From Isaac Anumihe, Abuja

Following initial criticisms that trailed the investment of $2.5 billion in the National Integrated Power Project (NIPP), the Managing Director of Niger Delta Power Holding Company (NDPHC), Chiedu Ugbo, has said that if the investment was not made, Nigerian power sector would have been in a deeper mess today.

Speaking to the power correspondents, in Calabar, the NDPHC chief said that so far, the company had been able to provide the transmission capacity of over 7000 megawatts, in addition to providing distribution substations to all the local governments in the country.

“NDPHC has a state-of-the-art substation in Enugu, and recently completed the Lafia substation to transform 630 KVA to 132 KVA to 33 KVA. At least, Lafia alone can give us 100 megawatts for Abuja Electricity Distribution Company (AEDC) to pick and serve the entire area. So, we’ll continue to work, not just in terms of generation but also in transmission. And we are also doing a whole lot in distribution. You can crosscheck the facts. I don’t think there’s any local government in Nigeria that we do not have our footprints in distribution projects. We should not be shouting for doing our work. It’s our work. It’s what we were mandated to do. They have given us the people’s money. That’s the people’s trust and we must use it to serve the people of Nigeria. We are virtually in every local government. If there’s none in your area, you can bring it to my attention. The distribution substations are countless in the country. Our 32 KV lines are everywhere.

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Unfortunately, some of them, for some reasons, the distribution companies have not been able to put them into service. But the infrastructure is there. The NIPP has brought in a countless number of projects for the improvement of electricity in the country. As it stands today, for it not for government’s intervention in NIPP, we would probably have more darkness than we have on Nigeria. That’s not to say that there’s no work to be done. There’s more work to be done,” he said. 

At the onset of the conceptualisation of the ideals of NIPP, the National Council of State (NCS) and the National Assembly approved an initial funding of $2.5 billion as seed fund for the NIPP from the Excess Crude Account (ECA) but was heavily criticised by many. 

However, the NDPHC was thereafter incorporated as a limited liability company to serve as the legal vehicle to hold the NIPP assets and further crystallised the novel ideals of the NIPP concepts.

So far, the NIPP, under the NDPHC, has entered the second phase of its implementation.