The Vice President, Arc. Mohammed Namadi Sambo, has frowned at the poor and slow pace of work on the NIPP projects. Speaking at a special Technical meeting with consultants, contractors and stakeholders on National Integrated Power Project (NIPP) distribution component in State House, Abuja, Vice President Sambo expressed dissatisfaction that the power contracts which were signed in 2007 with the contractual period of one year should have been completed before now.
He re-emphasized the resolve of the administration to provide Nigerians with adequate power supply, noting that “the Federal and State governments have contributed over $10 billion for the project and generating plan is at over eighty per cent completion, which will be handled by new distribution companies owned by Nigerians”. There will be no business as usual, he warned.
Noting that some of the contracts have expired, Arc Sambo directed that Ministries of Power, Solid Minerals and the contractors concerned as well as major suppliers of equipment such as transformers and manufacturers should hold a meeting to review the contract agreements to provide a revised programme of work to reflect the period of completion, design and other associated components of the project within four weeks. He disclosed that he will soon make a detailed presentation of the NIPP project to the National Economic Council and therefore urged that all problems and challenges facing the project be made available for the presentation.
In another development, Arc. Sambo has identified Information Communication Technology as the fulcrum for national development. He disclosed this during a meeting of stakeholders he convened to brainstorm on the effective utilization of ICT as a tool for effective governance.
He said that he views ICT as a tool for attainment of e-government as it has the advantage of reducing duplication of effort and ensures the efficient maximization of time. He stated that “I consider ICT in the same category as power” and agree that political will is required to ensure its full implementation.
He emphasized the need for the development of a master plan with a road map for immediate implementation. He posited that the need for experts and stakeholders to serve in a committee to harmonize the vision 20-2020 to aid its implementation cannot be overemphasized.
Furthermore, the Vice President said that the Federal Government is ready to invest in ICT as lot of funds exist all over the world to be accessed by governments towards such project of urgent national importance. He noted the indiscriminate sighting of masts especially in residential areas which experts say may be hazardous to health.
Accordingly, as part of the need to improve efficiency and timely provision of government service, he set up a committee comprising the Ministry of Science and Technology which is to chair the Committee, others include, Office of the Head of Civil Service of the Federation, Nigeria Communications Commission (NCC) Ministry of Information and Communication, Office of the Vice President, National Bureau of Statistics, Galaxy Backbone, Nigeria Computer Society, Computer Negotiating Council, National Population Commission, NIGCOMSAT, Nigeria Information Technology, Development Agency, (NITDA) Head, e-Government strategies, National Space Research and Development Agency (NASRDA) and Identity Management Commission amongst others.