By NBF News
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Vice President Muhammed Sambo
Federal Government has read the riot act to consultants and contractors handling various power projects under the National Independent Power Project (NIPP). The Federal Government team led by Vice President Muhammed Sambo, warned the contractors, who had collected over 80 per cent of their contract sum since 2006 but were yet to design the sub-stations, to deliver or be replaced with alternative firms.

Sambo, who personally sat through the meeting which lasted till 6 p.m. listening to the problems and constraints from each of the contractors and consultants, according to Daily Sun sources, was shocked to discover that while some had been paid 80 per cent of contract sum, they were yet to be given sites where the sub-stations would be located.

Earlier in an opening remark, the vice president had urged the consultants and contractors to hasten up work as the current administration was in a hurry to deliver adequate power supply to Nigerians in the shortest possible time.

He said the new power plants had reached an advanced stage of over 85 per cent completion and promised to ensure that other aspects like the transmission lines that would evacuate the power for distribution matches the stage the power plants were in right now.

The meeting was meant to look at challenges the contractors were facing that were militating against government's plans to improve power supply in the country.

'I want to personally review each contract, look at issue and progress if there are problems we discuss to solve them and make sure we don't have any obstacle in ensuring that we deliver power to Nigerians. You have a very important responsibility.

'I can say with all confidence that funding is not a problem; the money is there in the account of the company to pay for every work. So, it is our responsibility to manage your contracts and to ensure you deliver these projects on schedule. This is very important to us. We will not accept any company to create any delay. If we found you wanting, creating problems in delivering the project, we assure you we will get an alternative.'

Vice President Sambo maintained that the need for urgent restoration of full power to the nation became necessary because of the haste to catch up with other nations in all sectors of industrial development, besides other important national needs for it

The Federal Government had, in 2009, voted N300 billion for the NIPP which started in 2006 and was earlier scheduled to be completed in 2009.

In the framework of the projects, several power stations would be built. They include; Ihovbor Power Station Benin, Edo State, with capacity of 4 x 125MW, Calabar Power Station, Cross River State, with capacity of 5 x 125MW, Egbema Power Station, Imo State, with capacity of 3 x 125MW, Gbarain Power Station, Yenagoa, Bayelsa State with capacity of 2 x 125MW, and Sapele Power Station, Delta State, with the capacity of 4 x 125MW.

Experts have concluded that power stations in Nigeria need at least one billion standard cubic feet of gas supply per day to be able to deliver the 6000 mega watts targets by December, 2009 but that the major problem facing the sector was gas as it only get about 400 to 500 standard cubic feet of gas per day from the Nigerian Gas Company (NGC) which affects its output distributions and generations.

Government had targeted that to meet the 6,000MW of electricity at the end of this year, but the insufficiency of gas have been blamed for the delay in meeting the target.