The minister for Power, Works and Housing, Mr. Babatunde Fashola at the edition of the monthly power sector operators’ meeting said there is currently about 2000 megawatts (MW) of electricity that could be generated and sent to manufacturing bases across Nigeria but are not being utilized because the manufacturers have not shown interests to take up this idle volume of electricity.
Speaking at the capital of Nasarawa State Lafia, the Minister stated that the country had made progress in its power sector in the last year, and would like to improve on them in 2018. He explained that while power generation and transmission capacities of the country had grown to 7,000MW respectively, distribution had only inched up to 5,000MW, leaving a balance of 2,000MW unused and which could be channeled to the industrial bases of the country.
To this end, he explained that the government would want manufacturing outfits and clusters in the country to indicate their willingness and where they want this excess power to be channeled to them for consumption.
Manufacturers in the country had frequently complained of poor electricity supplies and rising cost of independently providing the electricity they need to undertake their operations, while the government in 2017 approved a regulation for eligibility customers, thus paving the way for heavy power users to enter into contracts for direct power purchases with the generation companies. (Gencos).
Also, he stated that generated power has gone up to 7,000MW in 2017 from 3,000MW in May 2015, Transmission capacity at 6,900MW in 2017 from about 5,000MW in May 2015 and Peak distribution now averaging 5,000MW in 2017 from 2,690MW in 2015”. These according to him are a good basis for the increment of power in the country which is quite encouraging.
He further stated that they are also putting together a policy position to help expand the distribution network of the discos and use this to distribute the 2,000MW that is currently available but cannot be distributed. He therefore implores manufacturers to make themselves known to the Government so that they can benefit from the 2,000MW power available.
The minister equally claimed that Nigerians are now spending less money on fuel and diesel for their private generators. He noted that reports he gathered also proved that Nigerians are now conscious of their power consumption, this he attributed to the support of the Power sectors of the country.
Similarly, he stated that a section of the Escravos-Lagos pipeline system (ELPS) which was burnt by a bush fire recently had subsequently cut gas supply to about six gas power Gencos in the southern part of the country had been repaired by the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) and gas supply through it to the power plants restored.
Fashola also commissioned a 60MVA transformer installed by the Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN) to boost electricity supply to Keffi and its environs in Nasarawa. The transformer, according to the Interim Managing Director of TCN, Mr. Usman Mohammed, was installed with support from the World Bank under the Nigeria Electricity and Gas Improvement Project (NEGIP).
Mohammed also stated that it was in with the Government’s Transmission Rehabilitation and Expansion Program (TREP), which according to him would stabilize, expand and provide the needed flexibility to Discos to effectively supply their customers.
“TREP also includes strategies for completing existing projects either through in-house capacity or through the fast tracking existing contracts. Through this process, several transformers and substations will be completed in the first quarter of 2018,” he stated.
He therefore declared that substation reinforcement and many others they would commission between January and March 2018 are part of the success of the new strategy in project implementation that significantly empowered the regional offices.s