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.

Hydrological Services Agency Issues Flood Alert

floodThe Nigeria Hydrological Services Agency (NIHSA) has issued a flood alert to communities on the shores of River Niger and River Benue.

In a statement signed by the Director General of the Agency, Dr Moses Beckley, the agency said that communities in‎ Niger, Anambra, Taraba, Nasarawa, Kebbi, Sokoto, Adamawa, Kogi and Benue States will experience flood due to the latest release of water from the Lagdo and Kainji dams.

The agency advised the affected communities to relocate to avoid the 2012 incident, where lives and properties were destroyed by flood.

Jonathan To Flag Off Construction Of Zungeru Hydro Dam In Niger

President Goodluck Jonathan will on Tuesday, 28th May flag off the construction of the multi-billion Naira Zungeru Hydroelectric dam project in Wushishi local government area of Niger state.

The Niger state Commissioner for Information; Professor Mohammed Kuta Yahaya in a  statement said the flag off of the construction work  is part of the activities lined up for the one day visit of the President to Niger state.

He stated that the building of the $300million dam which has been in contemplation for over 15 years, will go a long way in increasing the nation’s megawatt of electricity.

He further explained that the construction of the Zungeru dam will bring to four the number of hydroelectric dams located in Niger state.

The others are Hydro-electric dams at Shiroro, Jebba and Kainji.


Over 10,000 people displaced in Kogi, Benue flood-NEMA

The National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) has deployed relief materials to the camps where over 10,000 Internally Displaced People (IDPs) from Kogi and Benue states are taking refuge after they were sacked from their homes with the ravaging flood across north central region of Nigeria.

A technical team from the agency visited areas devastated by the floods along the banks of Rivers Benue and Niger and their tributaries in states over the weekend to assess the damage and identify suitable intervention required to address the problem.

According to the team, most of the affected areas remained flooded with most of the displaced persons resorting to taking shelter in four camps.

The flood in Benue state is said to affect the communities in Makurdi, the state capital, along the river belt, while about nine local government areas were affected in Kogi State, with Ibaji Local Government Area almost submerged.

Other local government areas affected as Bassa, Ofu, Kogi, Omala, Ajaokuta, Ankpa, Igalamela and Lokoja, where property, including hotels, residential buildings, offices and fishing communities along the confluence of Rivers Benue and Niger have all been submerged.

NEMA’s Director of Planning, Research and Forecasting, Charles Agbo, during a meeting with  Kogi State governor, Wada Idris, warned of prolonged flooding as more water would still be released from Lagdo Dam in Cameroon and Kainji Dam with the intensifying rains.

He also urged the state government to enforce the standard regulation on urban planning and development as well as permanently relocate communities in the flood plains to safer locations.

“Even after the flood, most of the submerged houses may become too weak and no longer be safe for habitation, in addition to the potential health hazards from the disaster,” he warned.

“Therefore, the states governments must to rise up to their responsibilities to the affected communities as the Federal Government, through NEMA, would provide necessary support the displaced persons.”

The governor expressed concern of the Federal Government towards the flood situation and requested support to reinforce the efforts by the state government to assist the displaced persons, while urging NEMA and other relevant organizations to identify measures to mitigate future occurrence of the flood.

Flood Alert: NEMA orders immediate evacuation of communities along River Niger

The National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) on Monday ordered an immediate evacuation of citizens living along the River Niger plains.

In a press statement issued by the agency’s Head of Relations, Yushau Shuaib, NEMA said the order “comes because the dams have attained their highest water levels in 29 years which is unprecedented in the history of Jebba and Kainji hydroelectric power dams.”

Mr Shuaib said the threat has created a high risk of imminent flooding in the downstream of the river.

NEMA asked the residents of the communities along the river plain to move to higher grounds for safety.

The states at risk of the flood are Niger, Kogi, Kwara, Kebbi, Anambra and Delta.

The statement reads: “Already the agency has notified the affected states to take the necessary precautionary measures by relocating people from the flood prone areas and activated the National Contingency Plan as well as alerted all stakeholders to take necessary actions in line with their various mandates.

“The states are to ensure compliance with the threat in order to avert imminent loss of lives and properties that would certainly arise in the event of flooding.

“Furthermore, information available indicates that the gauge for monitoring the flow of water in the river has already exceeded the maximum height by over one meter.

“A rapid assessment team comprising officers of NEMA and the stakeholders has left for Jebba and Kainji to further inspect the situation.”

We will not stop opposing privatisation of the power sector-Joe Ajaero

Joe Ajaero the General Secretary National Union of Electricity Employees was unequivocal today during our breakfast show ‘Sunrise Daily’ that the union will continue to oppose the privatisation of the power sector so the power sector will not end up like other sectors that has been privatised.

Sunrise Daily discussing power sector reform with Joe Ajaero

He also spoke on the issue of the minimum wage.

Water leakages forces Federal Government to shut down Kainji Dam

The Minister of Power, Professor Bart Nnaji, has said that the 760Megawatts Kanji Hydro Power Station in Niger State has been shut down due to excessive water leakage in the dam which could cause a flooding of the station according to a statement signed by the special adviser to the minister on media, Ogbuagu Anikwe.

Kainji Dam

He also said the essence of the shutdown is to forestall flooding, and ordered all five units in the power station generating 330MW to be shut down as well.

The minister however ordered all divers in the service of the station to be mobilised immediately to trace the point of the water leakage in the dam and rectify the problem as a matter of utmost urgency.

He said that if the water leakage problem is not solved immediately, it could affect the operations of the four units of the Jebba Hydro Station which currently produce 335MW.

Built in 1968 with an installed capacity for 760MW, the Kainji Hydro Power Plant has in recent years been generating not more than 450MW due to poor maintenance. In fact, it has not been overhauled since its establishment.

Apologising to Nigerians for the power outage arising out of the shutdown, the minister said it is regrettable that it occurred when there is a considerable reduction in national power supply as a result of shortage in gas supply to thermal power stations.

Professor Nnaji also disclosed that President Goodluck Jonathan is personally leading a new effort to draw up a far reaching and composite plan to end all the impediments to the quick realisation of electricity development in Nigeria, including gas shortages.