‘How govt achieved 4,500MW electricity generation’
THE Federal Government has explained how it has been able to raise generating capacity to over 4500mw within four years.
Minister of Power, Prof. Chinedu Nebo, stated that Nigerians would have enjoyed much more stable power supply, if the activities of vandals blowing up pipelines had not increased in recent times.
The minister stated: “A few days ago shortly after most parts of the country celebrated the yuletide with stable power which drew a lot of praises for the Government, vandals struck again by bursting at many points the main pipelines supplying gas to power station, this resulted in a steep drop in generation capacity and by extension available on the national grid”.
Decrying the situation, which he said had become a trend for a long time now, Nebo said the Federal Government was taking measures on including installing electronic gadgets to track down the unwholesome elements at the point of perpetrating their illicit acts.
The Minister who also spoke of the President’s passion to give Nigeria uninterrupted power said that the sector would suffer seriously if the well-laid out policies were disrupted at this time adding that Nigerians must therefore make the choice of staying on course by giving the President maximum support in this regards or rubbish the gains already recorded.
Nebo observed that lack of adequate planning expected to evolve sound working policies by previous administrations brought about setbacks, which culminated in the slow movement in the nations generating capacity.
While recalling how President Goodluck Jonathan-led government increased the country’s generating capacity to over 4500mw in few years, he stressed that introduction of renewable energy especially Solar Power system has lightened up some rural communities with a calculated plan to connect the rest within the shortest possible time.
The former Vice Chancellor University of Nigeria Nsukka, UNN added:
“Continuity is very essential and critical because don’t want policy summersault. We are now on a trajectory and we hope to consolidate that trajectory. We need the media to spread the information on why our People should make use of energy saving bulbs to conserve voltage.
Setting the Agenda for the future he said, “I see a Nigeria where Hospitals, Schools, households in far villages that never thought electricity because national grid cannot get to them, are connected to electricity via renewable energy and lighted up.
“Most of Nigerians who live in rural area don’t have access to electricity because they were marginalized. And so, instead of them make use electricity to cook and do other things electricity could do for them. The fumes from various cooking materials cause lots of damages to their respiratory systems and even their eyes are damaged just because they have no access to electricity.
“The cost of taking electricity is huge. But with renewable energy mix which is sustainable and durable with incredible potential for rural communities, the health and living standard of the People will greatly improve coupled with provision of substantial power for industries.”
He blamed inadequate education and cost factor for delays in embracing renewable energy in the country. “Initially the cost and lack of knowledge, It’s part of the psyche of our People that renewable energy is too expensive but that is not true’’. Currently, there has been a drop in the price of solar.
So, it’s beginning to get more and more attractive. We don’t have a policy for renewable energy, we are trying to develop one now, he said. “We trying to do all that at the same time educating our People so that they will see the potentials and viability of renewable in the hinterland. Let them see the potential this will positively affect their standard of living,” he said.
He said efforts were being made to bridge the gap. His words: “The ministry is working out modalities to put in place policies that will convince People to invest in renewable. Secondly, to demonstrate that is possible. We have already visited the places we did that in Mpape, Durumi and Waru where we gave them 24 hours supply.
“Within the next four years, we want to multiply power generation and make sure that every community has seen how it works. Renewable is the key to
access inclusive power supply that go round within the communities. The government of President Goodluck Jonathan has done a lot in ensuring improved power supply.
“When he came on board, Nigeria was barely generating 2300 Megawatts (MW).
Today, we are generating over 4000Mw. Within the past four years, I can say that Nigerians have been much better off as regards to power supply.”
He added: “Most of our power supply in Nigeria is based on Gas with about 70% Gas-fired turbine and 30% Hydro. When we have a holistic energy mix, things
will get much improved. Oil thieves, Vandals who break into our Pipelines make
it difficult for Nigerians to even benefit from what this government has done.