Power outages may soon become a thing of the past as the federal government has approved a framework of investments to add another 2000mw to the national grid.
This was disclosed by the minister of Power, Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola, after the Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting presided over by President Muhammadu Buhari at the Presidential Villa.
According to Fashola, Nigeria has 2000mw of electricity that is not getting to the consumers and with this new investments in the power sector, the 2000mw can get to the consumers.
He explained that Nigeria’s electricity networks cannot support more than 5000mw hence the reason why the extra megawatts generated does not get to the national grid.
He said, “FEC today approved a Memo providing a framework of investment at the 33KVA and 11KVA line in expanding the national distribution network, to deliver an extra 2000mw of electricity to consumers which is currently not getting to the grid, will get to the grid and then to consumers.
“Nigeria today has 2000mw of electricity that cannot reach consumers because of lack of distribution capacity.
“It is not getting to the grid as the networks are not sufficient to support more than 5,000mw, so investments has to come in.”
He added that the federal government has 40 per cent shares while the DISCOs have 60 per cent and will be compelled to make additional investments that they were supposed to have made.
He further stated that the process of procurement of the equipment, lines and all of the accessories to build the networks will be under international procurement standards.
“The federal government will put its own 40 per cent and ask the DISCOs to put their own 60 per cent and other parties who are interested will have the opportunity to improve the investments.
“This is just to accelerate action to ensure that the 2000mw that is available now gets to the grid and gets to the people because power is coming. We are expecting many more power plants to complete this year which will add almost 1,600mw to the grid.
“So we can’t continue to accumulate power that doesn’t get to the people, so this framework is to start the process,” he stated.
When asked whether there will be a hike in the electricity tariff, Fashola replied, “I don’t decide the price of electricity tariff. The minister does not make that decision. But the point we are making is that NERC is the authority that decides electricity tariff, not the ministry or the minister.
“So the question about pricing and tariff should appropriately be directed to NERC. All of what I have said about tariff when the first tariff was passed on 2016 and the recent comments I have made, are only my own opinions about what we should be doing about tariff.”
During his briefing, minister of state for Aviation, Hadi Sirika said council approved a memo to upgrade Nigeria’s flight safety laboratory which is used for accident investigation purposes.
He said the laboratory was first established in 2012 but it became obsolete because the laboratory used tape- based flight recorders.
He explained, “Nigeria like other places recorded plane crash in the case of Dana where extreme temperatures damaged the recorders because they are tape based. So we are upgrading it to something that is more permanent and can stand high temperatures. These are international requirements. The amount is N656 million.”
On his part, the minister of Water Resources, Sulaiman Adamu said the council approved a memo for the rehabilitation of water supply scheme in Kazaure in Jigawa State at the cost of N3.78 billion to CGC Nigeria Limited.
He explained that the project came about because of the Bwari irrigation project which was started in 1997 and was abandoned in 2000.
He noted that the work disrupted the facility that used to supply the town with water and for 20 years the town has been without water.
“But very soon under our new programme of resuscitating irrigation project with a view to expanding irrigable land available, that irrigation project is set to commence and it is important that this water project takes advantage of the return of this project,” he added.
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