By Adewale Sanyaolu

The Group Managing Director of Sahara Power, owners of the Egbin Power, Mr Kola Adesina, has raised the alarm over a N388 billion debt owed it by the Nigerian Bulk Electricity Trading (NBET) Company.

Adesina stated this when the Senate Committee on Privatisation and Commercialisation paid a facility visit to the Power plant in Egbin, Lagos yesterday.

The GMD urged the legislators to help the company in seeing to the settlement of the N388 billion debt which included money for actual energy wheeled out and interest on late payment owed it by NBET.

Adesina declared that the plant, which has invested $1 billion in its value chain, is perfecting an investment plan of $2 billion for

He gave the breakdown to include $1.8 billion for Egbin Power 2 and overhaul of the existing plant as well $200 million for estate (quarters).

“The plant, which is the biggest in Sub-Sahara Africa with a capacity of 1320MW was generating 400 MW as at the time we took over, but today the generation has surged above 800MW.  At some points, we generated 1,100MW. We have been doing an average of 1,000MW this year.

“We are having a future investment including the Egbin 2 expansion, overhauling of Egbin 1 and staff quarters that will cost $2 billion.

There is a challenge of gas constraints which cost us 106.34MW since June 2020 due to these external constraints. In 2021 alone, we have lost N13.68 billion to these external constraints,”.

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He disclosed that his company would stop at nothing to help Nigeria’s course for power supply improvement, noting that Sahara Group, has also invested in the distribution stratum of the power industry through Ikeja Electric.

“We made an investment of $1 billion in total for the generation and the distribution because we know that there is a need for a handshake between the generation and distribution. An average Nigerian doesn’t understand what Megawatt mean. What he or she understands is to press his or her switch and the bulb is lighted.

“We are of the belief that Nigeria deserves better. We cannot understand why the country with over 200 million people will still be generating about 4 000MW. As Nigeria is struggling with this 4,000MW, Korea is generating 120,000 MW per day.
Meanwhile, the Senate has thrown its weight behind the $2 billion future investments plan by Egbin Power

The Senate Committee on Privatisation and commercialisation maintained that the plant has “done well” in justifying October 1, 2013 power sector’s privatisation by the Federal Government.

Chairman of the committee, Senator Theodore Orji who led the delegation that included Deputy Chairman of the committee, Senator Adelere Oriolowo; Senator Issa Jubril; Mr Saibudeen Oduniyi; Clark of the Committee, Abdullai Sadiah,  queried the transmission and gas constraints, which have downed the power distribution below generation capacity.

Noting that Egbin is “doing fine” with its post-privatisation investments and activities, Senator Orji stated that the plant, which has invested about $1billion in the last seven years, should be encouraged to do more.

“This is a fact-finding mission about the power privatisation. We are encouraged by what we have seen at Egbin and we shall go back to the Senate to give our report on the entire process.

“I can say that you are trying your best. You are doing fine and you should be encouraged to do more in terms of investments,” he said.