FG Will Tackle Electricity Supply Challenges – Osinbajo

FG Will Tackle Electricity Supply Challenges – Osinbajo

The Vice President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo, says all that needs to be done to end the challenges hampering regular supply of electricity to Nigerians will be addressed by the Federal Government.

Professor Osinbajo gave the assurance on Saturday during the inauguration of a metering company in Onna Local Government Area of Akwa Ibom State.

He said the Federal Government has identified that most distribution companies could not generate revenue through effective tariff collect due to their inability to afford the cost of metering.

The Vice President, however, hinted that government has developed a policy to address the issue of metering in the power sector.

He said, “We are going to have independent metering companies. So a distribution company does not necessarily have also to be a distributor of meters, it is now opened up.”

Professor Osinbajo, who is in Uyo, the Akwa Ibom State capital on an official visit, also announced that the Federal Government has disbursed a total of N125m to Micro Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) in the state.

Elsewhere, he inaugurated a 350 million per annum capacity syringe factory also located in the same local government area, as part of events lined up to mark the 30th anniversary of the state.

Professor Osinbajo was accompanied on the official visit by the Minister of Budget and National Planning, Senator Udo Udoma.

Professor Yemi Osinbajo visits Akwa Ibom State

He was received at the airport by the state governor, Udom Emmanuel, and the governors of Delta and Bauchi states, Ifeanyi Okowa and Mohammed Abubakar, as well as many residents and government officials.

Joshua Mukan Asks Government To Focus On Hydro Power Generation

Joshua-Mukan-on-hydro-power-generationThe Nigerian government has been advised to invest more in Hydro electricity generation as it would help end the nation’s power problem.

Nigeria has of late shifted focus from hydro power generation to gas and other forms, but the Chairman of William Duncan Hydro, Joshua Mukan, sees the need to go back to Hydro.

Nigeria has two major rivers – Niger and Benue – that could be explored to boost power supply.

Mr Mukan said that lack of necessary infrastructure was responsible for the problem faced in the power sector.

During an interview on Sunrise Daily, a Channels Television’s programme, he said: “The infrastructure leading to these bio-generation plants are not there and that is why people have been clamouring for this Petroleum Industry Bill to be passed, so that investors can come and invest in this infrastructures, but we are not there yet.

“That is why I have always advocated for power generation through hydro. We know it, Kainji dam, let me be honest, some of us were very young when Kainji dam was set up and it is still running.

“Now all the thermal plants, believe me, (which) were done probably 10, 15, 20, years are not running”.

The William Duncan Hydro boss also suggested to the Federal Government to invest monies recovered from looters of the nation’s treasury in hydro power generation.

“I am suggesting, if I were this government, the money we have collected from people who have looted the treasury of the nation, I will invest all that money in hydroelectric power.”

Mr Mukan, however, believed that with time efficiency in the power sector would be accomplished but labelled Nigerians as “bad managers of expectation”, appealing to them to exercise patience.

“The worst scenario is not to even start. It is good that some of them have been privatised and with time I believe efficiency would come but one thing I know about we Nigerians, including me, is that we are very bad managers of expectations.

“If we have the patience and understanding and if we can manage our expectations well then some of us may drink less of the high blood pressure medication,” he said.

Recently, Nigeria’s gas plants have experienced a shortfall in supply, a situation the government said was caused by resurging militancy in the nation’s Niger Delta region where gas supplies come from.

A group that calls itself the Niger Delta Avengers has carried out several attacks on some oil installations in the region, some of which were gas pipelines.

Switching to hydro power generation, according to experts will reduce such attacks on the facilities and increase the nation’s power supply significantly.

At the moment, the nation of over 160 million population is grappling with less than 5,000 megawatts of electricity, a capacity that is far below the nation’s need.

US Partners DISCOs For Improved Electricity In Nigeria

ElectricityThe government of the United States of America has signed a memorandum of understanding with Nigeria’s government to improve electricity supply.

The partnership which is expected to inject nine million dollars annually into the sector is also expected to provide technical support to the distribution companies.

Representatives of electricity distribution companies, the Ministry of Power and the American government, all witnessed the signing of the agreement between the U.S government and electricity distribution companies.

The U.S Ambassador to Nigeria, Mr James Entwistle said that the partnership is aimed at opening up business opportunities in Nigeria, as access to electricity would reduce the cost of doing business in the country.

Away from the business opportunities the partnership will provide, representatives of some electricity distribution companies at the event asked the U.S government to help build their capacity to distribute power and collect tariff from consumers.

The Minister of Power, Works and Housing, who was represented at the event by his SSA, Lanre Akinsola, said that government is making efforts to relieve the sector of its over-dependence on gas.

Electricity generation and distribution has dropped below 3,000 megawatts in recent times, causing perpetual darkness in some parts of the country.

Often, the Ministry of Power has blamed the sharp fall on acts of vandalism of gas pipelines and other installations across the country.

Government Woos Investors On Solar Power Project

NERCThe Federal Government of Nigeria says it is wooing investors to fund the solar power projects to boost electricity supply in the nation.

While addressing a meeting which focused on how to finance Africa’s power sector held in Abuja on Monday, the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Power, Ambassador Godknows Ighali, said ‎the generation of solar power across the country would ensure that rural communities access power at affordable rates.

The Chairman of the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission, Sam Amadi, expressed delight over the improvement of power supply, but appealed to distribution companies to improve their efficiency.

While some level of achievement could be said to have been attained in the past month, government officials believe investing in alternative energy sources would ensure that all parts of the country had steady electricity supply.

FG Blames NUPENG, PENGASSAN Strike For Drop In Electricity Supply

ElectricityThe Federal Government of Nigeria has attributed the drop in electricity supply across the country to the destruction of gas pipelines and the current strike by Nigeria Union of Petroleum and Gas Workers Union, NUPENG and Petroleum and Gas Senior Staff Association of Nigeria, PENGASSAN.

The Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Power, Mr Godknows Igali, told journalists at the Presidential Villa that the effect of the strike is that power supply, which was picking up at the beginning of the week after the repairs of some vandalised gas pipelines, has fallen to an unprecedented low of 1,327 as at 1PM on Friday.

Mr Igali said he hoped that the ongoing negotiation between the government and the striking oil workers would end soon so that the oil workers will help restore the supply of gas to power plants.

Elections: Corps Members Decry Ill Treatment In Osun

Corps MembersCollation of results was almost marred at one of the registration areas in Osogbo Local Government Area, Osun State as the corps members had to rely on light from their handsets and torch to, collate results of the presidential and National Assembly elections.

‎A Channels Television correspondent who observed the collation of result of Ward 5 at Salvation Army Middle school, observed that there was no electricity supply to the school as at 11.30pm when the exercise was ongoing.

Some of the Ad-Hoc staff of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) ‎in anger, lashed out at the Channels TV crew, complaining that they were not well catered for.

The corps members said that they were made to sleep on bare floor, adding that no light nor water was provided for them to ease their duty.

In aggression, they threatened to smash the camera of the crew, for daring to record them while collating the result in the dark.

However, the corps members ‎ended up collating the result for over two hours without light.

Akure Residents Seek Governments’ Intervention On Bad State Of Roads

bad-roadsThe Residents of Oke-Odo community in Danjuma area, Ondo Road in Akure, the capital city of  Ondo State have cried out for governments’ intervention in providing basic social amenities, especially good roads that are lacking in the community.

The community, having about 20 thousand inhabitants has been in existence for over 30 years, and yet, there has not been any form of development, despite being part of the State Capital.

Motorable roads, health facilities, electricity and water supply are not available. The residents said they had tried their best and have resorted to calling for assistance from government.

These elderly men and women are the Landlords and Landladies in the community. Despite the slight showers, they are not deterred from coming out to air their plight.

According to them, the four roads that connect the community to the centre of the city are in very deplorable state. This, they said had cut them off from the rest of the city, especially whenever there was heavy rainfall.

Severe erosion has damaged many of the roads and houses located in the area, making transportation very difficult for the residents.

Electricity supply to the area is also very poor, as they often experience several weeks of total power outage.

Other basic social amenities such as potable water and health facilities are also lacking.

Many of the tenants in the community who could not bear the inconvenience any longer have sought for accommodation elsewhere, while the few ones remaining are contemplating to leave as well.

The Chairman of the Landlords Association in the community, Mr Bade Adaralegbe, itemised the amenities desperately needed by the residents and lamented the agonies faced by the residents as a result of lack of these amenities.

Reacting to the situation, the Caretaker Chairman of Akure South Local Government Area, David Alarapon, said he had visited Oke-Odo community two times to assess the condition of the area.

He promised that the rehabilitation of the roads would commence soon, as everything needed was already in place.

After he made the promise. the residents of Oke-Odo expressed optimism that the local and state governments would soon come to their aid.

Army Denies Killing Nasarawa University Students

The Nigerian Army on Wednesday denied involvement in the killing of four students of Nasarawa State University.
Addressing a news conference in Abuja, the Director of Army Public Relations, Brigadier General Ibrahim Attahiru said soldiers from the 177 guards battalion in Keffi only assisted the police in quelling the violent protests embarked upon by students of the university.

Four students of the university in Keffi were shot dead while protesting the lack of water and electricity in the institution. The students allegedly blocked the Abuja/Keffi road and at some point in the protest four of them were killed by security agents while several others received gunshot injuries.

The police on their part denied shooting the students, saying that the policemen who arrived at the scene only cleared the highway to allow traffic to flow. The police spokesperson, Mr. Frank Mba, on Tuesday, said: “The policemen that went to the scene only cleared the expressway that was blocked by the students. Two students were killed and seven others were hospitalised for injuries sustained during the violent protest.”

He maintained that, “Any question on the killing should be directed to the Army. They have their Public Relations unit; the police were not involved in the shootings.”

However, the spokesperson for the Army denied the claim, saying: “What these people are writing is not correct. Soldiers were not deployed and couldn’t have carried out the shooting. Our men were on patrol duty at Keffi.”

“The students, who were protesting, had blocked the road but soldiers did not have any altercation with them. There were the police and other security agencies, who were on the ground to handle the situation. There is also this information we have that the police even recovered some arms from the students who were protesting.”

Kainji dam back on stream

The Kainji dam Power Station is back on stream and delivering power to the national grid from its four available units that were shut down three days ago.
Minister of Power, Prof. Bart Nnaji, made the announcement on Monday morning.
The plant was shut down on Thursday 15 March 2012, following excessive leakage from its dam which threatened to flood the station. Consequently, power from the four units (a combined 233MW of electricity), were cut off from the national grid, following the permission granted by the Minister to shut down the station in order to investigate the source of leakage.
The Chief Executive Officer of the Kainji Power Plant, Engineer Yinka Akinwumi, informed the minister last night that inspection on the four units has been completed and that the plant has been tied to the national grid once more, delivering 233MW of electricity.
Engr. Akinwumi has explained that this problem is “normal” because the plant is old (constructed in 1968) and has suffered maintenance and overhaul neglect since it was commissioned 44 years ago.
He, however, said that there is hope for improvement following an ongoing World Bank programme to rehabilitate four of the turbines in Phase 1 of a two-phased project to rehabilate the station in order to reach its installed capacity of 760MW.
“The (World Bank) maintenance involves an ongoing retrofit of three units and overhaul of the remainder,” he said.
Prof. Nnaji has congratulated Engr. Akinwunmi and his Kainji team for rectifying the problem in a record three days and restoring critical power to the nation.