Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Mr Babatunde Fashola (SAN) has said that the federal government is considering concessioning six hydro dams to private operators under the build, operate and transfer, BOT initiative.
He said the plan is part of government’s resolve to raising power generation and expanding its drive in the renewable energy space. Fashola, who made the disclosure in a keynote address at the 2018 pre-conference workshop of the Nigerian Association of Petroleum Explorationists (NAPE) in Lagos, yesterday, said that the current component of grid power consists mainly of gas-fired power which is 85 per cent and hydropower 15 per cent and that there is the need to produce an energy mix that targets a 30 per cent component of renewable energy out of the gross energy produced by 2030.
He said: ‘‘let me be clear and unequivocal by saying upfront that our commitment as a nation and government to pursue renewable and low carbon energy at low cost is clear, firm and unshaking.’’
The minister said government recently approved an integrated energy mix targets under Electricity Vision 30:30:30 which targets generation of 30 GW in 2030, with 30 per cent from renewable energy sources.
The minister said that Africa has trillions standard cubic feet of natural gas reserves, billions of barrels of crude oil reserves and billions of tonnes of coal. He also explained that concessioning of the dams was aimed at energising educational institutions and markets in the country.
“These are government-led initiatives based on the rural electrification plan approved by the President in 2016 to provide access to power for rural dwellers and vulnerable members of our society. We proposed to use six small hydro dams that had been abandoned for decades, Federal Government owned universities and some markets as anchors.
“Apart from the universities, where government is directly funding the intervention, the markets are being privately funded. There are currently 15 markets under contemplation with Ariaria, Sabon Gari and Sura markets in Aba, Kano and Lagos as flagships.
“Our thinking is simple. While the whole value chain and power privatisation gradually evolves, it is possible to create oases of success by showing to our children that they can have reliable power while in school.
“If that is a reason to get children to school and keep them there, certainly, no good business can oppose this.
“Indeed, it seems to me sensible to expect that the future of today’s business and even government rests solely on the quality of education that the current generations of students get.
“As for the markets, the 37,000 shops in Ariaria, about 13,000 in Sabon Gari, and about 1,000 in Sura represent SMEs, where the majority of our people earn a living,’’ he said.
Fashola said that Nigeria as a committed member of both the United Nation, African Union and ECOWAS has adopted several international treaties and policies which promote the use of renewable energ
Dr Andrew Ejayeriese, the President of NAPE said that Nigeria is the largest economy in Africa and the twenty-second globally, adding that it is projected that the economy could rise through the world ranking to top 10 in 2050 with a projected GDP of US46.4 trillion.