By Job Osazuwa
Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Babatunde Raji Fashola disclosed in Lafia, Nasarawa State, yesterday, that 2,000 megawatts of power lies idle because it cannot be distributed.
Fashola disclosed this in his address at the 23rd monthly power sector operators meeting in Nasarawa.
“We are also putting together a policy position to help expand the distribution network of the DisCos and use this to distribute the 2,000mw that is currently available, but cannot be distributed. I also seize the opportunity to call out to manufacturers to let us know where they are, how much power they need and how we can connect you because we have 2,000 mw of undistributed power.
“This year, we should work harder to increase our people’s access to metres and reduce the incidents of estimated billing as Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) concludes the Meter Regulations that will open up the meters supply and installation business.
“In the first few days of the new year, we suffered a set back to our power supply which was caused by damage to the gas supply network around Okada.
“First, I want to repeat that gas is the fuel that most of the generation companies use to produce electricity and all of us have a stake in ensuring that they are not damaged.
“Secondly, I am happy to inform Nigerians that, as at last night (Sunday), the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) informed us that repairs have been completed. We thank and commend them for their response. Thirdly, what remains is to test the lines and restore pressure and supply to the generation companies.
“One by one, all the stakeholders from GenCos, Transmission Company of Nigeria and DisCos will work to restore supply to the levels they were before the pipeline damage. From there, we will continue our journey of incremental power.”
The minister also said the power sector recorded three milestones in 2017 and explained how power generation in the dry season has improved in Nigeria, contrary to what obtained in the past.
“In the last three months, we have increased the supply of power in dry weather and people’s experiences with power were better.
“We must thank the Ministry of Petroleum Resources for increase in gas supply. The cynics who used to say it is only during the rains that power improves now see that what we have done is no fluke.
“Apart from gas, other stakeholders are also taking commendable steps. A few months ago, NERC formally presented the Mini Grid Regulations at this meeting and its impact is beginning to manifest.
“Last month in Abuja, Nigeria, through the Rural Electrification Agency hosted a Mini Grids Summit which was the largest-ever attended in Africa, with 600 participants from about 40 countries.
“The word is spreading around the world as mini grids will help us connect more people and boost incremental power…”