…List priorities for 2013
By ADEWALE SANYAOLU
Unless the Federal Government begins to initiate steps towards improved level of transmission and distribution, its target to achieve 10,000 mega watts of electricity by December 2013, may not be realized, the Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry has said. Director General of LCCI, Mr. Muda Yusuf, in an exclusive interview with Daily Sun at the weekend disclosed that the target of the Federal Government was in order but may after all be a tall dream, considering the 4,517.6MW which was recorded December 2012.
Yusuf regretted that less than 80 percent of electricity generated in the country gets to consumers, saying the problem lies in transmission and distribution and not mainly in the area of generation. “What is the essence of having huge generation without being able to transmit it to the end users? Given what we have now, 10,000MW is a bit ambitious. What gets to the point of consumption is the issue that must be addressed,” he argued.
The LCCI boss, though, gave kudus to government for thinking along the line of improved electricity but cautioned that government must begin to make progress that is substantial, saying even if the target was not met, appreciable progress must be made. Yusuf however advised that government should ensure that it does not allow the distraction of politics, especially 2015 to affect some of its projections and set targets for the year Recall that the Minister of State for Power, Mrs.Zainab Kuchi, had on January 8, in her presentation to the Presidential Action Committee on Power in Abuja,said the Federal Government aims to achieve 10,000 Megawatts of electricity generation by December.
Kuchi also said in her presentation that the generation capacity stood at 6,442MW by the end of 2012. Generation capacity, however, could differ from actual generation. The peak quantity generated in 2012 was 4,517.6MW, which was recorded on December 23. Former President Olusegun Obasanjo had set an ambitious target of 10,000MW generation capacity by 2007, but this had been lowered by successive administrations. Several factors such as non-availability of gas, breakdown and inadequate evacuation capacity impede the translation of generation capacity into actual power available to consumers.
Kuchi listed other plans by the ministry in 2013 to include diversification of the nation’s energy sources, scaling up of rural access to electricity and stimulating investment in the sector by fostering bilateral relations. “The ministry will also focus on developing new policy initiatives to address post privatisation challenges,” she said. The minister said transaction advisers had been appointed for concession of small and medium hydro power projects, while a 40MW hydro power plant would be completed within the year.
According to her, the wind farm in Katsina, with capacity for 10MW, is now ready for inauguration but it is being delayed due to the current security challenges in the area. Kuchi also said arrangements had been concluded to borrow from the African Development Bank to support the expansion of the nation’s transmission capacity.
She listed some achievements recorded in power transmission to include the inauguration of 239 kilometres of 330KV transmission line; completion of 21km of 132KV of transmission line; and the inauguration of 600MVA 330/132/33KV substation capacity.