Why stable power remains elusive, by ex-minister
Abuja determined to revive sector, Buhari’s aide says
Former Minister of Power, Prof. Chinedu Nebo, has said that stable power supply will remain elusive until the Federal Government starts encouraging embedded generation and distribution of power in the country.
Nebo stated that massive power plants would not provide solution to the power challenge, based on the level of funding required for setting up transmission networks across the country.He explained that allowing smaller power plants in areas where power was needed and encouraging private investors to go into power generation would fix the situation.
The don emphasised the need for the National Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) to institute a policy that would protect and encourage patronage of private investors by the distribution companies (DisCos).
In an interview, Nebo, whose tenure in the power ministry superintended the unbundling of the sector into 11 DisDos, six generation companies (GenCos) and leaving transmission for the Federal Government in 2013, told The Guardian that unbundling was the best thing that could happen to the sector.But he added that the massive privatisation was flawed.
“Some of the companies and entities that won the bid were not the best; they were not prepared, didn’t have the capital and expertise to take us to the next level. If those had been taken care of, there would have been huge improvement in the power sector,” he said.Meanwhile, Senior Special Assistant to President Muhammadu Buhari on Public Affairs, Ajuri Ngelale, has urged Nigerians to expect better performance from the current administration, as efforts are in place to revive the power sector.
Ngelale, who is also a member of the Presidential Power Initiative (PPI), said Buhari had engaged processes to ensure that the transformation in Nigeria’s power sector was visible by 2021.His words, “Nigerians have got the right to be sceptical; they were told that we would be generating 40,000 megawatts by 2020 and all of that, and that has not happened.
“So we understand that if government says something about the power sector, Nigerians are very sceptical. But we are asking our people to pay attention to what is happening right now.”Earlier this year around July, the Federal Government signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Siemens, a global engineering giant based in Germany, he noted.
“When Angela Merkel and President Buhari met in the State House, they agreed that the German government would step in and assist us with the development of our power sector.“So, we are telling Nigerians to hold us to account, that by December 2021, we would have increased our distribution capacity from 3,000 megawatts to about 7000 megawatts. Which means that Nigerians will see more than double the capacity they have been seeing over the last several decades within the next two years.”