- Category: Business and Economy
- Published on Friday, 27 August 2010 04:10
- Written by Tribune
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PRESIDENT Goodluck Jonathan, on Thursday, in Lagos, unveiled the “Road map for Power Sector Reform” and outlined government’s plans to effectively tackle the challenges of the power sector in the country.
As part of the efforts to reposition the sector, President Jonathan revealed that he would, on Monday next week, send to the National Assembly for approval, the names of his nominees for Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC).
Speaking at the ceremony which attracted major stakeholders in the power sector in Eko Hotel, he delved into the factors which he noted had impeded electricity delivery in the country.
According to him, “my appraisal of the sector over the past few years has revealed that the factors that impede electricity service delivery in Nigeria include absence of a sustained and deliberate deployed long-term development strategy; under-exploitation of our abundant energy endowment; and the absence of adequate and non-implementation of reform.
“In order to fast-track the resolution of all critical issues pertaining to power sector reform and achieving stability in electricity supply, I constituted Presidential Action Committee (PAC), the Presidential Task Force on Power (PTFP). The primary objective was to eliminate bureaucratic red tape while exhibiting responsibility.”
He said that “in drawing up this road map, we have identified tariff as the critical factor in resolving the entire value chain of supply of electricity. The idea is to ensure that the relevant agencies achieve a tariff structure that will give incentives to investors.”
President Jonathan recalled that he had declared on a number of occasions that on the attainment of stability in the sector, government would disengage from generation and distribution of electricity in the country and encourage private sector participation in these areas.
“Therefore, as articulated in the ESPR Act, the private sector will be responsible for generation and distribution while government will still own the transmission grid but with private sector management,” he said.
He further noted that government was in the process of commissioning Independent Power Producers, International Oil Companies (IOCs) and companies that have captive production of electricity to produce at least 5, 000mw of new capacity, saying “these plants will begin production in 2012 and 2013.”
He added: “In the interim, government has devised a plan to fast- track the full implementation of installed capacities at various Federal Government power plants across the nation through rehabilitation over the next one year.”
The president outlined specific plans by government in the next few years for power generation, Fuel-to-Power, National Integrated Power Project (NIPP), Transmission, Distribution, Tariff, and PHCN workers.
On generation, he said plan for exploitation of hydro sources had already advanced, saying “coal will also be fully exploited over the next few years to install power plants in such places as Gombe, Enugu, and Benue. However, the largest source of fuel-to-fuel power will come from natural gas.
“It is the intention of the Federal Government to exploit this asset to its fullest by converting flared gas assets to domestic application for power and harnessing non-associated gas for power generation.”
He said the Federal Government would engage companies that had requisite installed capacities to expand production capacities and sell electricity to the national grid and this concept will generate over 5, 000mw within the next three years.
On fuel-to-power, he said most of the power plants to be built in the southern part of the country over the next few years would be gas-fired, adding that although there was enough gas to support available generation capacity for now, generation capacity would outstrip available gas in the nation before the end of next year.
On NIPP, he said they were expected to begin to come to fruition by the end of this year, with a cumulatively total of 4, 775mw upon completion.
As for the transmission, the president also said the transmission infrastructure in the country could no longer bear the load, adding that the Federal Government had planned to embark on significant increase in transmission that would begin to address anticipated capacity problems.
“We plan to build a super transmission network at the voltage level of 700KV that will go from Afam in Rivers, through Makurdi to Jos, Kaduna, Shiroro, Jebba and then down to Lagos, through Osogbo; before going through Benin to Onitsha, to Alaoji and finally back to Afam,” he said.
Also speaking on distribution, President Jonathan said the Federal Government had decided to privatise the distribution companies, in order to induce effectiveness and efficient management.
He said the current tariff would be adjusted in line with government’s determination to provide reliable electricity to consumers, in a way that would not affect Nigerians.
He said the administration had demonstrated commitment to ensuring that its obligations were met to the PHCN workers and had paid due attention to the concerns raised by the workers’ unions.
“We have provided, through a supplementary budget, the sum of over N57 billion required to address the arrears of monetised benefits of PHCN workers,” he said.