YPP Presidential Candidate Ado-Ibrahim Pledges Steady Power Supply If Elected

Ahead of the 2023 general elections, the presidential candidate of the Young Progressives Party (YPP), Prince Malik Ado-Ibrahim, has pledged to revamp Nigeria’s power, saying he will ensure a steady electricity supply if elected into office.

Since Nigeria’s return to civilian government in 1999, over N11 trillion is believed to have been spent to provide regular electricity supply for Nigerians, with little to show for it.

READ ALSO: INEC Promises To Conduct Good Governorship Election In Ekiti

The situation has forced many Nigerians to call for an independent probe, with many government officials prosecuted, especially with the collapse of the national grid that plunged Nigerian cities into darkness.

YPP presidential candidate, Malik Ado-Ibrahim, speaks during an interview on Channels Television’s Political Paradigm on June 14, 2022.

 

But speaking during an interview on Channels Television’s Political Paradigm, Ado-Ibrahim said he will change the narrative for the better.

A file photo of a powerline.
A file photo of a powerline.

 

“We have had people trying to build power in this country, but they have never done it. Billions and billions of dollars have been spent on the power sector and nothing has been developed,” he said, seven months to the presidential and National Assembly elections.

“If you take that as part of governance, they have all paid. We have had roads since 1960, the same ones.”

If elected next year, the presidential hopeful said he will boost the nation’s economy while attracting more foreign and local investors.

This is even as he criticised the nation’s political elites for not doing their best for the citizens.

His remarks come a week after he emerged as the party’s presidential candidate.

Vandalism On Transmission Tower Led To National Grid Collapse – FG

A file photo of a powerline.

 

The Ministry of Power said on Saturday the latest collapse of the national grid was due to vandalism on a transmission tower.

The grid collapsed on Friday for the third time in as many weeks, plunging parts of the country into darkness.

The Ministry earlier on Saturday said it was investigating the cause.

READ ALSO: Blackout Hits Lagos, Abuja, Kano, Others As National Grid Collapses Again

“Further to our earlier press release, we wish to apprise the general public that the immediate cause of national blackout (system collapse) was an act of vandalism on a transmission tower on the Odukpani Ikot Ekpene 330kV double circuit transmission line thus resulting in a sudden loss of about 400MW of generation,” the Ministry’s statement said.

“This consequently led to a cascade of plant shut down across the country.

“We wish to notify the public that power on the grid is being restored sequentially by the System Operator as other on-grid power plants are being dispatched to cover the lost generation capacity from the Calabar power plant owned by the Niger Power Holding Company Ltd.”

FG Says It Is Investigating Failure Of National Grid

A file photo of a powerline.
A file photo of a powerline.

 

The Ministry of Power on Saturday said it is investigating the collapse of the national grid.

The grid collapsed on Friday for the third time in as many weeks, plunging parts of the country into darkness.

In a statement, the Ministry said the process of restoration has already commenced.

“We wish to notify the general public of the incidence of a system collapse which occurred at 1830hrs on April 8th, 2022 resulting in power outages in many parts of the country,” the statement said.

READ ALSO: NERC Confirms Removal Of Electricity Subsidy

“While a detailed investigation into the immediate and remote causes of the recurring grid failure is currently ongoing by the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission and System Operator (the operator of the national grid), the process of restoring supply is ongoing with some sections of the national grid already energised and supply restored to consumers.

“We wish to assure Nigerians that the Federal Government is working assiduously to deliver on the much-needed reforms and investments, including SCADA, that are critical to improving the capacity and reliability of the national grid. This is in line with the Mr. President’s directives on closing infrastructure deficits in critical sectors of the Nigerian economy.”

FG Blames Poor Power Supply On Low Water Level At Hydro Plants

 

The Federal Government has blamed the erratic power supply in Abuja and some parts of the country on a reduction in hydro capacity owing to the dry season.

The Minister of Power, Abubakar Aliyu, said this during the weekly ministerial briefing on Thursday.

He explained that overload on the nation’s power plants, maintenance work in the eastern region of the country, and challenges in the Okoloma Gas Station have inhibited the units from reaching optimum supply.

According to him, the government under the Siemens Presidential Power Initiatives is working to ensure an optimum supply of gas to facilitate the speedy restoration of power soon.

READ ALSO: AGF Confirms Commencement Of Process For Kyari’s Extradition

The minister also said the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) delivers about 8,000 megawatts daily and an installed capacity of 18,000 megawatts. This is as he vowed to deal with distribution companies (DISCOS) involved in metre racketeering, insisting that the procurement of metres is free.

Aliyu equally explained that the government is expediting action on the installation of ten power transformers with ten more mobile substations for massive improvement of electricity supply nationwide.

He assured Nigerians that they will see a drastic improvement in power delivery across the country.

Zamfara Residents Lament As Power Outage Cripples Economic Activities

A photo showing the map of Zamfara, a state in northwest Nigeria.

 

Residents of Birnin-Waje, Dangurumfa, Dargaje, and Matseri, all in Bukkuyum Local Government Area of Zamfara State, have lamented the total power outage in their communities, which according to them, is hampering economic activities.

The residents in a statement issued on Sunday by the Secretary of the Birnin-Waje Community Development Association, Mr Sani Umar Waje, said these communities have continued to remain in darkness and economic activities at standstill, due to total power blackout for the past three months.

“These communities have been successfully supplied with electricity under the federal government’s Rural Electrification Program and after a year and half of using the power supply, it was suddenly cut off for no reason by the Electricity Distribution Company,” the statement read.

READ ALSO: We Never Disrespected The Emir Of Kano – Air Peace

The residents said the affected communities have constituted a consultation committee headed by the District Head of Dangurumfa, Aminu Muhammed, to interface with the officials of the distribution company with a view to finding a lasting solution to the blackout.

The statement explained that as a business hub and considering the security challenges bedeviling the entire Bukkuyum Local Government Area, most of these communities are in a sorry state in terms of power supplies, which has crippled the economy.

“This committee has played an important role in understanding the situation. The committee travelled as far as Talata-Mafara to meet with officials on this issue but all the efforts have not yielded success.

“Considering the importance of electricity to economic development and job creation for our teeming youth, and the impact of electricity on security, we call on the authorities and other stakeholders to look at this problem and possible ways to solve it,” the statement added.

FG: Nigerians Suffering Epileptic Power Owing To Years Of Neglect

A file photo of a powerline.
A file photo of a powerline.

 

The Federal government has pointed at past neglect of the power sector as the major cause of slow development of the power sector and consequently epileptic power supply.

The Minister of Power, Abubakar Aliyu who presented 16 memos at the Federal Executive Council meeting chaired by the Vice President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo today, disclosed the present administration has done more than was tenable in previous administrations to bridge the power deficits for improved electricity supply.

In affirming the current power generation pegged at 5,000 MW, he described the nation’s transmission grid as weak and unable to evacuate and distribute sufficient electricity, which according to him will constitute a major problem ahead.

READ ALSO: Buhari Visits Borno As Multiple Explosions Rock Maiduguri

The Minister of Power, Abubakar Aliyu, gave a press briefing at the State House in Abuja on December 23, 2021.
The Minister of Power, Abubakar Aliyu, gave a press briefing at the State House in Abuja on December 23, 2021.

 

He however noted that the Federal Government has placed order for new power equipment and assures that Nigerians in no time will see the outcome of the ongoing investments.

Reacting to calls by the National Union of Electricity Employees, demanding a total reversal of the privatization exercise, the Power Minister notes that there are more questions surrounding the initial engagement that requires further investigation, primarily to unravel possible breaches, in order to make an informed decision.

He further maintained that while there are calls for a reversal, there are also calls for full privatization of the sector, a situation that equally demands the Federal Government go back to the drawing board.

Power Minister Clarifies Controversy Over Abuja DISCO Leadership

A file photo of a power installation.

 

The Federal Ministry of Power has clarified the controversy triggered by the recent changes in the ownership structure and management of the Abuja Electricity Distribution Company Plc (AEDC).

While noting that earlier reports had largely been communicated out of context, the Minister of Power, Engr. Abubakar Aliyu, said the AEDC has recently been facing significant operational challenges.

According to the minister, the issues arose from a dispute between the core investors (KANN consortium) as owners of 60% equity in AEDC and the UBA as lenders for the acquisition for the majority shareholding in the public utility.

READ ALSO: Enough Of Harassment Of Judicial Officers, We Can No Longer Take It – CJN

He further disclosed that the situation has currently deteriorated due to lack of access to intervention finances, leading to a point whereby legitimate entitlements of the staff are being owed.

This, Engr Aliyu, says is the reason service disruptions were encountered on December 6 within AEDC’s franchise area.

The Minister, however, emphasised that the Federal Ministry of Power has since taken the initiative to engage organised labour and electricity service has since been restored in the FCT and the states served by AEDC.

He added that the UBA, as a lender, and in exercising its rights over the shares of KANN Consortium in AEDC, has taken over the shares of the obligor in the AEDC.

The minister further explained that it was this takeover of the majority stake in AEDC by UBA that has consequently led to the reported changes in the management of the company.

According to him, the changes in shareholding in AEDC and the appointment of interim management by the shareholders have been endorsed by the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (the industry regulator) and the Bureau of Public Enterprises (“BPE” as co-shareholders in AEDC).

In his summation, the minister reaffirmed the commitment of the Federal Ministry of Power to working with all stakeholders to ensure service continuity in all areas served by the AEDC.

Zungeru, Kashimbila Hydro-Power Projects To Be Ready By December – Power Minister

A file photo of a power installation.

 

The Minister of Power, Abubakar Aliyu, says the Zungeru and Kashimbila Hydro Power projects would be ready by December this year.

Mr Aliyu disclosed this when he appeared before the Senate Committee on Power, to defend his ministry’s 2022 budget proposal.

He says the 40 megawatts Kashimbila power project would start operation in December as the Federal Government has paid the ten billion naira owed contractors.

READ ALSO: Nigerians Will Soon Begin To Experience Turnaround In Power Sector: Minister

Mr Aliyu however warns that the security challenges in Niger State could prevent the inauguration of the multi-billion naira project when completed in December.

He further notes that the workers who would operate the power project can only relocate to the site and live there if their security is guaranteed.

On the Mambilla power project, the Minister explains that the project has been stalled because of legal issues which the Minister of Justice is currently handling.

Lebanon In Blackout As Power Stations Run Out Of Fuel

This file photo taken on July 10, 2021, shows the Deir Ammar power station in the northern Lebanese city of Tripoli. Lebanon was plunged into a total blackout today after two main power stations went offline because they ran out of fuel, the state electricity corporation said. Ibrahim CHALHOUB / AFP

 

Lebanon was plunged into a total blackout Saturday after two main power stations went offline because they ran out of fuel, the state electricity corporation said.

The Mediterranean country is battling one of the planet’s worst economic crises since the 1850s, and has in recent months struggled to import enough fuel oil for its power plants.

State electricity in most places is barely available for an hour a day amid rolling power cuts, while the fuel needed to power private back-up generators is also in short supply.

“After the Deir Ammar power station was forced to stop producing power yesterday morning (Friday) due its gasoil reserves running out, the Zahrani plant also stopped this afternoon for the same reason,” Electricite du Liban said in a statement.

This led to the network’s “complete collapse without any possibility of restoring it for the time being”, it said.

READ ALSO: Afghans Flock To Iranian Border, But Few Can Cross

In this file photo taken on June 23, 2021, a technician controls an electric switch board connecting homes to electricity generators in a suburb of Lebanon’s capital Beirut.  Joseph EID / AFP

 

It was the second such complete outage reported by EDL since the start of the month, after a similar incident last Saturday.

A source at the energy ministry told AFP that all was being done “to find a way out of the problem”.

EDL said that a fuel oil shipment was expected to arrive on Saturday evening, and was expected to unload at the beginning of next week.

Restoring electricity is one of the many tough tasks facing Lebanon’s new government, formed last month after 13 months of political wrangling.

Several measures have been launched in a desperate bid to keep the lights on.

Lebanon has reached an agreement towards bringing Jordanian electricity and Egyptian gas into the country via war-torn Syria, while Shiite movement Hezbollah has separately started hydrocarbon deliveries from Iran.

This file photo taken on April 3, 2021, shows a partial view of the damaged Lebanese Electricity Company (EDL) headquarters in the capital Beirut. Anwar AMRO / AFP

 

The state is also bringing in some fuel oil for power stations in exchange for medical services under a swap deal with Iraq.

The international community has long demanded a complete overhaul of Lebanon’s loss-making electricity sector, which has cost the government more than $40 billion since the end of the 1975-1990 civil war.

AFP

FG Approves N6.2bn For Six New Power Projects

A file photo of power installation.

 

The Federal Government has approved about N6.2 billion for the award of contracts for six projects in the power sector.

Mr Mamman Saleh, who is the Minister of Power, disclosed this to State House correspondents on Wednesday at the Presidential Villa in Abuja, the nation’s capital.

He briefed reporters at the end of the 44th virtual meeting of the Federal Executive Council presided by President Muhammadu Buhari.

At the meeting, efforts by the government to boost power supply in the country dominated discussions as the council approved all six memos presented for consideration by Saleh.

The approvals included the award of a contract for the design, manufacture, and supply of critical spare parts for Crompton Greaves 330KV, 132KV, and 33KV circuit breakers at N298,339,887.04; and procurement of 50 sets of 400AH battery banks – 30 to 50 volts, and 30 number of 110 volts battery charges for the substation used by the Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN) at N644,805,953.10.

Others were award of contract for the design, manufacture, and supply of three 60/66 MVA 132KV power transformers with accessories, and 15 number of 500 kV transformers, 33/0.415KV earthing transformers for the TCN at N1,296,953,044.55 with a delivery period of 12 months.

A file photo of the Minister of Power, Sale Mamman, at his office in Abuja. Photo: Twitter- @EngrSMamman

 

“All that the government is doing is to make sure that first and foremost, the supply is stable,” the minister said.

He added, “The government also wants to make sure that we upgrade the supply, maybe from 4,000 megawatts to 5,000, to 6,000, to 7,000 megawatts. So, the more we replace some obsolete and outdated equipment, the more we improve the supply of electricity.”

The power minister explained that the procurements were geared towards upgrading the transmission system to the national grid for greater efficiency and to ensure sufficient power supply to the nation in no distant time.

On the promised distribution of 1,000,000 meters, he noted that the first phase of the exercise was close to completion.

Saleh stressed that Nigerians who receive less than 24 hours power supply would be charged a lesser tariff than others.

Zamfara Power Outage Cripples Economic Activities In Kaura Namoda Town

A photo showing the map of Zamfara, a state in north-west Nigeria.

 

Residents of Kaura Namoda Local Government Area of Zamfara State are lamenting over epileptic electricity supply, which according to them, is hampering economic activities.

The residents in a statement issued on Wednesday by the Publicity Secretary of the Kaura Namoda Focus Forum, Abdulrazak Kaura, said Kaura Namoda, as the second-largest city in Zamfara State, has continued to remain in darkness and economic activities at standstill, due to incessant power outage, over the years.

“Kaduna Electricity Distribution Company (KAEDCO) is operating as an oracle, considering the way they handle customers with impunity, especially the Kaura Namoda community,” the statement read.

The residents also said the company is keeping them in perpetual darkness, charging them high because they have no option due to the monopoly in electricity distribution in the area.

The statement hinted that as a business hub, Kaura Namoda is now in a sorry state in terms of poor power supply, which has crippled the economy and blocked opportunities for entrepreneurship, thereby increasing the level of unemployment amongst the youths and leaving the growing ones hopeless.

READ ALSO: ‘It Is Very Devastating,’ Father Of Missing Nigerian Teenager In London Calls For Help

The forum acknowledged the efforts of some KEDCO staff, which are always doing their best to manage the obsolete equipment at the Kaura Namoda Power Station, other Sub-Stations, and the step-down transformers, using their tools and vehicles.

The statement, however, noted that the KEDCO will supply power to Kaura Namoda Community once in a while for between 1-3 hours towards the month-end, to get their customers to settle their bills and to avoid disconnection, even when notice is not served.

The forum said the residents are being billed on monthly estimation, regardless of whether the power is supplied or not, and the least they are charged is N4, 000 per household.

The forum called on the relevant and concerned authorities to come to their aid and salvage the residents from the traumatic condition so that they can have a sense of belonging as Nigerians.

Meanwhile, the Kaduna Electricity Distribution Company has apologised to residents of Gusau and its environs for the intermittent interruption of power in the area.

The company in a statement issued on Wednesday by its spokesman, Abdulazeez Abdullahi, blamed the situation on “the low (and sometimes zero) allocation from the national grid.”

“It is pertinent to state that in the last one week, the allocation to Gusau Area Office from the Transmission Company of Nigeria, TCN has remained 5 megawatts only. This is a far cry from the about 35 megawatts required to provide 12 hours services to our valued customers,” the statement read.

“As painful as the situation, it should be understood that this is outside the scope of our mandate as a Distribution Company. This is entirely a TCN limitation

“While we are engaging the appropriate unit in TCN to ensure the return to normalcy, we regretted the hardship and inconveniences caused our valued customers by this unpleasant development.”

Court Remands Ex-Power Minister In EFCC Custody Over Alleged Corruption

Man Bags 15 Years In Prison For N5.2m Fraud
A file photo of a court gavel.

 

An Abuja High Court has remanded a former Minister of State for Power, Mohammed Wakil, in the custody of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) over allegations of corruption.

Wakil, who was arrested by the EFCC at his Abuja residence on Sunday, was arraigned on Monday before Justice Suleiman Belgore on two counts bordering on corruption and abuse of office.

He was arraigned alongside two companies, Corozzeria Nigeria Limited and Pikat Properties Nigeria Limited.

According to the anti-graft agency, the former minister allegedly received N118 million as gratification from Bestworth Insurance Brokers Limited, out of the N27,188,232,208 approved outstanding insurance premiums and claims of deceased and incapacitated staff of the Power Holding Company of Nigeria (PHCN).

Count one of the charges read; “That you Muhammed Wakil, while being Minister of Power and Managing Director of Corozzeria Nigeria Limited, and Corozzeria Nigeria Limited, on or about 22nd December 2014, in Abuja within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court did corruptly receive the sum of N118,000,000.00(One Hundred and Eighteen Million) Naira only through Corozzeria Nigeria Limited’s Polaris Bank Account No. 4010023658 from Bestworth Insurance Brokers Limited out of the sum of N27,188,232,208.20 (Twenty Seven Billion, One Hundred and Eighty-Eight Million, Two Hundred and Thirty-two Thousand, Two Hundred and Eight Naira, Twenty Kobo) being the sum approved for the payment of outstanding insurance premiums and claims of deceased and incapacitated staff of Power Holding Company of Nigeria( PHCN), and thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 8(1)(a) of the Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Act, 2000 and punishable under Section 8(1)(b)(ii)of the same Act.”

The former minister, however, pleaded not guilty to the charges.

An application for bail by the lawyer to the defendant, Bert Igwilo, was opposed by the prosecution counsel, Benjamin Manji, who insisted that the defendant has to bring a formal application before the court.

The prosecutor also asked the court to set a date for the commencement of the trial and for the remand of the defendant at a correctional centre, pending trial.

The court adjourned the matter until March 31, 2021, for the determination of bail application and ordered that the defendant be remanded in the custody of the EFCC.