Faced with challenges of poor local production, the Federal Government of Nigeria may reach out to countries with higher generation capacity and those with very ambitious electricity generation programmes to boost supply.
Already, the Federal Government has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to purchase power from the Democratic Republic of Congo, a country currently planning to produce at least 40,000 megawatts of electricity from its dams.
In a related development, the United Nations Industrial Development Organisation (UNIDO) has commenced the installation of mini hydro-power plants across the country as a deliberate move to boost electricity in the country.
Congo is fine-tuning work to expand electricity generation to over 40,000mw from dams through the ‘Grand Inga’ mega-project. Experts estimate that the project could provide 40 per cent of Africa’s electricity needs.
It is expected to become the world’s largest hydro project and could provide more than 500 million people with renewable energy when completed, according to available information on the Congo project.
Minister of State for Power, Mohammed Wakili, said at an investors’ conference organised by the Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN) in Abuja Monday that some of the electricity to be bought from Congo would also be exported to some neighbouring countries where Nigeria’s transmission network expands to.
He added: “Nigeria is in bilateral and multilateral relationships at various stages of advancement with other governments for the importation and exportation of power. For example, Nigeria has signed MoU with Democratic Republic of Congo for the importation of electricity from the Inga Dam Power Plants for both local consumption and export to other countries.
“The Inga is envisaged to exceed 40,000mw on full exploitation. TCN network spreads to all parts of the country and across the border to some neighbouring countries to form part of the West African Power Pool (WAPP).
“With the realisation of Inga and other initiatives, Nigeria will become a regional hub in international electricity trade, exporting large swathes of internally-generated, as well as imported power to WAPP countries.