The Minister of Power, Professor Chinedu Nebo has observed that since the advent of private sector led generation and distribution sub-sectors, a little over a year ago, there has been huge injection of funds, by the investors, towards revamping the inherited assets.
This he said, has led to substantial increase in capacities of Egbin and Ughelli thermal plants as well as Kainji Hydro station, which had been in comatose for many years before now. For instance he said, an extra 220MW has been reportedly recovered from Egbin only last week, as a result of the successful repair of its 6th turbine, blown up about 9 years ago.
Speaking on Good Morning Nigeria, a magazine programme of the NTA recently, Professor Nebo said that the development assisted Government to switch attention to other things, as such, the many years of neglect of the power sector is steadily being redressed.
Professor Nebo said a lot has happened since this exercise with all actors trying hard to adjust, adding that privatization of the power sector has contributed immensely to service delivery to the end users.
On line of communication for customers with complaints, the Minister said that customers have direct contact with their various Distribution Companies through the designated Business Centres, he advised customers to lodge their complaints through this channel and if unsatisfied to contact NERC Offices even at the zones.
While emphasizing the importance of metering in the new dispensation, the Minister said, “sadly only about 50% Nigerians have access to meters, leaving a huge gap of un-metered customers; this has informed the plan of Government to inject 1 million meters”. He announced that the one million meters would be procured from local manufacturers in order to encourage them.
Prof. Nebo also explained that the recently announced intervention fund is a soft loan arising from Synergy with stakeholders including the CBN, Ministries of Petroleum Resources, Power and Finance, aimed at infusing liquidity into the Electricity market, so that customers are not over taxed. The fund will also help to offset debts owed to gas suppliers.
Speaking on the new gas tariff, the Minister insisted that this was the first time a cost reflective tariff that will assist all actors recoup their investment has been put in place, hence gas suppliers are encouraged, while end users of gas will be assured of supply.
On acts of vandalism of Gas infrastructure, the Minister said henceforth Government will redouble its efforts through synergy with other security agencies like the Navy, National Security Adviser’s Office, Civil Defence Corps, Police and the Army, in addition it would use digital ststem to curb the menace.
Prof. Nebo said before the advent of President Goodluck Jonathan Administration, there was no policy on renewable energy and energy efficiency, but now, a workable policy is at its final stage, as Government intends to energize large populations of people living in the rural areas.
Through solar-powered energy sources, rural communities that are so far flung that it would take 2 decades to get them connected to the national grid, would get electricity, because with privatization they would be classified as non-viable by investors.
Deputy Director (Press)