Power Problem: Some States Have Almost 24 Hours Supply, Says Fashola

 

Mr Babatunde Fashola, the Minister of Power, Works and Housing has said that some cities in Nigeria can now boast of constant power supply.

He made the assertion on Channels Television’s Sunrise Daily on Wednesday.

“Sitting down here I can tell you some states that have almost 24 hours – Kebbi, Yobe. Some have five, some have 10 and there are still outages,” Fashola said.

He said the constant power supply in some states is due to the increase in the transmission capacity, noting that the transmission capacity has grown to about 8,100 watts as of December 2018.

He said the Ministry of Power has moved forward but needs to implement the short term goals it set.

READ ALSO: Presidential Election Results Were Accredited By Observers To Be In Conformity With The Law – Fashola

Fashola also spoke about programmes which the ministry have put in place to ensure adequate power supply across the nation.

“The government has decided that as 40 per cent holder of everything in the distribution of power, we have our programme to invest N72 billion which will involve installing transformers and all of that.

“We created a metre access provider regulation. What it does is to create a new plan of investment programme. We manufacture, produce, supply and install metres and fill the gap the distribution companies cannot raise capital to fill. They cannot do so alone, they must do so under a procurement policy with the distribution company,” he said.

The former Lagos State governor said the Federal Government will solve the problems of poor power supply in the country and will continue to keep the people informed as to the watts being consumed in the country.

Nigerians Are Reporting Better Power Supply, Less Use Of Generators – Buhari

President Buhari’s Democracy Day Address (FULL TEXT)
File photo: President Muhammadu Buhari

 

President Muhammadu Buhari has said that the nation has witnessed better power supply under his administration going by the minimal use of generators among Nigerians.

The President said this on Tuesday while highlighting some achievements of his administration on Democracy Day.

Read Also: 19 Achievements President Buhari Listed In His Address

He said; “In the area of power generation, Nigerians from all parts of the country continue to report better power supply and less use of generators. This underscores the effectiveness of the methodical plan to deliver incremental and uninterrupted power supply to our homes, markets, offices and factories.”

Also according to the President, the nation has witnessed the highest power supply with over 5,000 megawatts of electricity.

He further stated that the nation’s power generation capacity has been expanded to over 7,000 megawatts with the provision of new facilities.

“The country achieved 5, 222.3 MW representing the highest peak of power generated onto the national grid and delivered to customers in December 2017. With new facilities, repairs and rehabilitation by Government and private investors, generation capability now exceeds 7,500 MW.

“This Administration is committed to lawful interventions to ensure the operators of the distribution business live up to expectations especially in the areas of distribution capacity, service delivery, collection efficiency, and metering to eliminate contentious estimated billing”. Read Full Speech Here.

Delta Community Decries Shortage In Power Supply

Delta Community Decries Shortage In Power Supply

 

Residents of Okpoku community in Delta State have accused the Benin Electricity Distribution Company (BEDC) of denying them of power supply.

Despite the disclosure by the Federal Government that Nigeria currently generates about 7,000 megawatts of electricity, blackouts still loom in different parts of the country.

This indicates that there are challenges with the distribution of power to consumers and Okpoku is one of the communities still experiencing erratic power supply and, in most cases, a complete blackout.

The angry residents alleged that BEDC has refused to energise a relief transformer which they claimed was installed through communal efforts.

The community chairman, Mr Francis Osogolo, told Channels Television in an interview on Saturday that, “As I speak to you, there is no light in the entire community.”

“This is what we have been experiencing for over two years which made the community to contribute to the transformer which has already been installed.

“All we have been asking BEDC to do for over two years now is to energise the transformer so that we can enjoy adequate power supply; BEDC has refused to energise it for no reason,” he claimed.

Business owners operating around the area also counted their losses while others decried exorbitant estimated bills, asking the Federal Government to come to their aid.

“Bills are always overestimated and when one decides to adopt the digital billing system, we are forced to pay a ridiculous backlog,” Osogolo added.

In its defence through its Corporate Affairs Officer, Mrs Esther Okolie, BEDC explained why the transformer was not connected.

Mrs Okolie insisted that the community must offset all outstanding bills on the pre-existing transformer before their request can be considered.

She said, ”At the last meeting we held with them, the community was advised to try to offset the bill on the outstanding transformer currently feeding them power because after conducting what we call ‘viability assessment’ on the existing transformer that is feeding them, we discovered that they are owing so much.

“They have to reduce at least 70 per cent of that indebtedness before we can consider energising the relief transformer,” the BEDC spokesperson noted.

Buhari Reveals Plan For Rail Transport, Power Supply Nationwide

President Muhammadu Buhari has promised renewed and increased focus on infrastructure, revealing plans for a better railroad transportation nationwide.

The President in his New Year message on Monday morning said the Ministry of Power Works and Housing will be given increased attention as it is one of the drivers of the Federal Government’s commitment to renew and increase Nigeria’s stock of infrastructure in order to achieve global economic competitiveness.

READ ALSO: Fuel Scarcity: Buhari Vows To Stop Those Behind ‘Collective Blackmail’ Of Nigerians

Buhari revealed that Kano-Kaduna rail line will commence this year and that negotiations on Port-harcourt to Maiduguri rail line will be concluded in the first part of this year.

“Construction of the Kano – Kaduna segment is expected to commence this year and reach Kaduna by the end of 2019. By the end of 2021 the two ends will be joined so that we will have standard gauge railway across the main North-South trading route. The Abuja – Kaduna route will be boosted by additional rolling stock next Thursday and will be able to handle one million commuters annually.

“At the same time I have approved and negotiations will be concluded in the first part of this year for the Port Harcourt to Maiduguri line covering Aba, Owerri, Umuahia, Enugu, Awka, Abakaliki, Makurdi, Lafia, Jos, Bauchi, Gombe, Yola and Damaturu. The Abuja to Itakpe line will go through Baro and terminate in Warri with construction of a new seaport at Warri.

Negotiations according to the President have also reached advance stage for the construction of other railway lines. This include from Kano to Maradi in Niger Republic passing through Kazaure, Daura, Katsina, Jibia to Maradi.

He also revealed plans for Lagos to Calabar the “Coastal Rail” through Ore, Benin, Agbor, Asaba, Onitsha, Sapele, Ughelli, Warri, Yenagoa, Otuoke, Port Harcourt, Aba, Uyo and Calabar.

“In the next few years, all these Nigerian cities will be linked by functional modern rail systems, giving enormous boost to the social and economic life of our people,” he said.

READ ALSO: Buhari Insists Restructuring Is Not Nigeria’s Priority

On the Abuja Capital Light Rail, Buhari said progress has reached 98% completion and that only test runs remain before start of operations. This train service according to him will stimulate economic activities in the Federal Capital and provide residents with an efficient and safe transportation system.

“Twelve railway sub-stations around the capital over a 45.2 kilometre route will serve as a catalyst and a pull factor to the economy of the area. The Light Rail System will reduce traffic congestion and carbon emission in line with the Administration’s policy on climate change.

“Management of the Federal Road Maintenance Agency (FERMA) has been reconstituted and has been charged with a 12-week rapid intervention in road repairs to cover all the geo-political zones. Government is undertaking repairs and maintenance of 44 roads within the six geo-political zones,” he added.

He said further that the Federal Government has approved work to start on the re-construction of Abuja – Kaduna – Zaria – Kano road and it is expected to be completed in 2019.

On Power supply across the nation, the President said more Nigerians across the country are experiencing improved power supply but power still remains a concern. He said the Payment Assurance Guarantee Scheme which started in January 2016 has enabled the Nigerian Bulk Electricity Trader to raise N701 billion so far, to assure Generation Companies of at least 80% payment for any power delivered to the national grid.

“Consequently, generation has now reached 7,000MW. On December 8, 2017 the country achieved 5,155MW of power delivered to consumers, the highest level ever recorded.”

Several moribund projects, the President revealed have been revived. This according to him includes repairs of Afam Power Station which added 110MW in 2017 and another 240MW will be added this year through a private investment partnership.

Katsina Power Project Buhari should be fully operational this year as it is now being tested and producing 10MW of power from wind for the first time in Nigeria.

“The Zungeru 700MW Hydroelectric Power Project, stalled by court cases is due for completion in 2019. The transmission and other requirements to operate the 30MW Gurara Phase 1 Hydroelectric Plant, the 40MW Kashimbilla Hydroelectric Plant and the 215 MW Kaduna Gas/LPG/Diesel Power Plant will also be completed this year.

A landmark project, Mambilla Hydroelectric Power Project is at last taking off. This project has been on the drawing Board for 40 years, but now the engineering, procurement and construction contract for the 3,050MW project has been agreed with a Chinese joint venture Company with a financing commitment from the government of China. Completion is targeted for 2023,” he said.

President Buhari then said the Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN) can now distribute all the 7,000MW that can be generated.

TCN and the Niger Delta Holding Company according to him have added 1,950MVA of 330 down to 132KV transformer capacity of 10 transmission stations and 2,930MVA of 132 down to 33KV transformer capacity of 42 sub-stations including Ikot Ekpene, Aba, Alagbon, Ajah, Ejigbo, Funtua and Zaria.

Efforts Ongoing To Provide Uninterrupted Power Supply – Ambode

Ambode Mourns LASIEC Commissioner, Lateef Raji
File photo

Governor Akinwumi Ambode of Lagos state has said plans are ongoing to provide constant power supply to all homes and businesses in the state by the end of 2018.

Speaking recently at an interactive session with members of the business community and informal sector, the governor said the state government has devised policies and strategies to short-circuit power generation, transmission and distribution to ensure constant power supply to the people of the state.

The governor in a statement signed by his Chief Press Secretary, Habib Aruna on Sunday said the state government is also in talks with electricity distribution companies operating in the state to see possibility of supplying uninterrupted power to residents.

READ ALSO:Apapa Gridlock: Lagos Govt Sets Up Security Task Force

Ambode said the legal framework to prevent power theft and also legitimize the concept of power generation had already been sent to the State House of Assembly for approval.

“Presently, we have less than 1,000MW in Lagos and the fundamental issues remain with generation, transmission and then distribution. In Lagos State, we have become creative and we have done Independent Power Project (IPP) before through which we were able to generate 47.5MW which was distributed short-circuiting transmission.

“If the law allows you to have independent power and going through the regulatory commission then you are smart enough to do that. The only thing we have done is to get permission from the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) to create clusters of embedded power in our State and if we are able to do it, we become a test case for the rest of the economy,” he said.

On the collaboration with electricity distribution companies, Governor Ambode said the state government is willing to stand as the guarantor for the people to get 24/7 power supply.

“The generator that people are using is extremely expensive and what we are saying is that can we work with all these stakeholders and push the tariff for example from N20 to maybe N40 but guarantee the people of 24/7 power.

“That is what we are trying to do; we become the guarantor on behalf of Lagosians and then if all those things work out, by this time next year, people will have constant power supply. As a government, we are strongly committed to power freedom; we want to free ourselves from darkness and we want to open up the sector for more investors,” he said.

Edo Communities Decry Poor Power Supply, ‘Outrageous’ Billing

Residents of Evbotubu, Ugbowo and Ikpoba Hill communities in Benin City, the Edo State capital, are complaining over erratic power supply in their areas.

The community members told Channels Television that they are also concerned about outrageous estimated billings constantly thrown their way in spite of the poor supply of electricity.

In Evbotubu community, residents said although they are connected to the national grid, they hardly enjoy stable power supply.

“The light (power) situation in this area is very bad, totally bad,” Ototo Omoridion, a resident of the community, said.

Another resident, Fred Aghedo, said residents of the area get power only once or twice in a week.

For those in the Ugbowo and Ikpoba Hill axis of Benin, the story is slightly different as they get between three and six hours of electricity supply.

A hairstylist in Ugbowo, Daramola Yusuf, said the situation wasn’t always this way.

“Before, we were not even seeing it (power supply) like this. My own opinion is that they (the power company) are improving a little but they should put in more effort,” she said.

One issue that keeps coming up in the power metrics is that of dedicated power lines which enable business owners as well as some highbrow residential areas to get between 18 and 24 hours of electricity supply.

“We always get constant light because we use 33KVA,” a resident who benefits from the dedicated lines said, adding that huge bills are paid to ensure that.

He added, “We always pay bills; the lowest is 800,000 or 900,000 naira for a month.”

Officials of the Benin Electricity Distribution Company, however, explained that the situation was as a result of a load shedding arrangement to maximise the supply of electricity.

The Business Manager, Ugbowo Business District, BEDC, Mr Gboyega Ogunlejika, explained the modality for the distribution of affordable power.

He said, “Those who are in commercial areas have daytime supply so that they can improve their productivity.

“So, we are trying to guaranty them supply from 9 am to 3 pm every day. And then, the places we consider as mainly residential; we want them to have power before they go to work in the morning and when they come back at night.”

The Corporate Affairs Officer, BEDC, Gloria Mbagu, explained that with the new equipment installed by the company, customers are set to get improved power supply.

“The number of times we load-shed our existing customers will be drastically reduced, thereby improving their power supply,” she said.

Corporate Affairs Officer, BEDC, Gloria Mbagu

On the issue of estimated billing, BEDC said it had devised a process that would address that concern.

“We assess the houses and also those that have meters within that area. We pick an average of whatever is their consumption and that is what we use for customers that do not have meters and are on estimation (estimated billing),” the Acting Business Manager, Ikpoba-Hill, BEDC, Ekaete Ntukidem, said.

For residents of Benin and its environs, better power supply means improved quality of life and they hope that power-sector operators will focus more on meeting their power needs.

Lafia Residents Blast AEDC Over Poor Power Supply

Electricity consumers in Lafia, the Nasarawa State capital have expressed displeasure over what they termed poor services by the Abuja Electricity Distribution Company, (AEDC).

To this end, they told the distribution company to take their services out of the town for failing to supply adequate power.

They made their positions at a town hall meeting organised by the Nigeria Electricity Regulatory Commission,(NERC) in Lafia.

One of the residents, Rilwanu Elayo, said, “For the past two months, the Abuja Electricity Distribution Company has failed to supply electricity to most parts of Lafia and this has forced residents to live in darkness and discomfort.

“The company has succeeded in transmitting darkness as consumers have been paying for darkness since April.

Another resident, Ayuba Adamu, however, said the situation was unlikely to change anytime soon.

“Despite repeated complaints both verbal and written to the Abuja Electricity Distribution Company in Lafia based on the fact that I receive bills despite the blackout, nothing has been done by them on the matter,” he said.

The Nasarawa State Government, represented by the Commissioner For Works, Housing and Transport, Wada Muhammad, called on the Abuja Electricity Distribution Company (AEDC) to distribute pre-paid meters to all electricity customers as they are being surcharged.

“The only way the customers will be satisfied is when they have pre-paid meters and are sure that they only pay for electricity they consume,” he said.

“The state government has already donated land and offered to facilitate the installation of a 330 KVA transformer, which if installed will go a long way in addressing the poor electricity supply in the state.”

The NERC’s Commissioner in charge of Consumers Affairs, Mr Moses Arigu, assured the electricity consumers of their resolve to ensure that distribution companies adhere strictly to operational guidelines.

“The commission has concluded plans to open an office in Lafia for the consumers to channel their complaints for redress,” he said.

On his part, the Acting Regional Manager of AEDC, Mr Christian Chime, apologised to the consumers for the poor service delivery.

He assured them that the company had already taken note of their complaints and would soon address them to ensure improved electricity supply in the state.

He also disclosed that the company would soon embark on the installation of prepaid meters in the state.

Israel Reduces Power Supply To Gaza

Israeli, Benjamin Netanyahu, Soldier
Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu

Israel reduces electricity supplies to the Gaza Strip after the Palestinian Authority limited how much it pays for power to the enclave run by Hamas, Israeli officials said on Monday June 12.

The decision by Israel’s security cabinet is expected to shorten by 45 minutes the daily average of four hours of power that Gaza’s 2 million residents receive from an electricity grid dependent on Israeli supplies, the officials said.

Israel charges the PA 40 million shekels ($11 million) a month for electricity, deducting that from the transfers of Palestinian tax revenues it collects on behalf of the Authority, Israel does not engage with Hamas, which it considers a terrorist group.

Hamas seized control of the Gaza Strip from Abbas’s Fatah movement in 2007, and several attempts at reconciliation, most recently in 2014, have failed.
Hamas has accused Abbas of trying to turn the screw on them to make political concessions.

Senate Committee Unhappy With State Of Power Projects In Kaduna

The Senate Committee on Power and Steel development has expressed displeasure over the slow pace of work on the 215KVA Kudenda Power Plant and other independent power projects in Kaduna State.

According to the committee, failure to complete the projects contributes to irregular and poor electricity supply being experienced in most parts of the North-West zone.

The Chairman of the committee, Senator Enyinnaya Abaribe, during an oversight visit to the project sites, faulted the uncertainty surrounding the completion of the power projects.

Senator Abaribe called for concerted efforts to be made to ensure that erratic power supply across the country is resolved.

There are 18 national integrated power projects in Kaduna State, with only seven of the projects fully completed while others are at various stages of completion.

The Senate committee visited power station sites at Gonin Gora, Narayi, Airforce Base and also the 215 Kaduna Power Plant at Kundenda.

During the visit, the contractor informed the committee that vital equipment meant for the completion of the 215MW plant have been rotting away at the Onne Port in Rivers State, since early 2015.

He said the development stalled the completion of the project, which had initially been scheduled for completion in the fourth quarter of 2016.

As a result of the setback encountered, the contractor said the project, for which a contract was awarded in November 2009, would be completed in the second quarter of 2018.

The committee members also visited the Nigerian Electricity Management Services Agency (NEMSA) where they called for an end to arbitrary estimated electricity billing.

According to the committee, estimated billing is not in the best interest of Nigerians.

The General Manager of NEMSA told the committee that the major hurdle is in ensuring that all metres being deployed to customers are certified.

Why Nigeria Can’t Have Stable Power Supply Now – Oke

The Associate Professor Energy/Electricity Law, University of Lagos, Yemi Oke has said that Nigeria cannot get stable electricity supply unless certain things are put in place in the power sector.

He, first of all, called on the government to back off from the power sector if it is assumed to be privatized.

“The government should have no business in the power sector if you are giving an impression that the sector is privatized.

Speaking as a guest on Channels Television’s Sunrise Daily, Mr. Oke stated that the government should enforce strict regulations on the sector.

He revealed that for the sector to get reformed the Federal Government has to back off from off-grid regulation, ensure that state electricity regulation should be set up, rural electrification fund should be distributed to the state and the states should centralize the distribution through their local governments

He further disclosed that rural electrification will deploy off grade renewables, solar to communities which should not be regulated by the local government for effectiveness.

In his words, “Rural electrification fund should be from the state and the state should now decentralise the distribution through their local government for effectiveness”

He added that if all these requirements are met, the sector will be able to transmit enough power supply to the country.

Fashola Accuses Discos Of Frustrating Govt’s Power Plan

Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola has accused distribution companies of frustrating government efforts towards regular power supply in Nigeria.

At a meeting in Jos the Plateau State capital, the minister said he is disappointed with the conducts of the discos, accusing them of concealing relevant information to the public on what government is doing to resolve the problems of electricity supply.

“I regret to announce that at best, this objective is not fully achieved or at worst is being frustrated by the distribution companies who have formed themselves into an association of distribution companies and have persistently issued statements on issues they either did not present for discussion at these meetings or which contradicts the communique that is jointly agreed and released after each meeting.”

The issue of EXCO accounts also attracted the attention of the minister as it relates to the condition of accessing the loan by the distribution company.

“As far as the regulation on your procurement is concerned, what the public needs to know, which your statement is silent on, is that you are entitled to fully recover your cost and investment by law and this is the function of how tariffs are also calculated. So if you make investments, they are passed through to consumers.

“Therefore, if government holds 40% of the shares of discos on behalf of the state and local government, and the Nigerian people, I believe that it has the duty to ensure that you buy your parts and your equipment at reasonable and competitive market prices and not through inflated contracts to relatives as we have seen in some discos.”

Power Supply: TCN To Invest $200m In Ogun

Ibikunle Amosun on African cultureAs part of the efforts to boost power supply in the country, the Ogun State government and the Transmission Company Of Nigeria (TCN) have concluded plans to construct a $200m transmission facility in the state.

The Managing Director of TCN, Mr Usman Mohammed, said the project, when completed, would address the inadequate transmission capacity of the entire nation.

On his part, the Ogun State Governor Ibikunle Amosun assured the company of the needed support to the project a success.

“This is one of the biggest project we are doing in Nigeria $200m,” Mohammed said. “We have never done something like that before and that is why this is very key.”

Noting that the capacity of the facility would be 544MW, the TCN boss said it would give room for flexibility and growth.

Governor Amosun assured the TCN of his support, saying, “We will support as government and as a person I know the importance. There are even some places where we are presently working and where we think that you will do certain things for us.”