MDAs get N20bn for electricity, local contractors

• FG earmarks N16.7bn as refund for Yola Disco

Okechukwu Nnodim, Abuja

The Federal Government plans to settle the electricity bills of its ministries, departments and agencies with N5bn and offset the debts of local contractors with N15bn in 2021.

It also plans to settle ex-workers of the defunct Nigeria Airways with N5.75bn next year.

These were contained under the served wide vote section of the 2021 Appropriation Bill that was submitted to the National Assembly by the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), last week.

The government also earmarked N25bn for special intervention under the service wide vote section of the bill, while refund for the acquisition of Yola Electricity Distribution Company got N16.7bn.

In August, indigenous contractors had staged a protest at the headquarters of the Federal Ministry of Finance, Budget and National Planning to kick against the non-payment of their N18bn contract sum by the ministry.

The Publicity Secretary, Local Contractors of Nigeria, Dandy Rowland, told journalists that the affected firms executed contracts for various ministries, departments and agencies, but their pay had been delayed by the finance ministry.

“They once told us that N18bn had been released to pay us and they announced to the world on July 8, 2020, that the finance ministry would pay local contractors between seven to 14 days from the date of the announcement but nothing has been done,” Rowland said.

But the Special Adviser on Media and Communications to the Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Yunusa Abdullahi, had told our correspondent that the verification of the claims was ongoing.

He said, “The ministry eventually met with them and explained to them that the verification process takes time. There are a lot of documents that we have to verify in order to know those who really did one or

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Remodeling – Avoid Home Improvement Disasters Involving Gas and Electricity

Opportunity and danger are two sides of the same coin. Home improvement projects offer the opportunity to enjoy your home and to increase its value. Such projects; however, present the danger of personal injury, property damage, and unexpected expense if the work contains construction defects. Here are some steps you should take to maximize the opportunity and minimize the danger of home improvement projects. This article addresses common construction defects in exterior projects involving gas pipes and electrical wires. Related articles cover other construction defects.

1. Do your homework. People research many major purchases; but they spend thousands of dollars on home improvements with little or no research about avoiding construction defects or about hiring a qualified and reliable contractor. Information that can help homeowners is available from many sources. Books explain basic construction and building code concepts in plain language. Manufacturer’s installation instructions for many products are available on the internet. This does not mean that you need to become a construction expert before you embark on a home improvement project. You can and should; however, become educated so that you can recognize common construction defects. Being able to recognize construction defects puts the contractor on notice that you are an informed consumer.

2. Use only licensed and experienced contractors. Verify the status of the contractor’s license and whether any complaints have been filed against the contractor. Complaints against a contractor are not always a deal killer, but they are a red flag that requires more investigation. Obtain references from the contractor and contact them. Use at least one reference from a project completed over one year ago to help you determine the contractor’s response to warranty issues.

3. Obtain a building permit, if required. A building permit is usually required if new electrical circuits, water pipes, or gas …

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