By Bianca Iboma-Emefu
The Minister of Power, Adebayo Adelabu, has vowed, on behalf of the Federal Government, to achieve 20,000 megawatts of power generation in the next three years.
Though the nation is faced with the challenge of sustaining a 4,000MW electricity generation, Adelabu said that the ministry plans to meet the 20,000MW target by 2026 before his short-term tenure elapses.
Adelabu, who spoke at the 10-year anniversary/Exhibition of Nigeria Energy said he had figured out the issues to a large extent and found out that the solutions were not as difficult as people see it
He said: “As a Minister of Power, I also have a limited amount of time to spend, and I must make an impact. I am determined to make an impact. I have diagnosed the issues to a large extent and found out that the solutions are not as difficult as we all view it.
“In setting targets for ourselves, we also need to set short-term targets. My own vision is for us to increase the stored capacity of our generation to at least 20,000 megawatts in the next three years. And it doesn’t stop there.
“We should be able to evacuate and transport this power at the minimum of 80 per cent of the stored capacity to the end users of the exchange system.”
“Providing uninterrupted, functional and accessible power supply would help improve many businesses, especially SMEs. Affordable power for households, institutions and industries would help us realise the potential of our human resources and natural endorsement.
“Nigeria has an energy plan to generate 60,000 Mega Watt of power by 2060, which would be a mix of hydro and gas power plants. That is our long-term target, while the medium-term target is actually to generate 30,000 megawatts of power by the year 2030, which is the next 7 years.
“Revealing his plan to generate 18000-20000 megawatts of power. Our target doesn’t stop at just generating power we need to expand and equip the capacity of our transmission grid. “We need to improve the infrastructure of our power distribution so that a large chunk of power generated would get back to the end customers who finally pay for all the segments in the value chain.
Adelabu stated that he would be able to reduce our losses from generating to distributing point, once technology and tracking device is installed in meters where the power company can monitor it from their office. That’s the aggregate technical and commercial policies towards achieving this.
“Reeling out some of the key initiatives, to tackle the electricity vandalisation issue and equally bridge the gap in metering volumes because currently, we have over 8 million meter gap that is not able to connect power distribution.
“Every household and business must be metered not only metered but would have a tracking technology to monitor and detect activities around these meters.
“Nigerians can be very creative, a lot of them actually bypass the meters. They should be able to detect it right from their offices, the disco offices those that are trying to bypass, what we call vandalisation of government distribution equipment.
Pointing out the effort of generating power and it doesn’t get to the end users that means we are doing nothing. As much as the power sector players know the role to play, we would make progress.
He admonished Nigerians not to vandalise power equipment, noting that we should be partners in progress as long as the power sector players know their role and consumers as well there should not be cases of vandalisation. The moment you consume power, you should be able to pay for it.
“About 10 years ago privatisation came up but it was with the generation and distribution companies that were fully privatised. Even though the government still owned some numbers of generating plants under the Niger-delta oil initiative. We believe that the transmission grid which still remains a national asset and all operators in the value chain must collaborate to improve the grid.
“But beyond the grid, we must start thinking of active and embedded power for private and government organisations this would improve power stability.
“Overall, Nigeria’s energy plan emphasises diversifying the energy mix, promoting renewable energy, leveraging natural gas resources, and improving energy efficiency to meet the growing power needs of the country.”