How contractor abandoned 330kv transmission line project in Edo — Nigerian Pilot News
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How contractor abandoned 330kv transmission line project in Edo

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In this article Business Editor Onu Okorie, writes that despite efforts by the federal government to fast act provision of power infrastructure some contractors are not working with the pace of the government

Incremental power policy of the federal government promoted by the Minister of Power, Work and Housing Babatunde Fashola is likely to suffer set back going by the attitudes of some contractors handling power projects awarded by the present administration in the sector.

In Edo state, almost two years after government awarded contract for the engineering procurement and construction of the 14 kilometers double circuits’ 330kv transmission line from the Benin North transmission substation to a turn-in-turn-out of one circuit of the existing Benin to Ajaokuta 330kv transmission line at tower 57, nothing feasible has been achieved by the contractor in a project expected to be completed in seven months despite the fact that the federal government has paid him mobilization fee.

The contract in South-South geopolitical zone which has seven months duration was awarded in October 2017, at the cost of N796, 657, 154 to Messrs Energo Nig Ltd.

In a bid to fast track reforms in power sector, government privatized two out of the three arms of the power value chains, comprising; Distribution, Generations while Transmission, was retained as government entity.

Expectation was high for steady power supply to Nigerian homes after the exercise. But contrary to that power supply remained epileptic until the present administration took over and declared incremental power policy.

Part of reasons for continued epileptic electricity supply at the initial stage was lack of facilities for evacuation of energy from generation stations to distribution companies for onwards supply to various consumers.

Perhaps that informed the reason why after declaring incremental power policy; the government went ahead to initiate projects that were intended to spur seamless evacuation of energy through transmission lines across the six geo political zones.

There is no doubt that Fashola has passion to reposition power sector following series of projects initiated by the government under his supervision. In fact stakeholders have acknowledged that he has done a lot to ensure that Nigerians enjoy uninterrupted light.

Some of the projects include; two high-end transmission infrastructure – a 40 mega volts amp MVA 132/33 kV mobile substation in Zaria, and 60MVA 132/33 kV transformer in Funtua built by the TCN commissioned by the Minister Mr. Fashola. Etc, to mention but a few.

It would be recalled that the Minister assured that government is now more positioned to deliver on its promise of stabilizing electricity supply in the country as it scheduled to complete ninety projects in the power transmission subsector.

Fashola who spoke when he commissioned the Odogunyan 2×60MVA, 132/33KV transmission substation in Ikorodu area of Lagos state said the projects would be facilitated with the release of 502 containers of equipment which had been detained at the Lagos seaports in the last ten years following inability of last administrations to settle port charges, and agency fees.

“The effort would guarantee the expansion of transmission infrastructures as the government has significantly improved on power generation through its incremental power policy” Fashola said.

“When I took over as Minister of Power we were merely doing about 5,000 megawatts but as at today, we are doing over 7,000 megawatts so this is about 2,000 added megawatts.

“Already, the Transmission Company of Nigeria has continued to improve on its network and like I said new 90 projects will be executed before the end of the year.”

While many of the projects Fashola initiated have delivered results that helped to improve power in the country, the case of the contract awarded to the Energo Nig Ltd, in Edo has become a different story given the delay in project execution by the contractor.

A visit to the project site has proved that the contractor is either not working in tandem with the space of the Minister or at best they are not aware of what government wants.

There are no indications that the Contractor Messrs Energo Nig Ltd has plans to commence work in the near future at the site.

However, the only concrete evidence that such project exists are two office attendants that spoke to the monitoring team from federal Ministry of Power, that visited the project site from Cargo container improvised as office.

One of the office attendants who declined to provide name said that the boss comes around once in a while and they are not aware when work will commence.

When contacted the Managing Director of the Messrs Energo Nig Ltd, Mr Goran Zivanovic said that his challenge is the fight between the company and the host communities of the project site because of the Right of Ways.

According to him, the Communities insisted that unless compensation for the Right of Ways is paid to them, they would not allow any work to start there.

According to him, “the Contract was awarded to Messrs Energo Nig Ltd in October 2017 for the urgent execution because we have ongoing 330KV transmission line project Omotisho Erukan”

“Naira advance was paid 15% in February 2018 and we completed mobilization, design, soil test, ready for bush clearing and foundation. Unfortunately, we have never commenced due to compensation issue.”

He also stated that USD portion of 2 million was funded through LC and fully utilized for procurement and that Conductors and accessories off loaded and stored at Energo yard at Ijebu Ode and Omotosho project

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