Nigeria’s govt gives update on completion of power projects

MINA Blog- Nigeria’s Minister of Power, Mr Abubakar Aliyu, in Wednesday said that the Federal Government was making progress in ensuring the speedy completion of key power projects to deliver steady electricity supply to Nigerians.

Aliyu said this in a statement in Abuja, to mark his 50 days in office as the minister of power.

The minister listed some of the projects to include: The Kashimbilla 40 MW Power Station in Taraba State which had already begun generating power for the National Grid.

He also noted that the Gurara phase 2 being developed in partnership with the Ministry of Water Resources would soon deliver 30MW to the grid.

” The Zungeru Hydroelectric Power Project, is progressing towards completion next year, to deliver another 700MW of renewable power.

” Katsina wind farm, with a full capacity of 10MW, is already generating part of its full capacity for the grid,” he said.

The minister also cited the Dadin Kowa 40MW power station that had also started generating power for the National Grid, under a concession with a private investor.

Speaking on the Mambilla hydroelectric power project, which was contracted in 2017, the minister said that discussions were being intensified so that all issues preventing the full take off of the project are resolved soon.

According to him, in its bid to accomplish additional 7,000mw, the Federal Government has, through its Presidential Power Initiative (PPI), commenced the expansion and upgrade of the nation’s transmission and distribution critical infrastructure.

“The first phase of the PPI is the upgrading and expansion of the vital infrastructure of the Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN) and the Distribution Companies (Discos) with the goal of achieving the 7,000MW.
This first phase, had started in earnest this year with the ongoing pre-engineering phase,”, he said, adding that the selected contractors would soon be contacted officially so that work on the project can commence”, he said.

The minister also revealed that the Nigerian Electrification Roadmap (NER) was a partnership that will expand Nigeria’s electricity capacity from the current average output of 4,500 MWh/h to 25,000MW.

Aliyu said that the government was confident that the NER will succeed because of the pedigree of Siemens and their footprint in the global power industry.

He said that the government was also reinvigorating important policies and regulations, especially the Eligible Customer and related regulations, that will move the electricity industry from the present interim commercial structure to full commercial structure.

” In compliance with Clauses 25 and 26 of the Eligible Customer Act, whereby consumers contact willing GenCos directly for better services and service providers that are ready to make new investments to deliver better service,” he said.

Similarly, he explained that the Meter Asset Provider programme (MAP) meant to attract investors into metering, had been activated.

He also said that the mini-grid policy and regulation allows underserved consumers to partner with investors and contractors for better services.

According to him, the Ministry of Works and Housing, for example, had started a solar pilot of 1.5MW.

Government is optimising the available generation capacity and putting them to good use.

“This means that we shall ensure that the unutilized capacity is used in line with the Ministry’s incremental power focus and the Eligible Customer policy.

” Strengthening the regulator to ensure that all players and stakeholders work according to the rules and guidelines especially in dealing with customers”, he said.

The minister, however, bemoaned the challenges that had impeded the growth of the sector.

“We are aware that the Nigerian Power sector is confronted by many challenges which have not enabled the sector to grow as desired. These challenges are reflected in the two over-arching problems of the sector.

“Service quality: Too many people are still not satisfied with the quality of service in terms of hours of supply, voltage, disputed/estimated bills, or have no access to electricity.

“Sector illiquidity: The payments the DisCos are able to collect from consumers does not cover the full investment and costs of the GenCos who produce and sell the power, and Transmission Company of Nigeria which wheels the power to the DisCos.

“Federal Government financial support is required to cover the shortfall. The resulting huge burden on Government is unsustainable”, Aliyu said.

The minister said that reforms take time and require patience to implement, especially in a highly regulated sector like the power sector.

”I am confident that these reforms, when fully implemented, will bring about the transformational change that we all desire to see in the sector,” he said.

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