Fashola Says Power Sector To Get 2,000MW Boost

Babatunde-Fashola-Minister-of-PowerThe Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Mr Babatunde Fashola, says  plans are on to add 2,000 megawatts of electricity to the national grid.

He assured Nigerians of improved power supply, as the government was refurbishing power plants.

Speaking at a budget defence session in the Senate, Mr Fashola said the Ministry together with the major players in the electricity sector had set a target of adding the additional megawatts of electricity by the end of the year.

He also said that the ministry had started holding monthly meetings with the distribution and generation companies to look for solutions to the problems in the power sector.

This is coming just as some Nigerians have decried the current state of electricity supply which had dropped from what it was after the current government assumed power in May 2015.

Mr Fashola told the lawmakers that before the emergency projects – the National Integrated Power Project (NIPP) – introduced in 2004, no power plant was built in over two decades.

“Before the emergency projects, the NIPP projects, the last major power plant that was built in the country was probably the Egbin power plant and that was when I was in the university.

“But our population has multiplied. Even when Egbin was built, we were already behind.

“Therefore, that contextualises why privatisation is not going to happen as a miracle for success.

“But it will happen. I am very clear in my mind that it will happen if we take the right order,” he stressed.

He further pointed out that since private capital came into the sector, some idle power plants had been refurbished.

“I can tell you from the inspections that I have done that some power plants that were ideal before are either being refurbished or have been fully refurbished.

“And we think that if we succeed, we should be able to add another 2,000 megawatts by end of year on an incremental basis through the year,” he said, assuring Nigerians of an expected increase in power supply.

Fashola Promises FG’s Preparedness To Pay Contractors

Babatunde FasholaThe Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Mr Babatunde Fashola, has promised the Federal Government’s preparedness to pay contractors handling projects across the country and get them back to work next year.

The Minister, who made the promise at a media conference in Abuja on Tuesday, said that:”For us, our ability to achieve connectivity on load, depends on capital spending in 2016 to pay contractors and get them back to work”.

Mr Fashola informed reporters about his blueprints for handling issues in the three ministries he oversees.

He also emphasized his determination to implement an effective market tariff system for the power sector.

According to the Minister, a tariff system which allows consumers of electricity to pay for only what they consume is one sure way to having stable electricity supply.

“For emphasis and clarity, let me also say that the previous administration had approved the tariff in January 2015 but what they did was not to fully implement it.

“The implementation was suspended at the onset of elections and after elections. The operators asked government to implement and pay for what they had produced.

“I think the outages we saw during and after elections was because the gas companies were not paid.

“At the onset of this administration, the first batch of debt was paid and that is why power went up and which prompted some of the outages that are being experienced now.

“So, what we expect to do is to liquidate the verifiable and agreed debt that have accrued and to approve a market tariff.

“For us, the surest way not to have power is to oppose the implementation of the tariff order; without a tariff system, there will be no power.

“As at May 2015, many contractors had stopped work because of payment. Many families; husbands, wives, had to be laid off,” the Minister stated.

 

I Will Declare State Of Emergency In Economic And Power Sectors If Elected – Audu

APCThe flag bearer of the All Progressive Congress (APC) in Kogi State, Prince Abubakar Audu, has promised to declare a state of emergency in the economic and power sector, if voted in as the Governor of the state for four years.

Prince Audu disclosed this while receiving a Chieftain of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Leke Abejide, who decamped to the APC with hundreds of supporters at Alu in Yagba East Local Government Area of the state.

While soliciting for votes from the people, Audu, who was the former Governor of the state, said the welfare of the people remained a priority to him, noting that he has the best interest of the people at heart.

Lake Abejide, who decamped to the APC, gave his reasons for quitting the PDP.

“There are five reasons I left the PDP. Foremost of it all is that the PDP is conservative in nature and I am progressive in nature, he said.

“Over the years, I have tried to change things within their fold, but I have realised that it will not be. After painstaking deliberation with some of my followers and supporters across the three local councils in the area, and some people outside the state, we decided it is best to move to the APC where the real idea behind my joining politics can be realised”, He added

While the political parties solicit for votes from the electorate ahead of the election, the people will decide through secret ballot system who will rule them.

The Jigawa State Governor, Abubakar Badaru, who was also at the occasion, urged the people to vote APC for better things to come.

FG To Generate 5, 000 MegaWatts Of Power Before 2016 – Osinbajo

SallahNigeria’s Vice President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, on Tuesday said the Federal Government is determined to solve the problem of power in the country within the shortest possible time.

Prof Osinbajo, who was a visitor at the convocation ceremony of Redeemers University, Ede in Osun State told journalists that significant progress has already been witnessed in the sector since the coming on board of the present administration.

‎He explained that the change in the power sector is on the increase, saying about 5000 megawatts of power is expected to be generated before the end of the year, and another 1,000 will be generated in the first quarter of next year.

Speaking on the ‎appointment of the president’s cabinet, Vice President Osinbajo stressed that the executive arm of government will not renege in ensuring all appointments are based on merit, while other considerations follow.

Former Minister Of Planning Urges Buhari To Set Target For Power Sector

NERCA former Minister of National Planning,  Shamsudeen Usman, has urged President Muhammadu Buhari to come up with a set target on how to tackle the power challenge in Nigeria.

Dr. Usman, who spoke at a meeting in Abuja on Saturday, also advocated for a system to monitor success being made.

He said “it is only when this is done that the nation can achieve the much desired socio-economic development”.

He stressed that topmost in the needs of Nigerians was power supply.

At the meeting, other experts were of the opinion that the models used in tackling power challenges and the activities of pipeline vandals contributed to lack of steady power supply.

They suggest the full implementation of past policies which were formulated to make the sector vibrant.

While others have come up with resolutions on how best government can tackle the issue of electricity in the country, it remains to be seen if the decisions reached at the meeting will be used to add value to the  development of the power sector in Nigeria.

Nigeria Governors Forum Worried About Power Sector

governorsThe Nigeria Governors Forum has expressed worry about the state of the country’s power sector.

The Chairman of the forum, Governor Abdulaziz Yari of Zamfara State, made this observation after the meeting which had 26 governors in attendance and ended in the early hours of Thursday in Abuja.

The forum therefore called for a comprehensive power sector policy, and strategy to address the situation.

Mr Yari said the governors also discussed some of the issues they hope to address when they meet with the United Nations’ Secretary General, Ban Ki-Moon, who will be visiting Nigeria over the weekend.

 

 

Electricity Fixed Charges: Regulator Says Abolition Not Possible

power-plant-with-meterThe Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) has ruled out the abolition of fixed charges on electricity tariffs, as recently directed by the Senate.

An official of the regulatory body said that the directive undermined the electricity laws enacted by the National Assembly.

The Chairman of the NERC, Dr. Sam Amadi, told reporters on Monday that taking such a decision without appropriate consideration could cause a collapse in the power sector.

Dr. Amadi said that due process, which is currently ongoing, could cause a review of fixed charges to ensure free and reasonable costs to consumers.

He reiterated that the fixed charges were legal and an important part of electricity pricing framework that supports the functioning of electricity generation, transmission and distribution, without which the sector might collapse.

Exploitative In Nigeria

He said fixed charges were part of electricity market globally but tends to be exploitative in Nigeria, as a result of epileptic power supply for which consumers are compelled to pay, a trend he said would change, as electricity generation and supply improve.

Since the unbundling of the Power Holding Company of Nigeria and the introduction of distribution companies, the power sector has been beset by complaints of outrageous electricity bills and tariffs by different levels of consumers.

On July 11, 2015, the Senate asked the NERC to abolish fixed charges paid by electricity consumers across the country.

To eliminate the negative impact and perception of the fixed charges, Dr. Amadi said the commission had mandated the distribution companies to restructure the charges to ensure that it was proportionate to actual electricity consumed.

Also addressed by the commission was consumers’ concern on estimated billing which the NERC boss said a public consultation would soon be conveyed towards introducing a benchmark for estimations to end outrageous bills.

Nigeria In Talks With Russia To Build Nuclear Power Plants

power_plantNigeria is in talks with Russia’s state-owned Rosatom to build nuclear power plants in the country.

“We have an intergovernmental agreement with Nigeria, but no concrete decisions have been made,” a Rosatom spokesman said.

One nuclear power plant costs between $5 billion to $8 billion, a source at the company said.

Chief Executive of the Nigeria Atomic Energy Commission, Franklin Erepamo Osaisai, said on their website that Nigeria has no experience in developing and operating nuclear power plants but has a gamma facility and small reactors producing around 30 kilowatts for research,  adding that nuclear power will guarantee long-term energy supply.

80 percent of Nigeria’s power plants are gas-fired.

Rosatom has a contract to build a new plant in Hungary and has agreed to build reactors in India and Kazakhstan. It is also planning to build more reactors in Iran in addition to the Russia-built Bushehr plant, Iran’s first nuclear facility, launched in 2011.

Nigeriahas installed power capacity that fluctuates between around 6,000 to just over 7,000 MW, according to the transmission company.

Nigeria broke up its monopoly on power generation and distribution by privatising the sector two-years ago, hoping to attract foreign investors. But the amount of power produced has stagnated at around half total capacity.

Some of the older plants, sold in October 2013, are in dire need of an upgrade while the fledgling generating firms lacking the cash as distributors struggle with non-paying consumers and inadequate gas supplies required to keep the plants running.

Electricity Bulk Trading To Receive Significant Boost

ElectricityThe Chief Executive Officer of the Nigerian Bulk Electricity Trading Plc, Mr Rumundaka Wonodi has said that eight out of the 11 electricity distribution companies have posted letters of credit for guaranteed transaction with the energy broker.

This, he said will in the next few months result to significant boost in the energy generation and distribution market in Nigeria.

Rising from the Electricity Bulk Traders board meeting for the year, Mr Wonodi said efforts were on to ensure adequate regulation of electricity tariff paid by consumers, noting that this was one of the major challenges faced in electricity distribution in Nigeria.

He also said that the transitional electricity market recently launched in the sector will ensure that the shaky period which is currently being faced will even out soon including the major challenge of vandalism which has affected electricity generation in recent months.

This is coming few days after the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) announced the immediate review of electricity tariffs by about 50 per cent.

The Chairman of the Commission, Dr. Sam Amadi, said the reduction, which takes effect from the end of March, follows the regulatory agency’s decision to remove collection losses from customer tariff under the multi-year tariff order.

Power Sector: FG To Train Over 7000 Youths Through Apprenticeship Scheme

Power_linesThe Federal government of Nigeria has launched the National Power Apprenticeship Scheme (NAPAS) which is projected at training 7,400 youths in the power sector to tackle the problem of human capital being faced by the power generation distribution and transmission companies in the Nigerian power sector.

According to President Goodluck Jonahtan, it is another step towards the effort of the administration to improve the employment of Nigerian youths.

The Minister of Power, Professor Chinedu Nebu however spoke disparagingly about the lack of adequate human capital and capacity in the power sector which has become more acute following the reforms.

He wondered why for over 23 years this step has not been taken in Nigeria, noting that negligence had caused a decay in the system.

The training will concentrate on areas such as electrical fidders, cable jointers, climbers and substation operators and the trainees which are from all state of the federation are drawn from school certificates, OND , HND, and degree holders

Goodwill messages came from the National Assembly,the development partners,the Federal Capital Territory Minister and the State Governors

The beneficiaries already taken in for training knows in few months to come they would be among the ones Nigerians would look up to for steady power supply.

University Don Faults Implementation of Power Policies

professor_olu_lafeA professor of engineering, Mr Olu Lafe, has faulted the implementation of the Nigerian Content Policy by the National Council on Power, which is expected to guide the localisation of operations in Nigeria’s power sector.

“2010 the policy was put together, we were clearly on our way, but at the end of the day, the take off has been a little bit bumpy… There were targets that were set and these targets were never met”, he said on Channels Television’s Sunrise Daily on Tuesday.

He further added that the road map to power report, put together by former Minister of Power, Prof Barth Nnaji, states that “the poor in this country (Nigeria) is carrying the bulk of the weight” as they spend “N80 per kilowatt hour (kWh); which is very expensive.

“Americans are paying something in the range of 10 Cents, which is less than N16 per kWh”, while “ordinary Nigerians are paying N50 per kWh for energy because of self generation”.

He warned, “There is no way we can continue the way we are doing things and if we don’t solve the power problem in this country, we are going nowhere”.

Prof Lafe, who noted that there is a need for the country to create industries where foreign companies will like to build and homegrown companies will be encouraged thrive, insisted that power is key to attracting the foreign industries and encouraging the local industries.

He urged the Nigerian authorities to rethink the (power) architecture, as “there are ideas that we can bring on it that will almost guarantee success for us going forward”. He advised them to “avoid single point of failure” and concentrate on “distributed generation.

“When you do distributed generation, you build a micro grid around the generation; you actually build plants where they are going to be used for power generation.

“I will recommend creating multiple power companies; at least one power company for one local government area”, he said, warning that the power problem will not be solved by gigantic companies.

He further noted that the present power generating plan should be maintained but advocated for the “need to begin to build small distribution generation plants close to where they are”.

He also advocated the use of solar energy, natural and bio gasses as other measures to improve the power problems facing Nigeria.

Prof Lafe stated that Nigeria has an opportunity to go past the recurring issues of power failure because some of the new ideas of making the American power sector robust are being written by Nigerians.

He also noted that the Ministry of Power is expected to send a draft policy on Nigerian content in the power sector to the National Assembly for legislation and the policy will amongst others, require states and local governments across the country to maximise municipal wastes generated within their environments in promoting sustainable waste-to-power projects that will be embedded within their localities.

He commended the President for taking a leadership role in the power sector, adding that road map to power report which analysed “where things have been, where things were as at 2010 and where we need to go, was a brilliant job”.

Nigerians Willing To Pay For Stable Power Supply

Power Supply ReformThe Chairman of Power Group, Lagos Chamber Of Commerce and Industry, Mr Effiom Edet, has said that Nigerians are willing to pay for stable supply of electricity if they could see visible improvements in the sector.

Speaking on Channels Television’s programme, Business Morning, on Wednesday, Mr Edet said that to record a recoverable capacity in the power sector, infrastructure and gas needed to be put in place, with the upgrading of the east network prioritised.

Also, the head, Development Finance, Heritage Bank, Segun Akanji, said that the power sector required both the private sector and the government intervention.

To boost the power supply in Nigeria, Mr Akanji emphasised that the government had a responsibility to the people to create a stronger attraction by providing its own balance sheet for the people to access a larger share of funding from the international capital market, private equities and international investors.

Mr Akanji stressed the need for the government to give a lot of consideration to the sector by creating an atmosphere that would attract investors while it could leverage on that as a means of growing the economy.

“Basically it is the way we handle event that would determine whether it could be a crisis or not. But for me I do not think this would be a crisis because, power is important. Without power we cannot have a transformation agenda fully realised,” he said.

He further explained that If there was consistency in delivery of power supply in homes and industries in Nigeria, there would be a strong and massive economic development in the country.

Although the banking sector is exposed to giving out loans to investors and which may lead to crisis, Mr Akanji said that the pattern used in handling the loan process and usage of funds could lead to crisis.

“If the government will be willing to use its balance sheet as a form of guarantee for the power sector to secure the financing or negotiated with potential investors, it will further open up power sector for investors to come in. If this is done the sector facilities can be restructured and the crisis in the banking sector will not emerge,” Mr Akanji said.