Stories by UGO AMADI
The Minister of Power, Chinedu Nebo has announced that the power sector has recorded a generation of between 4,000 and 4,500 megawatts consistently in the past 6 weeks.
He made this annocement while speaking at the 2014 Ministerial Platform held at the Radio House Auditorium in Abuja
The Minister during the event described the feat as an unprecedented achievement, attributing it to President Goodluck Jonathan’s commitment to delivering on his mandate. He also recalled that before President Goodluck Jonathan was sworn in, everything was moribund the Vice President on assumption convinced the States to continue with the NIPP projects.
“Jonathan gave direction by launching a roadmap for power to heal the ailment of the power sector. The current move to put to good use already completed and commissioned gas-fired power plants across the country have been successful with concrete arrangements now in place to make gas speedily available to all the NIPP plants.”
While speaking on the exploits of renewable energy mix in the ‘Operation Light Up Rural Nigeria,’ he acknowledged that it would take much longer to get every community connected to the national grid; saying giant steps have been taken by the present administration to provide electricity to rural Nigeria through the ongoing Operation Light Up Rural Nigeria (OLRN) Initiative.
Nebo explained that the OLRN initiative was conceptualized to enhance access to electricity across Nigeria by exploiting renewable energy sources such as solar, wind and biomass, among others.
Chinedu Nebo noted that President Jonathan commissioned these on January 13, 2014 at three rural communities – Durumi, Shape and Waru in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) to flag- off the OLRN initiative. “Plans are fully underway to replicate the OLRN pilot programme across the 36 States of the federation. About 10 States are planning to declare light up operations in their respective States in line with the OLRN initiative and the Transformation Agenda of Nigerian President.
According to the Minister, the Nigerian Government has pursued vigorously the implementation of the generation, transmission, distribution and gas to power projects under the aegis of the National Integrated Power Projects. Adding, on activation, the nation stands to benefit from 10 new gas – fired power plants located at Alaoji (1131mw), Benin (508mw),Calabar (634mw), Egbema (381mw), Gbarain (254mw), Geregu 11 (506mw), Ogorode (508mw), Olorunsogu 11(754mw), Omoku (265mw) and Omotosho 11 (513mw). He further disclosed that negotiations are underway with other front runner IPPs such as the Zuma Energy (1200mw) coal in Kogi State; the gas project (400mw) of the gas – fired power plant in Egbema, Imo state as well as with Century Power for a 495 mw gas – fired Power Plant in Okija, Anambra State.
Others revealed were: Exxon Mobil / MPN for a 100mw; wind power plant in Maraban Pushit, Plateau State; Ikot Abasi Power for a 250mw gas – fired power plant in Akwa Ibom State; the Omo Power (Geometric) for a 500mw gas – fired power plant in Osisioma, Abia State, among others. He also indicated that bankable feasibility studies have been concluded for 10 Dams for hydro – power generation and urged private companies to cue into the project and carry out their social corporate responsibility by supplying their host communities with electricity.
On Coal to Power, the Minister informed that the action plan for the actualization of coal – fired power plant has been developed by the Coal to Power Committee, the African Development Bank is providing credit support to NBET and the Federal Ministry of Power in partnership with the Federal Ministry of Mines and Steel Development is currently developing bankable project documents towards facilitating investments in coal to power.
“Licenses have been given to real investors who are ready to do coal to power. It is with the insistence of steel and mine that we are synergizing with IPPs to actualize coal to power just as coal to fire the power is already being mined. President Jonathan has strengthened varied government power institutions including the National Electricity Regulatory Commission, NERC and has successfully handed over the Trading Point Meter to operation participants in readiness for the Transitional Electricity Market (TEM),” he said.
“Workshops for the training of participants on market rules, market procedures and market payment systems for efficient and all inclusive high quality performance have been organized. The Electricity Management Services Limited (EMSL) team was inaugurated on September 10, 2013 to carryout technical inspection and certification of all electrical materials, equipment and installations in the Nigerian Electricity Supply Industry. Inauguration of the National Council of Power (NACOP) followed suit on August 14, 2014.”
Nebo averred that the Transmission Company of Nigerian has done a lot because there was a lot of decay in the past. He added that the National Power Training Institute of Nigeria (NAPTIN) has been restructured with more technical departments added to the institute towards realization of the Transformation Agenda of the present administration. Also, the training of 7,400 personnel launched on November 6, 2014 under the National Power Sector Apprenticeship Scheme (NAPSAS) has commenced.
He warned that in regards to reports of epileptic power supply in some areas, including parts of the FCT, any disco that henceforth rejects the power sent to them will be dealt with; stating that if they do not change for better, NERC will be mandated to withdraw their licenses.
He recommended the use of energy saving bulbs by all consumers, demanding DISCOs to upgrade transformer capacities whenever they embark on replacement of transformers as well as rectify, repair and replace aging transformers to guarantee adequate reception of power provided by GENCOs.
While commending the Katsina State Government for keying into the effort of the federal government to construct gas – fired power plants, he called on other States to engage in building power plants in a bid to facilitate power supply to their people.
Chinedu Nebo noted that the transitional electricity market will be declared in the next six weeks and the Ministry will be convening a meeting with stakeholders to discuss this. He revealed that the Nigerian Government is targeting 20,000 megawatts by 2020, indicating that the Ministry will be working towards 75% coverage to make sure that no Nigerian community is under darkness.