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Slow going at Nigeria’s US$1.5 billion Ede Power Substation project

The 2X60 MVA Ede Power Substation  construction project in Nigeria has not progressed as expected.  Fiscal Responsibility Commission (FRC) recently, expressed their dissatisfaction with the level of work so far done at the US$1.5 billion project. Head of Accounts and South-West Team Leader Monitoring and Evaluation, FRC,Sule Unekwu, expressed the dissatisfaction after the team’s verification of the Federal Government’s project in Ede.

Also read: Nigeria power sector reports 2,000MW of idle electricity

Who is responsible

The Ede Power Substation project, which is critical to the Federal Government, was awarded to the Cobra Venture Infrastructure and SIBGA JV Limited in March 2011 costing the government a total of $1.5 billion. The contractor began on-site in 2014 while the project had been financed with about 50 per cent of the budgeted estimate, but only 28 per cent of the work has been met so far.

The commission is evaluating ongoing government projects to ensure that contractors maintained international standards and value for the money spent. The leader of the FRC team gave a statement saying that the commission would report its findings to the appropriate quarters. “The project is critical to the Federal Government but we have discovered that it had not been supervised dutifully as we had expected.”

Mr Unekwu, quite clearly, emphasized that whenever projects were awarded, the authorities in charge of supervision must ensure that such projects were duly supervised and completed as specified and scheduled. The firm representative, Fidel Obi, did say that the slow pace of work was as a result of the funds released to the company. In his claim, more equipment for the project are still being expected from Lagos to procure its completion. He, however, appealed to the authority that the remaining contract sum be released so that the project can be completed. “We are lacking funds, but I can assure you that once the remaining balance has been released to us, the work will be completed within six months.”

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