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.

AfDB President Tasks Africa On Alternative Power Generation

Akinwunmi Adesina, AfDB, Africa, PowerThe President of the African Development Bank (AfDB), Dr. Akinwumi Adesina, has asked African nations to explore other sources of generating power.

He is also urging countries to device other means to move faster and unlock all the potential energy mix which lie untapped across the continent if Africa must meet the 10 gigawatts of electricity by 2020.

Light Up And Power Africa

Dr. Adesina told reporters on Monday at the 2016 AfDB meeting in Lusaka, Zambia, that Africa was currently seating on at least 11 terawatts of unutilised solar energy, 350 gigawatts of hydro and 150 gigawatts of wind power that must be unlocked.

He said proper planning of Africa’s power development was urgently required and attention must be paid to three key needs for power which are light, base load for industries and clean cooking.

Board of governors and officials from 80 member countries on the continent will converge over the next five days for the 51st AfDB’s annual meeting, with a key focus on energy and climate change. It will also focus on one of the regional bank’s high five priority areas which is to ‘light up and power Africa’.

Ninety-six per cent of Zambia’s nearly 2,400 megawatts of electricity is said to be sourced from hydro-power while Nigeria’s all time high of 4600 megawatts comes from hydro-power and gas.

In both countries, as in other African countries, other sources of power such as solar, coal, biomass, lignite and oil remain largely untapped.

With the 10 gigawatts target for Africa by 2020, African countries must hasten to meet the ‘light up and power Africa’ objective with the support of the African Development Bank.

Power Sector Owners Yet To Invest For Better Performance – Barth Nnaji

Barth NnajiA former Minister of Power, Barth Nnaji, on Wednesday called on investors in Nigeria’s power sector to start investing, to improve the quality of service and deliver better power supply to the citizens as that was the reason the government sold the infrastructure to them.

According to Mr Nnaji, one of the keynote speakers at the 7th Lagos Economic Summit (EHINGBETI 2014) said the new owners “invested to purchase but they haven’t invested to improve.” He said this while appearing on Channels Television’s breakfast programme, Sunrise Daily.

Mr Nnaji mentioned that rapid investment is one key issue and the companies that purchased the distribution and generation companies must invest quickly because “that’s the whole essence of the privatization.”

He added that the privatization process would be meaningless unless those companies actually deliver on what they signed on to, which is, “they must invest to improve efficiency of collection and the network for distribution companies. Those who purchased generation companies must invest to lift the generation figures. ”

The Federal Government had assured Nigerians that the reforms made in the power sector would put an end to epileptic power supply experienced in many parts of the country but many still complain of poor service.

On this Nnaji said the performance growth in the sector should have been incremental and that the investors would need to replace a lot of dilapidated transformers, lines as well as install connection systems, prepaid meters to satisfy the demand for electricity.

He said, the time it would take citizens to feel the impact of the privatization process would vary depending on the area, noting that it would take about a year for those in Lagos to feel the changes.

He disclosed that there were generating plants in Lagos which only require gas to deliver power as quickly as possible. He mentioned that vandalism was playing a huge role on the unavailability of gas and that the infrastructure needs more investment and monitoring systems to ensure better delivery.

When asked about the possibilities of hydro power, Nnaji said “Hydro has a limit. After Mambilla and Zungaru (power plants), there’s really no other big hydro that we are working on so we have to understand that as a country.

Nnaji, who said that the success of Nigeria’s power sector would have to come from gas fired plants and coal fired plants, noted that there were large deposits of coal in Enugu, Benue, Kogi and Gombe States.

He mentioned that the large economies of the world including America and China were using coal-fired plants to generate up to 60 percent of their power despite the negative implications to the environment.

“So people can’t tell Nigeria, you should be very clean and be tree-huggers here, while they are powering their economy with coal. It’s just unacceptable. I think (in) Nigeria, we have to willfully go about this and invest in coal-fired plants.”

He defended his position on Nigeria using coal despite the implications to environmental health, stating that the coal quality in Nigeria is better that in many other countries. The coal has no sulfur and has high calorific value and so not “great pollutants” to the environment.