Minister of Power, Professor Bart Nnaji , has said that the various power plants in the country would be repositioned to produce over 5,000mw of electricity before December this year.
He gave the assurance at the Power Holding Company Of Nigeria (PHCN) distribution station in Lagos at the weekend after inspecting power control, generation and distribution plants located in Oshogbo, Egbin , Olorunsogo and Ikeja west distribution stations in South –West region.
The minister who undertook tour of the facilities with the Minister of Information, Mr. Labaran Maku, said that the federal government was determined to ensure that the problem of power failure becomes thing of the past.
Amid challenge of shortage of gas supply to the power generation plants, funding, radial and fragile grid , obsolete equipment and transmission line redundancy, the minister was very optimistic that the country would have power sufficiency within the shortest possible time.
At Egbin Power Plant located in Lagos,Nnaji said that the federal government would immediately disburse N1.5 billion required for complete repairs of the ailing ST-O6 for it to function at its full capacity.
The power minister who described the plant as the back- bone of power generation in the country , said the federal government was determined to expand the various power generation plants to meet the demand of power supply in the country.
Allaying workers’ fears over the privatisation programme of the government, the minister said: “Privatisation is about money . We want all the units of the 1320 mega watts of power to be provided for Nigerians. Let us even consider expansion of the plants. There is nobody in the country that will take up the power plants and operate it the way it is. It would be operated above its original capacity. Do not be afraid, what will happen here is not about getting anybody off job, but rather making it possible for them to do their jobs.
“We have Kainji with the installed capacity of 760 MW, it is given us just 50 Mw . Is that what you will like? They have turbines not overhauled in 40 years .If a lot of plants were operating like Egbin, we will probably not be considering privatisation.”
The minister lamented the situation in Olorunsogo power station located in Ogun State where the Chinese operating the plants were severally accused by the management of frustrating power generation efforts by refusing to transfer the technology and manual of its operation written in Chinese language , just as they were said to have developed the penchant for ridiculing Nigerians and deserting the plant at will.
The minister who was obviously bugged by the reality confronting him was forced to shout: “Is there anyone who knows anything here . Why are you all scratching for information.”
He added that the federal government would immediately look at the terms of engagement of the Chinese and recommend appropriate measures to salvage the situation.