16 January 2017, Sweetcrude, Abuja – Former President Olusegun Obasanjo has critiqued the power supply situation in the country, more than 15 years since his government invested billions of dollars in establishing independent power plants across the country.
He added that Nigerians are yet to experience the desired change promised by the Federal Government.
Obasanjo stated this at the presentation of award to the former Managing Director of Niger Delta Power Holding Company (NDPHC), Engr. James Olotu, during investiture ceremony of new president of the Nigerian Society of Engineers (NSE), in Abuja.
The new NSE President, Engr. Adekunle Mokuolu, had earlier commended Olotu for his outstanding performance in delivering all the independent power projects and the power injector substations.
He applauded other distinguished Nigerians who have contributed significantly to the power and engineering sector in the country while Obasanjo made the award presentations.
He noted that resurgence of the power sector was one of the key agenda of the present administration during the electoral campaigns, although presently, it still seems to be a key agenda, but it has not yet amounted to increased power supply in the premises of consumers.
The former president went further to ask Mr. Olotu, if the independent power plants in the country have been completed and whether Nigerians now had power in their homes.
Obasanjo said, “If you want to know what I have been asking him, I asked him if all the 10 NIPP have been completed but he said they are 85 per cent completed and the Power Injector Substations have been completed above average.”
“Let’s hope that all the 100 per cent of them will be completed and all of them will be feeding power into our homes. Maybe we will see the change.”
Obasanjo further urged the NDPHC to ensure that Nigerians enjoy value for their money.
He said, “Nigerians are in the best position to assess the power situation and not the figure being released by government officials. Let’s hope that the 100 per cent of the (NIPP projects) will be completed and all of them will be feeding power into our homes. Maybe we will see the change.”
In his remarks, President Muhammadu Buhari, said the NSE has proven to be good partners to developing the nation’s infrastructure and the economy.
He said the role of local engineers is imperative to really achieving the National Economic Recovery Growth Plan, thus reason the Federal Executive Council approved new policy plan to promote local content.
The President, who was represented by the Minister of Science and Technology, Dr. Ogbonnaya Onu said the new policy would be of immense benefit to local engineers.
“Our engineers are well placed to assist in the realisation of our numerous policy initiatives. The recent guideline on design, planning and execution of projects, programmes and contracts that have science, engineering and technological components is particularly instructive.
“These policy guidelines which already have been approved by the federal executive council are equipped with great revolutionary potentials of great benefits to the engineers and other professionals in science and technology,” Buhari said.
Prior to now, the NSE had lamented over the decay in infrastructures across the entire country. This was contained in a publication of the society tagged, ‘The Nigerian Infrastructure Report Card 2017’, presented by the immediate past NSE President, Otis Anyaeji.
The report stated that, “The overall rating of Nigeria’s infrastructure was F1 – Unfit for Purpose. This rating is a further drop by two points from E2 in the previous rating carried out two years ago (2015). This rating generally portrays a perceived decline in the state of Nigeria’s infrastructure.”
The rating of the NSE on the country’s power infrastructure signified a downward trend from its previous E1 rating level (poor state) to F2 (unfit for purpose: infrastructure has failed or is on the verge of failure, exposing the public to health and safety hazards. Immediate attention required).