Electricity problems can’t be solved by magic – Babatunde Fashola tells Nigerians

The minister of power, works and housing, Babatunde Fashola, on Thursday, October 18, said that additional 945 megawatts of electricity would be added to the national grid before the end of 2018.

Fashola said this at the Nigeria-South Africa Chamber of Commerce breakfast business meeting in Lagos themed: “Power Sector and the Way Forward,’’ NAN reports.

He said that additional power would be generated to the grid from the 450 mw Azura Edo plant, 215 mw Kaduna power plant, 240 mw Afam V power plant and 40mw Kashimbilla hydro plant in Taraba state.

According to him, the power sector has recorded successful improvement in incremental power capacity in generation, transmission and distribution.

“The country’s power generation stood at 4,000 megawatts when we came on board; but today, it has been increased to 7,000 megawatts.

“In 2015, energy transmission was 5,000mw while distribution was at 3,000mw but as at today, we are distributing 5,000mw on average with 2,000 megawatts stranded.

“We are currently adding an average of 1,000mw of energy yearly to the national grid which implies that we have added about 3,000mw to the generation since we came on board,’’ he said.

Fashola said the statistics implied that 2,000mw was stranded and must be evacuated for use as more power will be generated in the years to come.

He said that government had committed to invest N72 billion for the procurement and installation of equipment to help distribute unused 2,000mw of electricity to consumers in the country.

He said the 2,000mw was from the 7,000mw that GENCOS could generate and the 5,000mw that DISCOS could distribute.

According to the minster, the DISCOS have complained about inadequate power to distribute. Fashola, however, said the problem presently was that the DISCOS could not distribute all the power that was available.

This, he explained, was leaving the sector with an unused capacity of 2,000mw, with an approximately 1,150mw projected to come in 2018 and 2019 respectively.

He said that more Independent Power Projects (IPPs) would also come on stream to boost power supply in the country.

He said that government is also targeting powering some markets, Nigerian universities and hospitals through the IPP.

According to him, all these power plants do not involve the mini grids and solar systems that are coming.

Fashola said the narrative must change from not enough power to how un-utilised power could be distributed.

He said that the sector had made progress on power generation and transmission, adding that distribution issues would also be cleared soon.

“The assurance guarantee brought confidence to power production business, which resulted to increased power production which took us to all-time high of 7,000mw power availability.”

“However, grid supplied power peaked at all-time high of 5,155mw in December 2017,’’ he added.

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