FACTSHEET: What the Federal Government is doing in South East Nigeria #GovtAtWorkSE
1. 600 km of roads under construction across the 5 states of the region, as at May 2017 (See details in Item 10, the article by presidential spokesperson, Mallam Garba Shehu)
2. Allocation of 16.67 billion Naira from the Federal Government’s October 2017 SUKUK Bond, to four critical road projects in the region:
a) Rehabilitation of Onitsha-Enugu Expressway
b) Rehabilitation of Sections 1, 2 and 3 of the Enugu-Port Harcourt Road.
3. Commencement, in October 2017, of payment of pensions to police officers who were granted Presidential pardon in 2000 after serving in the former Biafran Police during the Nigerian Civil War. These officers, and their next of kin, have waited for their pensions for 17 years since the Presidential pardon.
4. Presidential Fertilizer Initiative (PFI): Ebonyi was among the first few State Government’s to sign up to this Programme. The result is the revitalization of a moribund Fertilizer Blending Plant in Abakaliki, which now supplies NPK Fertilizer to farmers in the State and beyond. For more on the PFI, visit bit.ly/PFING
5. The 2018 budget proposal has allocated up to N10 billion for the development of the Enyimba Industrial Park and Nnewi Auto Park, as part of the Federal Government’s Special Economic Zones (SEZ) Initiative. Both projects will be implemented in collaboration with the respective state Governments, and the private sector.
6. Commissioning/Switching-on, on Monday , 21st November, 2016, of the Ikot-Ekpene-Alaoji-Ugwuaji Switching Station and Transmission Line, comprising a total of 287 kilometers of double circuit Transmission lines ( Ikot Ekpene — Calabar; Ikot-Ekpene — Alaoji, and Ikot-Ekpene — Ugwuaji)
The new infrastructure will increase transmission grid capacity all the way to Enugu, and provide transmission capacity for power plants along the lines. The project had been stalled for about two years prior to that, due to community and court issues.
One of the community issues arose in a community in Oronta in Abia State, which went to court to stop work on the section that passed through their territory. The Government in power at the time decided to engage the community in a court battle, which resulted in two years of delay. Upon assuming office, the Buhari Government changed the approach, choosing instead to focus on engage with the community’s leaders, to resolve the situation. The Government then engaged the services of a consultant, Amanze Uchegbulam, who helped bring the Eze of Oronta and other leaders to the negotiating table. Negotiations were successfully concluded with the signing of terms of settlement, which included taking the case out of court. Engineers were able to return to site, and the project was completed and commissioned in November 2016.
7. Release of funds and resumption of work on the Second Niger Bridge project.
8. Presidential Approval for commencement of Coastal Railway Project.
The Coastal Rail will pass through the Southeast (connections to Aba and Onitsha), and inclusion of Counterpart funding for the project in the 2017 and 2018 Budgets.
9. The Ariaria Market Power Project — in progress.
The Federal Government Nigeria (FGN) is working to ensure that the Ariaria International Market in Aba, Abia State, enjoys round-the-clock electricity. To that end, the Rural Electrification Agency (REA) has visited the Market to carry out a baseline study and survey, as well as an Energy Audit, to collect the data necessary to determine the feasibility of this project.
The Ariaria International Market is one of the most important markets in Nigeria. But its occupants are held back by a dysfunctional electricity situation. Consequently, a large number of shops across the market are
powered by generators.
The primary uses of electricity in the market are lighting and cooling. With adequate power supply traders will be able to enjoy reduced operating costs (with attendant impact on profits), and will be able to sell perishable goods.
For the Enrgy Audit, a total of 31,993 unique shops were identified in the market. Data was obtained from 26,750 of those shops. 8,150 shops of the 26,750 shops (i.e. 30.4%) surveyed are currently using electricity; the remaining 70% are not using any power at all. The power requirements of the that 30% of the market currently using electricity were shown to be 2.06MW; 46.6% of that is required for lighting and another 41.7% for cooling. The energy audit determined that in order to power the entire market area, i.e. both the shops currently using electricity and the ones not using electricity, a plant size of about 6.6MW would be required.
Based on this, the REA’s proposal is to install, in a first-phase intervention, a 5MW Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) Power Plant to meet the market’s current and forecast demand.
10. Read Article on President Muhammadu Buhari’s ‘Silent Support for the South East, by Mallam Garba Shehu, Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, here.
11. Read the State House Press Release following a visit by southeast Leaders and Stakeholders to President Buhari at the State House on October 13, 2017 —
President Muhammadu Buhari on Friday assured stakeholders from the South East that the region will benefit more from roads and coastal rail projects, which are of critical importance to the economy.
Speaking at an audience with leaders from the region led by the Deputy Senate President Ike Ekweremadu, the President declared that 2nd Niger Bridge, the East-West Road and the Coastal rail project, are receiving utmost attention from his administration.
The President said counterpart funding from the Chinese government would substantially fund these projects, which when completed will improve the welfare, well-being and economy of the people in the region.
“I know the Chinese are very competent in handling such projects and we will ensure that we get the money for the projects to take off.
“I thank you for articulating your demands and I want to assure that we are doing our best for the country. If we can stop people from stealing, then there will be more resources to put into projects that will create employment for Nigerians,’’ the President said.
Responding to allegations of under-representation of Igbos in his government, the President said: “I gave south-east four substantive ministers in the ministries of Foreign Affairs, Trade and Investment, Science and Technology and Labour.
“Seven states in the North got Ministers of State and of the two Ministries headed by your sons, I cannot take any decision on foreign policy and investments without their input,’’ he said.
The President also promised the leaders, comprising governors and ministers from the region, the President of Ohaneze, Chief Nnia Nwodo and representatives from the National Assembly, that he will visit states in the zone soon.
“I want to assure you that I came into government with a clear conscience and I will also leave with a clear conscience,’’ he said.
Earlier, the President of Ohaneze, while articulating the demands of the zone to the President highlighted the issue of state creation, restructuring, federal projects in the South East namely Enugu-Onitsha road, Enugu-Port Harcourt road and Aba-Ikot-Ekpene road, among others.
Nwodo also demanded urgent presidential interventions on the Enugu Airport, reticulation of the gas-pipelines in the South East and the standard gauge plan for railway construction.
Commending the President’s remarkable achievements on security and the fight against corruption, Nwodo declared: “we are ready to work with you. We are determined to work with you. We know you are a decisive leader and we know God will continue to give you the wisdom to govern Nigeria.’’
Also speaking, Governor Dave Umahi of Ebonyi State expressed satisfaction on the outcome of their discussions with the President on critical issues and topics affecting the region.
“You have no hatred for any state. You have treated all states with equality. What one state gets in the north, the other gets in the south,’’ the governor said, referring to budget support facility and stabilisation fund released to states and local governments since the inception of the administration.
Special Adviser to the President (Media & Publicity)
October 13, 2017