For the Record
Ifeoluwa Oyedele is a rising bastion of hope for the All Progressives Congress as a technocrat in government. He is the Executive Director, Engineering and Technical Services, Niger-Delta Power Holding Company, FCT Abuja. Said to be totally detribalized, power industry contractors also describe him as a stickler for merit and not for bribe.
On Thursday June 29, he delivered a lecture on “Engineering Infrastructure Development – A Panacea for Industrial Revolution in a Change Environment” as guest speaker of the Nigerian Society of Engineers at the second of its Distinguished Lecture Series held in Akure, Ondo State.[fusion_builder_container hundred_percent=”yes” overflow=”visible”][fusion_builder_row][fusion_builder_column type=”1_1″ background_position=”left top” background_color=”” border_size=”” border_color=”” border_style=”solid” spacing=”yes” background_image=”” background_repeat=”no-repeat” padding=”” margin_top=”0px” margin_bottom=”0px” class=”” id=”” animation_type=”” animation_speed=”0.3″ animation_direction=”left” hide_on_mobile=”no” center_content=”no” min_height=”none”]
The History of Electricity Power Generation in Nigeria
There is no unanimity on the exact year Electricity generation began in Nigeria but it is agreed that the history of electricity development can be traced back to the end of the 19th Century. Some account state that it began in 1896 while others choose the year 1898. I choose to believe the account that electricity generation started in Nigeria1898 only 15 years after its introduction in England. I obtained the information that the first electricity utility company known as Nigerian Electricity Supply Company was established in 1929 from the account of Cladius A. Awosope, Professor of Electrical and Electronics Engineering. I will quote him extensively in this part of my lecture. I chose to believe his account because he was my lecturer in the University of Lagos in the 70’s. In a paper titled “Nigerian Electricity Industry: Issues, Challenges and Solutions” which he delivered at Covenant University in 2014 we were informed that the first generation plant was installed in Marina, Lagos in 1898 with a total capacity of 60kW. But that account also provided the information that following the 1914 amalgamation of the Northern and Southern Protectorates to form modern Nigeria in 1914, other towns in the country began to develop electric power supply system as Native Authorities on individual scale in the following order:
Port-Harcourt – 1928
Kaduna – 1929
Enugu – 1933
Maiduguri – 1934
Yola – 1937
Zaria – 1938
Warri – 1939
Calabar – 1939
Still quoting Prof. Cladius Awosope, it was not until 1946 that the Nigerian Government Electricity Undertaking (NGEU), was established as an arm of the Public Works Department to take over the assets and liabilities of electricity supply in Lagos. The Public Works Department in that year ceased to have control over the assets and the operation of the electricity generating plants and distribution system in the country
Four years later, in 1950, a central body—The Electricity Corporation of Nigeria (ECN) was established to take over all the various electricity supply outlets within the country.
Meanwhile the Native Authorities (NA’s) continued to manage their respective systems while the Niger Dams Authority (NDA) was inaugurated for the benefit of generating electricity through Hydro systems. As a result of this the Electricity Corporation of Nigeria was established under the Ordinance Act No. 15 of 1950 by the then Colonial Government.
A year later, that is in April 1951 the then ECN officially took over all electricity supply activities in Nigeria by integrating all the Government owned as well as Native Authority owned generating plants and systems. This according to Prof Awosope creditably improved electric power supply in the country through grid connection of generation, transmission and distribution of electricity.
It is significant to note that as a result of consolidating all electricity supply activities in ECN the sale of electrical energy was done in such a way that the return on its investment had a common purse later referred to as the Vertical Integrated Utility (VIU).
With increase in demand, some projects were carried out in Ijora, Oji River, Kano and Ibadan Power Stations to improve availability and quality of power delivery. Prof. Awosope did not reveal the nature of such generations whether the generators were coal or gas fired but he recorded that Ijora Power Station was established in February 1965 to serve satellite towns like Ikorodu, Shagamu, Ijebu-Ode and others in the Ibadan-Ijebu Provinces. He submitted and we cannot argue that this singular act was responsible for the socio-economic transformation of these Western States ahead of other parts of the country.
It appears as if following the independence of Nigeria on 1st of October 1960, the new nation swiftly swung into action. By 1962 the Niger Dams Authority (NDA) was birthed by an Act of Parliament. NDA was responsible for dam construction and this led to the construction of the Kainji Dam from 1962 to 1968 when it was commissioned. Soon after with collaboration between ECN and NDA the vast nature of the grid power transmission system began in 1966. Thus Lagos was linked with Kainji while Kainji was linked with Kaduna which was later extended to Zaria and Kano. In Southern Nigeria the Oshogbo-Benin-Ughelli and Benin-Onitsha-Afam (Alaoji) links were constructed. Professor Awosope submits in his paper that the great size of the country has not prevented the national grid from linking the 36 States Capitals and the Federal Capital Territory.
The National Electric Power Authority Era:
The merger of ECN and NDA which began on 1st April 1972 crystallized into the National Electric Power Authority (NEPA) on the 6th day of January, 1973 with the appointment of its first Manager.
While the network continued to grow under NEPA, the Federal Government began to strategize on how to fashion out models for a restructured power sector either into an independent unit or towards privatization. Within 1978 and 1983, two panels of enquiry were set up to examine the possibility. This may not be unconnected with the inability of NEPA to cope with the rapidly expanding energy needs of the nation. Subsequently electrification boards were established at all levels of Government to take power supply to the new cities and the rural areas.
The Emergence of Power Holding Company of Nigeria PLC
With the advent of the democratic dispensation between 1999 and 2005 an act was enacted establishing Power Holding Company of Nigeria (PHCN) which was to be the Initial Holding Company (IHC) for the privatization meant to transfer the assets and liabilities of NEPA to PHCN. The new holding Company was officially commissioned on the 5th of May 2005.
Determined to fast-track the upgrading the available electricity capacity in the country, the National Integrated Power Project (NIPP) was inaugurated in December 2004. This was basically supposed to be a private initiative devoid of the usual bureaucracy associated with government business. NIPP is currently being supervised and managed by the Niger Delta Power Holding Company Limited.
Advent of Electricity Power Reform
The reform of the electricity sector began in the year 2001 with the promulgation of the National Electric Power policy whose goal is the establishment of an efficient electricity market. This was to mark the beginning of the move to transfer the ownership and management of infrastructure and assets of the electricity industry to the private sector with the consequent creation of all the necessary structures required to forming and sustaining and electricity market in Nigeria.
Following this in 2005 the Electric Power Sector Reform (EPSR) Act was enacted and the National Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) was established as an independent regulatory body for the electricity supply industry in Nigeria
Thus the process for the unbundling of PHCN which was formed as a transitional Corporation began. PHCN was subsequently unbundled into eighteen (18) Companies comprising of six (6) generating companies, (1) One transmission Company and 11 (eleven) Distribution Companies.
The Six (6) Generating Companies (GENCO’s) are:
- Egbin Electricity Generating Company (EEGC)
- Sapele Electricity Generating Company
- Ughelli Electricity Generating Company
- Afam Electricity Generating Company
- Shiroro Electricity Generating Company
- Kainji Electricity Generating Company
The Eleven(11) Distribution Companies (DISCO’s) are:
- Abuja Electricity Distribution Company (AEDC)
- Benin Electricity Distribution Company (BEDC)
- Eko Electricity Distribution Company (Eko Disco)
- Enugu Electricity Distribution Company (Enugu Disco)
- Ibadan Electricity Distribution Company (IEDC)
- Ikeja Electricity Distribution Company (Ikeja Disco)
- Jos Electricity Distribution Company (JEDC)
- Kaduna Electricity Distribution Company (Kaduna Disco)
- Kano Electricity Distribution Company (Kano Disco)
- Port-Harcourt Electricity Distribution Company(PHEDC)
- Yola Electricity Distribution Company (YEDC)
While the Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN) -TRANSYCO is fully owned by the Federal Government it sold eighty percent (80%) of the equity in the Generating Companies (GENCO) to private investors and retained the balance. On the other hand only sixty per cent (60%) of the distribution companies were sold to the DISCO’s, with the Federal Government retaining forty percent (40%) equity share. I understand that the Federal Government only retained forty per cent (40%) of the share holding in the Hydro Power Stations of Jebba, Kainji and Shiroro.
Initially although TCN controlled by Government was concessioned to be managed by a Canadian Company—Manitoba Hydro Company. The management contract has since been expired and the company has reverted to its sole owner.
There is no doubt that electricity plays as significant role in the economic and technological development of a nation. In Nigeria as we can deduce from the account above that the electricity industry has gone through a lot of metamorphosis from its early days in 1896 to date. In fact Professor Awosope avers that, and I agree with him, that it is probably the most sensitive political and economic issue in our polity and in those of several countries. Electricity thus continue to draw great attention from industrialists, the labour unions, activists, the private sector and the political class. Any politician who is able to successfully tackle the issue of unavailability of electricity supply is likely going to gain hero status in Nigeria.
The unbundling of PHCN is a bold step intended to improve the availability of electricity supply, create an efficient mechanism for the operations of the sector and eliminate corruption often associated with public organizations.
In this lecture, we shall soon examine Nigeria have obtained some measure of success through the unbundling of PHCN and if not, adduce reasons why that is not so and what measures can be taken to correct the situation as we proceed.
National Integrated Power Project/Niger Delta Power Holding Company Limited
But first let us talk about NIPP. I stated earlier that in December 2004 the Federal Government inaugurated the National Integrated Power Project (NIPP) to fast-track the upgrading of available electricity capacity in the country. Two (2) years later Niger-Delta Power Holding Company Limited (NDPHC) was incorporated as an intervention agency to manage the NIPP. NDPHC’s investors are the Federal Government which own forty-seven percent (47%) equity in the Company while the 36 States of the Federation, the 774 Local Governments and the Federal Capital Territory own the remaining fifty-three percent (53%).
Its activities are guided by a 14-man Board of Directors headed by the Vice-President as Chairman, six (6) Governors each representing the six (6) geo-political zones of the Federation and four (4) Federal Ministers namely the Federal Minister of Justice; The Federal Minister of Finance, the Federal Minister of Petroleum Resources and the Federal Minister of Power. Other members of the Board are the members of the Management team made up of a Managing Director, the Executive Director, Engineering and Technical Services and the Executive Director, Finance and Administration.
What is the effect of the introduction of NIPP/NDPHC as an intervention agency and distribution chain in Nigeria?
Arguably, the NIPP is perhaps the largest infrastructure intervention in Africa and possibly the most successful government owned project execution machinery ranking in parripassu with the Nigerian Liquefied National Gas Company (NLNG).
We cannot write the history of electricity development in Nigeria without paying special tribute to those who conceptualized NIPP and the first Manager of NDPHC Mr. James Abiodun Olotu – a man I am proud to share a state of origin with Ondo State. NDPHC began literally without an office, more correctly with a mobile office in the boot of his ageing official vehicle but today it owns one of the most beautiful edifice that describes the landmark of the Central Business District in Abuja. We also own other structures in the highbrow Asokoro of the Federal Capital District. But more significantly as I highlighted above the various successfully executed projects that dot the vast landscape of the country stand in testimony of the enormous work done by him and his team and continue to play significant roles in the electricity generation, transmission and distribution chain.
For me the greatest asset of NDPHC is its investment in human capital development and its contribution to the expansion of Engineering cannot be downplayed. And to imagine that James AbiodunOlotu is not even an Engineer. It behoves on the present Management team of this huge national asset as inheritors of such gigantic legacy to not only improve but take to greater heights that which has been handed to us. We must be bold to correct mistakes of the past, and they are few, firmly eradicate the emerging trend of indiscipline and establish a culture of true professionalism.
Fundamental Imperatives of power as driver of a Nations Socio-Economic Development.
Even in the congregation of the uninitiated it is commonly agreed that power supply is the bedrock of any nations development. Quality power supply and its availability are imperatives to defining our socio-economic growth, creating wealth and improving the standard of living of the citizenry. The balance is that socio-economic development always lag behind power availability. The day they are at par outages/shortages lead to rationing requiring further power ramp up.
From the Daily National Power Sector Food Report of 21st July 2017 compiled by the Independent Energy Watch Initiative (I-WIN) the following depressing data are obtained:
- National Minimum Generation Requirement 8600 MW
- Load Allocation per Registered Customer 53 KW
- Average National Grid Peak Generation 4000 MW
In a similar report the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN) estimates that for its population of 180 million Nigeria need to generate 180,000 MW of electricity daily if it must join the league of nations that has attained industrial revolution. Furthermore MAN pus the cost of self-generated electricity as an alternative source of power at N129.65 million in 2016 alone. You can imagine what this figure will be when you add what individual homes and offices spend on energy.
Even more tragic are figures of the average hours of supply availability in some DISCO’s which are 12.7 hours in the Federal Capital Territory, 9.00 hours in Benin, 5.00 hours in Ibadan and 10.80 hours in Jos. How can a nation bedeviled with such dismal power supply statistics ever witness industrial revolution?
I need not depress my audience with comparison with of similar statistics in countries that have achieved or are in the process of attaining development. But we can agree that these figures, distinguish ladies and gentlemen cannot aid socio-economic development, nor help to create wealth not to mention improving the standard of living of a nation with a population of 180 million people.
The negative impact of poor power supply is reflected in the recent exodus of manufacturing firms from our country to smaller nations around us. The high production cost arising from poor power supply due to high production cost is part of the reason adduced for the closure of the Kano Textile Mills, Dunlop and Michelin Tyre manufacturing facilities, the demise of several cottage industries plus the refusal of several others to pick Nigeria as the destination of choice when taking a decision on where to locate their manufacturing entities. Such decisions are predicated more on availability of steady uninterrupted power rather than availability of raw materials or cheap human labour.
In general, some of these problems can be classified as follows:
- Poor/Inadequate/delayed funding
- Inappropriate selection of Contractors
- Unavailability of gas to run power plants to optimal capacity.
- Inability of Distribution Companies to deliver generated power to end customers – the phenomenon of load rejection.
According to the Presidential Advisory Power Team, in June 17, 2017 alone, the power sector lost about N1.43Bn to constraints associated with grid and gas supply. The cumulative constrained generation due to transmission, distribution load rejection and gas was, on the 20th June 2017, about 2400mw with gas accounting for 1800mw of that figure. In a June 26 2017 report the Advisory Power Team (APT) declared a decline by 111 MWh/hour in the average power sent out daily to 3398 MWh/h. The report gave the total losses due to gas and line constraint as well as frequency management constraint caused by the loss of DISCOs feeders at 2465 MW. This is definitely no good news for a country that has not attained less than ten per cent (10%) of its required generation.
In the area of Transmission, the problems stalling power development can be summarized as follows:
- Poor funding for infrastructural development and proliferation of equipment, some of which are substandard.
- Insufficient loops on the grid for improved system flexibility and reliability.
- Ineffective real time system operation enhancing tools like SCADA, EMS and telecommunications
The distribution system also is confronted with the following problems:
- Inadequate investments
- Low tariff
- Poor method of revenue collection
- Lack of radial network, making operational flexibility difficult
- Poor technical capacity/inadequate manpower
- Load rejection
- Bias for areas/consumers considered to be economically viable.
- Overload of transformers and long length of lines with attendant low voltages/poor quality supply.
I am quite aware that we do not lack suggestions or advice on how to mitigate the identified problems stalling power infrastructures in Nigeria. It does no harm to repeat them once again and, again, I list them in no empirical order:
- There is a need to re-visit the tariff issues to adopt a more cost reflective and therefore bankable investment climate. This will encourage gas investors into the sector.
- Electricity Power Sector Reform Policy must be tailored to provide adequate enabling environment with attractive Return-on-Investment guarantees to investors.
- There is need for continued funding of power infrastructures to build a virile backbone architecture. We must diversify by using trending global power sources such as hydro, coal, nuclear, solar and wind as applicable in Nigeria based on our natural regional resources which are easy to deploy with progressive lower cost as technology improves.
- We must review the current privatization and private sector intervention to understand the challenges and provide greater enablers for more private investment in a better controlled environment
- We must engage in manpower training/retraining and upgrading to modern system equipment to meet the needs of an ever changing/dynamic sector. This will ensure best practice in operations and systems.
- We must devise advanced method to reduce losses from unmetered consumption and inefficient bill collection. In this regard the regulatory authority must enforce accountability between players for fair sharing of revenues and metering of customers.
- Government must urgently provide a regulatory environment that is not encumbered by bureaucracy nor inflexible.
- The Multi Year Tariff Order (MYTO) must be reviewed as the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria complain that it is not manufacturer friendly. In fact it believes that it is one of the factors why local production of goods cannot be competitive with imported goods.
- There is an urhent need to encourage gas development with a view to ensuring the Nipper 5000 MW plants come on stream.
- Simultaneously massive construction of transmission lines must be embarked upon to ensure operational flexibility.
- We need to build mini grids/renewable energy efficiency like solar in remote areas and villages with a view to fast tracking the resuscitation of cottage industries and stem rural-urban migration.
As you can deduce from the above the key drivers to low electricity consumption include limited electricity generation capacity resulting in power outages and load shedding as well as insufficient existing power transmission and distribution infrastructure to meet current requirements.
Of course, the constraints arising from lack of funding for power generation, transmission and distribution projects is obvious. When tariff is not cost reflective, investors are not able to recover cost through electricity tariff therefore the sector will be unable to attract further investment from the private sector. Related to this are the problems of foreign exchange fluctuation and uncertainty and/or policy summersault often classified as High Currency and Regulatory Risk. We cannot resist the temptation to mention the debilitating effect of weak support infrastructures such as roads, water supply and railways as well as shortage of relevant skills which lead to abysmal maintenance of power infrastructure and poor project management in delivering new projects. One factor responsible for this is the shameful wrong application of policies which are meant to enhance unity and peaceful co-existence in a vast multi-ethnic and multi-religious country like ours. This is often characterized in the employment of unqualified personnel to head vital departments in the administration of the power sector. This include the adherence to selecting employees only on the bases of subjective factors such as ethnicity and/or religion. It is such practices that is responsible for foisting an incompetent person to head a unit, department or even an organisation.
Mr. Governor, the Deputy Governor, the Chairman of this Occasion and my dear distinguish audience. I have probably said here today everything you all have an idea about and in doing so have avoided too much controversy. You have seen the best of me and I have deliberately saved the worst part for the last. I am usually not reputed to be that diplomatic but I will not like you to depart from here without taking something with you.
Now let us ruminate over this fact, even if we were to acquire a magic wand that will make it possible for us to apply all the suggestions above and those that experts have suggested and if by some divine intervention, Nigeria suddenly have the fund to do all that are needed, I seriously doubt that it has the ability to change the present decayed state of Power Infrastructure in Nigeria.
Money alone cannot build a home. This is the reason why I craved your indulgence to add the words “in a change environment” to the title of this lecture. The problem with Nigeria is that virtually all of us are deep disciples of Lucifer – yes you are shocked and I am not talking of some religious hocus pocus! But why would I so arrogantly insult my fellow citizens like this? Please be patient with me and I’ll explain; then you can crucify me.
Majority of Nigerians are in the habit of recreating everything in “their own image, and their likeness.” It is usual for us to make our own traffic rules against all expected norms. When the traffic light at a road intersection shows red, all over the world, it means “Stop”, but in Nigeria it means “Go.” Nigerians want the laws of the land to answer to them, they interpret the Constitution according to their whims and caprices. Even the scriptures have different translations in the hands of our religious practitioners. What is practised in other countries with ease acquire different dimension for us.
That my distinguished audience is what is wrong with us. Corruption is not native to us. But here we do it with style – bury raw cash in a graveyard or soak-away pits. Just send a note on a piece of paper to collect millions of foreign currency from funds meant to save us from imminent death. Nigerians take pride in destroying the very infrastructure put in place for their wellbeing. In some part of the country, our fellow citizens excavate the foundation of towers carrying 330 KV live wires, dismember those towers only to use the members to make cheap spoons or earrings and reinforcement and iron gates plus some other non-essential items at the expense of all of us. On a daily basis, I receive letters from traditional rulers who demand for hundreds of millions of Naira to appease their gods who are displaced from their resting place because transmission lines travel over where their shrines are located. The rate of vandalism of equipment and materials cannot be imagined. And this is done with vicious malice and wickedness.
We must revive our value system, forcefully eradicate indiscipline and fight corruption to a stand still to get out of this mess. And we as Engineers must be in the forefront of this because engineering is a disciplined profession.
Until we as Engineers begin to appreciate the need for us to take active part in the decision-making processes in our country, we cannot experience industrial revolution. Today, virtually all leadership positions in our political landscape have become the right of lawyers and others. In fact, engineering positions are now the preserve of lawyers. From 1999 to date, virtually all agencies of government that have anything to do with power have become the exclusive preserve of men of the legal profession even under Chief Olusegun Obasanjo who surprisingly himself is an Engineer. We forget the old adage that all human beings were born equal, then God created engineers. Apologies to all my revered elders and friends here present. Engineers must perforce therefore rise up to take their rightful position. It is something to earn not to be assumed.
In conclusion let us recall that it is a known truism all over the world that Electricity Infrastructure Development is not cheap though technology is daily changing this fact positively. Its availability in sufficient quantum and growing levels of improved usage is a panacea for development and a pointer to good governance. Indeed there is proven positive correlation between nations’ GDP and quantum of electric power available. Growth and development is made possible mainly by provision of electricity to power the wheels of economic wealth and create employment. Power touches the lives of businesses and people including the dead. Non-availability is a threat to security and a reducer of growth leading to cries of marginalization and restructuring. We must therefore take the provision of electric power in the right mix of technology as a very critical and serious governance and people matter with sufficient reorientation of our citizens for infrastructure preservation to lead Nigeria to the next greater level that we have always dreamed of.
Finally, the Nigerian Society of Engineers must re-examine the Pupillage System a tradition that is fast becoming extinct. It is time for this distinguish Society to enforce the Students Industrial Works Experience Scheme (SIWES) for engineering students nationwide. The time has come for the Nigerian Society of Engineers to design a course of study that a graduate member must undertake before admission into full membership. The curriculum must include training in the ethics of the profession and a code of conduct expected of an engineer. This Society must determine the length of pupillage and even encourage mentoring for a period of not less than five (5) years after full membership.
I believe proceeding beyond these matters will bore my better, more erudite and respected audience. I beg to therefore bring to a close this lecture by thanking you all for the great honour given me to stand before you to deliver my piece. I believe that we all know that a broom bunch is more difficult to break than the individual sticks, so the cooperation of all will give us the desired results.
My dear Governor, Mr. Oluwarotimi Odunayo Akeredolu, SAN, the Deputy Governor, Mr. Agboola Ajayi, National President of the Nigerian Society of Engineers, Engr. O. T. Anyaeji, FNSE, FAEng, the Chairman of Akure Branch of the Nigerian Society of Engineers, Fellow Engineers, distinguish ladies and gentlemen, many would have been tempted to assume that this lecture was a declaration of a battle between members of the noble professions of Law and Engineering in the manner I have complained about incursion into the theatre of engineering. No, it is not. Rather it is a call on our leadership to understand that there must be clear demarcation of roles so that our nation can experience industrial revolution without which we will not be able to witness true socio-economic growth.
I sincerely express my deep gratitude to the Nigerian Society of Engineers, Akure Branch for considering me worthy to deliver the 2nd Distinguished Engineering Lecture of their Branch. It is indeed a honour and a privilege that I do not take for granted as I have no doubt in my mind that there are many who are more worth and intellectually better to do justice to this or any topic you may have chosen. I will forever remain grateful for this opportunity. I cannot fully repay the kindness of the Government of Ondo State under the able leadership of Mr. Oluwarotimi Akeredolu and his able Deputy. Once again, you have proven that our decision to support your candidature and government is indeed a right one.
This address will not be complete if I fail to deeply appreciate the sincere kindness of my colleagues from the Niger Delta Power Holding Company Limited for their unflinching support. You are the reason why I have the boldness to do what I do. And you know it. I deeply appreciate you all. My gratitude also go to the Managing Director of NDPHC. Thank you for your support. I know you would have wanted to be here. I must not leave out my support staff from Lagos and Abuja, my ladies in the office and my personal assistant in Lagos, my Technical Assistant, the staff of the Communications and Public Relations Department of NDPHC and the Security Department. You all love me unconditionally irrespective of ethnicity and the way I choose to worship my God. I thank my lovely children and the General Officer Commanding of our First Divison, my beautiful wife.
The best gratitude is saved for the President and Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces, President Muhammadu Buhari, GCFR. If you didn’t appoint me into this position I probably would not be here. Only you can tolerate to have people like us in your Government. I love and adore you sir and respect your genuine love for our nation. We your lieutenants are very proud of you and wish your speedy recovery so you can complete that task of nation building.
All glory, all adoration go to Almighty God, the Giver of life and faithful Lord of our soul.