The Senate during their Tuesday session urged President Buhari to appoint a separate minister for power as they feel the portfolio is too much for the current minister, Raji Fashola.
Recall that Fashola is also the minister for works and housing.
The Senate believes that the Power sector needs a separate minister to tackle the issues in the sector and bring it to the level it needs to be.
The Senate’s request for a separation of the portfolios came after a motion sponsored by Senator Mustapha Bukar (Katsina APC) on the need to establish and delegate Special Purpose Vehicles (SPV) to execute and operate major development projects in the sector was moved.
Bukar said; “The Federal Ministry of Power, as currently constituted, does not have the required professional competence and resources to effectively execute these projects, hence they resort to engaging contractors and consultants for every project development activity,”
Bukar also stated that there is growing concern that the engagement of a lot of consultants brings with it a huge problem; a lack of ownership and knowledge transfer upon completion and commissioning of the projects a problem the senator alleges is prevalent at the 215 MW Kaduna Power plant under construction by the Ministry.
“Also worried that the implementation of large-scale projects is always fraught with the risk of cost and schedule overrun, with attendant consequences on overall contract sum.
“Notes that turnkey Engineering, Procurement & Construction (EPC) projects have FIDIC Conditions of Contract being applicable with strict provisions for liquidated damages, such as fixed contract sum and set delivery period. Unfortunately, these conditions of contract cannot be met under the setting of a ministry.
“Further note that necessary project management controls needed for effective delivery are not enforceable on the Federal Ministry of Power; these are: Cost Control, Schedule Control, Quality Assurance (Q-plan, Q-criteria, etc.), Procurement Control (personnel, inspection and expedition), Design Control (Design compliance and value engineering), Change Order Control (Management of scope variations) and Document Control (Review & timely approval of designs),” Bukar added.