast track Nigeria’s industrial revolution”.
He further explained that when the plants are fully resuscitated, Nigeria will be able to save more money, benefit from technology transfer and many other benefits that steel plants of such magnitude can bring about.
Mohammed recalled that the contract to build Ajaokuta Steel Plant was first awarded in 1979 to a Russian firm, but that contract terminated in 1996; and successive governments had tried to revive it without success.
Mohammed said that with Buhari’s visit to Russia in 2019, an opportunity came to restart the process, but the advent of COVID-19 pandemic slowed down by process.
He said council also approved revised fees payable for mining engineering and geoscientific services, which set benchmarks for professionals in the mining sector to enable them get fair remuneration for their services.
Minister of Science and Technology, Ognonnaya Onu, on his part said FEC approved Nigeria’s Revised Energy Policy (2022).
He explained that the revision if the policy became imperative to enable Nigeria take optimum advantage of all the available sources of energy in the country.
He noted that Nigeria has abundance of crude oil, fossil fuels, and variants of renewal energy (solar, hydro, wind, geothermal and biomass), in commercial quantities, and a good mix of all these will greatly improve energy supply in the country.