Isaac Anumihe, Abuja

Minister of Power, Sale Mamman, yesterday, vowed to complete some legacy projects in the power sector  such as Mambilla, Zungeru, Kashimbilla, Dadin Kowa and others

He said that the Ministry of Power has made it a priority to fast track these projects to ensure their completion.

The Minister also said that the implementation of the projects would be done in tandem with the electrification roadmap to ensure synergy and availability of needed infrastructure to evacuate and distribute electrity for  Nigerians.

Mamman  disclosed this at the International Conference on Energy, Power Systems Operations and Planning (ICEPSOP 2020) in Abuja.

However, he said that the widening liquidity gap in the sector has necessitated the need to reinforce market structures and enhance transparency.

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To address this challenge, the Federal Government would  improve metering and the use of smart meters as well as smart grids.

“In addition, the Ministry is co-ordinating with the regulator, Ministry of Finance, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and other relevant stakeholders to consolidate a portfolio of activities deemed critical to success. Such includes refinement of commercial, technical and regulatory components of transaction agreement;  promotion of fiscal discipline, enforcement and equitable regulatory regime from the perspective of ratepayers and investors” he said.

According to him, electrification rate in Nigeria stands at 55 per cent in urban areas while 36 per cent of Nigerians  reside in rural communities.

To improve this, he said, the Federal Government is exploring new rural electrification strategies and novel concepts called mini grid.

Apart from improving electricity penetration in the rural areas, mini-grid will create viable businesses and well-paying jobs for Nigerians.

“Ministry is promoting partnerships with the private sector via the Rural Electrification Agency, the regulator and its investment promotion unit to optimise regulation  and policy to create a more amiable business environment thus increasing access to those that need it most,” he said, regretting that out of the 1.2 billion people without access to electricity, about half of them reside in the Sub-Saharan Africa.