LAGOS, JULY 7, 2017 – The Federal Government has embarked on the upgrading of the nations power generation and supply scheme from the present 4,700 megawatts(MW) to 13,000 MW, through the implementation of 200 new projects across the country.
The projects, which would focus on generation and transmission infrastructural facilities, are expected to bolster the power supply capacity of the distribution companies (DISCOs) in the country.
Mr Babatunde Fashola, Minister of Power, Works and Housing, disclosed this in a keynote address at the Nigeria Energy Forum (NEF) in Lagos, entitled: ‘Roadmap for Incremental, Stable and Uninterrupted Electricity Supply in Nigeria.’
Represented by Mr. Louis Edozie, the Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Power, the Minister explained that if all of us will draw all energy needs from the grid, we will need over 13,000 Megawatts (MW), but unfortunately, the maximum we have from the grid is just 4,700MW.”
Therefore, this is not what we want and this is not where we want to be. The government inherited a very weak transmission; throughout 2016, there was a challenge of energy evacuation in Eastern part of the country.
This evacuation problem, which had been on for over 15 years in Calabar, Ikot-Ekpene, Alaoji, Ugwuaji Transmission Line had been addressed and the transmission is now in operation.
Fashola, who said transmission line would aid the smooth evacuation of energy generated by power plants in the Eastern part to the national grid, added that government was concentrating on legacy generation projects inherited from the past administration.
He mentioned such projects to include the 1.2 MW Solar Power Plant in Lower Usuma Dam, Bwari, Abuja, which is the first solar project in the country.
The minister pointed out that the project was now in operation, powering some parts of Abuja metropolis.
According to him, work had begun on the 3,050MW Hydro Electric Power Plant in Mambilla, Taraba, which was conceived about 42 years ago.
Prof. Jidere Bala, the Director-General, Energy Commission of Nigeria (ECN), stressed at the event that energy supply must be done in a responsible and sustainable manner. These involve energy security, energy equity and environmental sustainability.
Mr. Dele Ayodele, the Deputy Managing Director, Ibadan Electricity Distribution Company (IBEDC), identified some of the challenges facing the power sector to include technical and commercial losses, warning that if they were not resolved, they would continue to linger on.
Chairman of NEF, Dr. Daniel Adeuyi, declared that no nation could develop in the dark, adding that sustainable energy was the passport to economic development.