Nigeria’s infrastructural development laws outdated – Experts

Experts have faulted the legal framework guiding infrastructure development in the country.

Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola
Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola

Speaking at the closing of a two-day colloquium organised by the Centre for Ethics and Sustainable Development held at the University of Lagos on Friday, they argued that for Public-Private Partnership to work for infrastructure delivery in Nigeria, there must be an urgent review of the existing legal framework.

The theme of the forum was: ‘Reshaping the Infrastructure Delivery Landscape for Sustainable Development in Nigeria’.

The experts added that there was a need to address adaptive and social challenges, effective communication and stakeholder management as well as gender and social inclusion to enhance PPP in the country.

Lagos-based legal practitioner, Mr. Babatunde Ogala, who argued that most of the country’s existing infrastructural development laws were outdated, said legislative decisions that prevent development and implementation of policies should be amended in order to achieve a sustainable legal framework for infrastructure delivery in the country.

According to him, security, law and order are key items that ensure good delivery of infrastructural projects, adding that a holistic approach to reshaping infrastructure delivery was essential.

FG begins new housing programme with N35bn

In its bid to remove obstacles to the supply of affordable housing units across the country, the Federal Government has commenced the pilot phase of the National Housing Programme with the sum of N35bn.

Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola
Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola

According to the Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola, the NHP would bridge the huge housing gap in the country, create thousands of jobs, as well as ensure sustainable and affordable homes for the beneficiaries.

Fashola disclosed this at the 3rd United Nations Conference on Housing and Sustainable Urban Development (Habitat III) in Quito, Ecuador. His speech at the ongoing event was made available to our correspondent in Abuja on Wednesday.

He said, “In order to remove the inhibitions and obstacles to the supply of affordable housing units, and to bridge the huge housing gap, we have recently embarked on developing a sustainable National Housing Programme that will form the bedrock for aggressively reducing the housing deficit in Nigeria.

“Its critical features are responsiveness to the needs of the end users based on surveys, affordability analysis and income differences; responsiveness to cultural and climatic diversity; responsiveness to local economic needs; and focus on the SMEs and cottage industries as drivers of building inputs like doors, windows, plumbing and electrical fittings; and piloting and validating the concept by starting small with N35bn ($115m) to prove it.”

Fashola told the gathering that the Federal Government’s priority interventions had included, among others, increased investments in affordable housing, modern road infrastructure, highways, bridges and efficient transport networks.

Power sector losses reduce as generation picks up

The daily losses being recorded by operators in the power sector have reduced as electricity generation picks up gradually across the country.

Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola
Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola

An analysis of the power industry statistics obtained by our correspondent in Abuja on Sunday showed that the average daily loss of about N2bn recorded by the sector towards the end of the second quarter had reduced to an average of N1.655bn

Similarly, power generation, which hovered around 2,500 to 3,000 megawatts in the second quarter, is now above 4,000MW.

For instance, data from the System Operator put the power generation figures for September 28 and October 2, 2016 at 4,244.2MW and 4,229MW, respectively, in contrast to the 2,798.5MW and 2,524.2MW generated across the country on June 14 and June 29, respectively.

A further analysis showed that the increase in power generation was largely from hydro power plants, as the turbines had recorded a zero water management constraint for several weeks.

Nigeria’s hydro power plants include the Kainji Power Station, with capacity for  800MW; Jebba Power Station, 540MW; and Shiroro Power Station, 600MW.

According to industry statistics, gas-fired power plants are still being affected negatively by the militancy in the Niger Delta and the resultant destruction of pipelines that supply gas needed to run the power turbines.

For instance, Nigeria lost 2,764MW of electricity on September 28, 2016 as a result of gas constraint to the thermal power generation plants, while the average power sent out on that day was put 3,579MW.

Similarly, the reported line constraint was 408.1MW, while high frequency constraint was 274.9MW, with N1.655bn lost on that day due to the constraints.

Officials of the Federal Ministry of Power, Works and Housing told our correspondent that the activities of militants in the Niger Delta had continued to impact negatively on the performance of the thermal plants as the facilities hardly got enough gas to meet their daily power generation demands.

Similarly, the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation stated that the activities of militants in the region were not only affecting gas supply adversely, but reducing the country’s crude production.

The corporation, in a recent report, stated that while crude oil production in May plummeted to 1.69 million barrels per day following uptick in pipeline vandalism in the volatile Niger Delta region, the destruction of a major pipeline in the region led to the loss of 1,500MW of electricity.