Nigeria, still smarting from a failed energy policy and implementation procedure during the Chief Olusegun Obasanjo presidency may yet be set for another merry-go-round in the endless search for the appropriate strategy and implementation procedure to increase capacity for electricity power generation under the administration of President Umar Musa Yar’Adua.

A probe panel empanelled by the House of Representatives, had earlier in the year roused extreme sentiments in the Nigerian public place with revelations of billions of dollars parceled out to contractors of the National Independent Power Project without commensurate result arriving from the fund used in mobilising the contractors.

Though the report of the probe panel is yet to be debated in the House, snippets of the reports and presentations during the seating of the panel had indicted a number of contractors that were said to have been mobilized but had refused to proceed on the contract implementation to appreciable level.

The general tone of the power probe and the obvious public odium it generated apparently informed incumbent president of the Federal Republic of Nigeria to insist on an overhaul of the structure and model of the NIPP as envisioned by the erstwhile administration of Obasanjo.

Latest reports from the power sector indicate that appointment of two of the companies alleged to have been indicted in non performance in the controversial NIPP execution of the last regime have been selected by the Yar’Adua’s regime as contractors that would construct power plant projects in Kaduna State.

The House panel had been critical of Rockson Engineering Limited and General Electric, among other companies that received NIPP’s mobilisation funding for several jobs carried out in the Niger Delta area. The Committee said it was worried that NIPP paid Rockson Engineering limited N15, 881,489,984.50k for the Egbema Power project valued at N16, 678,677,726.20k, representing 92 percent while the work done was 19 percent while General Electric was also alleged to have been mobilised $196million without commensurate project advancement.

The panel had concluded that Rockson Engineering should be further investigated, “for incompetence, lack of execution capability and poor performance on Alaoji I, Omoku, Egbema and Gbaran-Ubie power stations and complicity in unreasonably high contract sums claimed for projects.”

Though the two companies had in a press release noted that they had been waiting for Government to strengthen the Imo River Bridge or to arrange for construction of a by-pass (ramp with jetty) for two years. They argued that both the 300 megawatt steam turbines had arrived Onne Port River State and parts already delivered to the Alaoji project site, the two turbine shell which weigh over 200 tonnes each cannot be delivered to site due to the restricted weight limit of the Imo River Bridge.

They also argued that the four (4) General Electric Frame 9E Gas Turbines are also held at Onne Port due to the same reason. They demanded that Government must resolve the issue of crossing the Imo River, which is outside their scope of work, to actualize the Alaoji Power Plant project.

Concerned stakeholders in the Niger Delta however reasoned that GE and Rockson Engineering were not able to deliver on their contract commitment and that it would disastrous to trust the two companies, owned by influential indigenous contractors with another set of contracts in the power sector.

As published on Issue 48 and submitted on http://www.fnc0486.wordpress.com