Auctioned power projects’ equipment recovered, says Chris Ngige

SENATOR Chris Ngige has revealed that 17 of the 22 containers of the Power Holding Company Plc (PHCN) which were wrongly auctioned at the ports as overstayed goods have been recovered.

The lawmakers said efforts had been intensified to recover the remaining five containers.

Ngige also said steel rolling mills in Ajaokuta, Itakpe and Jos would soon bounce back to life as the National Assembly had taken steps to put them on stream.

Ngige, who is the deputy chairman of the Senate Committee on Power, told journalists in Awka that with more 80 per cent of the work completed and above N8 billion sunk into the steel companies, the Senate is determined to bring the plants back to life. He also stated that the Senate wants to assess and grade all the nation’s metallurgical institutes.

He also used the forum to give account of his stewardship in the Upper House. Ngige said enormous funds were spent on the abandoned and near moribund steel companies by the administration of former President Shehu Shagari.

According to him, the National Metallurgical Institute in Onitsha with capacity to train 150 persons yearly had been granted accreditation by the National Board for Technical Education (NBTE) for the award of diploma certificates.

On the electricity crisis in the country, Ngige said his committee discovered that the Kainji power station had been operating below installed capacity. The two of its turbines, he said, are docile and idle, stressing that, “what we have all over the country are dilapidated structures that cannot stand today’s energy needs and pressure. Since the establishment of the Egbin thermal station, no new power generating station has been built in the country.”

To compound the situation, Ngige said 80 per cent of the maintenance and refurbishment contracts had not been done, while terms of the contracts were clearly and inexplicably skewed in favour of the contractors.

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