Search Site: OnlineNigeria

Close






Energy probe: House committee gets another shocker

Posted by By JAMES OJO, Calabar on 2008/04/05 | Views: 449 |

Energy probe: House committee gets another shocker


It was another day of shock for the House of Representatives Committee on Power and Steel, which discovered on Tuesday that a company handling the 561 megawatt station in Calabar was overpaid N224 million by the National Independent Power Project (NIPP) after collecting the actual contract sum of $151million.

• Told contractor overpaid N224m

It was another day of shock for the House of Representatives Committee on Power and Steel, which discovered on Tuesday that a company handling the 561 megawatt station in Calabar was overpaid N224 million by the National Independent Power Project (NIPP) after collecting the actual contract sum of $151million.

The discovery was made just as the Cross River State Governor, Senator Liyel Imoke, called for severe sanction against any company found to have failed to deliver or performed below standard, after being paid.

The construction of the 561-megawatt Calabar power project located along Calabar-Itu Road, in Onim Ankong, was flagged off by former President Olusegun Obasanjo on March 6, 2006 and was to have been completed by November 2007.

Marubeni International, a company that has been involved in the construction of the Kainji dam and other power projects in the country, was awarded the contract, but as at the time of visit by the committee, less than 30 percent of construction work had been done.
Worst still, NIPP, in its record, showed that Marubeni had been paid the actual cost of the project and paid additional N224 million for what could not be ascertained.

Managing Director of Marubeni, Toru Sato, blamed activities of militants for the non-completion of the project, an argument punctured by the Chairman of Ankiong Clan Council, retired Brigadier General Bassey Asuquo.

General Asuquo had to rush to meet the committee, while inspecting turbine equipment said to have been imported by Marubeni at the Calabar sea port, to debunk the contractor’s claim about militants.

Marubeni’s excuse also contradicted the reasons advanced by a sub-contractor, Gritto Construction, that handled the construction of the foundation for the gas turbine.
An engineer with Gritto, Derec Charman, met on the site, said the texture of the soil was the main problem the company faced in moving heavy equipment to site.

Even with inadequate information coming from the main contractor, he said that about 90 percent of construction work had been achieved in the foundation for the turbines, the transformer stations and the switch station.

General Asuquo, however, informed the committee that after the ground breaking by Obasanjo, the communities in the area formed a security committee to ensure a hitch-free operation at the project site.
“The NIPP project is for the enduring goodness of our communities, the state and beyond, hence our constant assurances for the smooth and peaceful completion of the project in our domain,” he said.

At the Ikot Abasi Power Plant, in Akwa Ibom State, awarded for N7 billion, the committee was informed that the non-payment of N18 million, as compensation, to the host communities stalled the project.

Consultant to the project, Ishaq Anjum, said the completion date for the project had elapsed, adding that the contractor was not ready to go outside the contractual agreement on the project.
At the site of the Calabar-Alaoji 330/132 KV transmission line, on the outskirts of Calabar City, the committee learnt that the contract was awarded in 2001 without a site.

Consultant to the project, Abdulraufu Jimoh Olajide, who was met at the site, said MBH was the third company that handled the project, adding that the sum of 8.9 pounds sterling had been expended on procurement and N306 million on on-shore components.

Receiving the committee in his office, Governor Imoke said that visit to power project sites would keep those involved in the scheme on their toes and facilitate early completion of the projects.

He said: “The power projects were designed to alleviate the challenges of constant electricity supply in the country. It is imperative that all these projects are completed.
“The committee will be in the best position to sanction those who have failed to deliver or performed below expectations. They should be queried.”

Imoke said there was enough reason for the challenges he posed to the committee, because his state would benefit more than any other state when the power projects work according to capacity.
The inspection of the power projects in the South South zone continues with visit to Rivers State.

Read Full Story Here.... :
Leave Comment Here :



Add Comment

* Required information
1000
Captcha Image

Comments (1)

Gravatar
New
Fay(Katy, Texas, US)says...

Actually translates to bravehearted.