Artisans, Miners and Quarry owners, among others across the country are positioning themselves for increased job activities as construction work on the 3,050MW Mambilla Hydro Power Plant begins soon, the Minister of Power Works and Housing, Babatunde Raji Fashola SAN, has disclosed.
Fashola, who spoke in Lagos recently at the investiture ceremony of Shola Tinubu as the 19th President of the Nigerian Council of Registered Insurance Brokers, said already the prospect of generating employment have increased as private sector operators had started indicating interests in rendering services to start off the project, adding that proposals for provision of insurance services as well as transportation services for all the heavy equipment were also being received.
Contract for the construction of the Mambilla Hydro Power, which was first conceived in 1972, was awarded recently by the President Muhammadu Buhari administration to a consortium of three Chinese firms – Messrs. CGCC – SINO HYDRO – CGOCC - at a cost of $5.8 billion to be jointly financed by both the Chinese and the Nigerian governments with the Chinese government contributing 85 per cent while the Nigerian Government contributes 15 per cent.
The Federal Government is committed to delivering 30 percent of Nigeria’s energy need by exploring renewable sources of power, including Solar, the Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Babatunde Raji Fashola SAN, has said.
Fashola, who spoke in Lagos at a book launch titled “Solar Electricity Generation for Off-Grid Communities in Nigeria” written by the Managing Director, Eko Electricity Distribution Company (EKEDC), Oladele Amoda, said Solar was going to play an important role in Nigeria, especially as a means to reduce pressure on the national grid adding, “We are committed to incremental power and the policies that will drive the power sector; Solar is one of the renewable energy sources”.
Advising Nigerians to invest in solar energy as “the energy for the future”, the Minister, who said investors were now free to manufacture solar systems in the country following the review of government’s pioneer status incentives, pointed out that solar energy would guarantee power supply to communities the Distribution Companies (DisCos) could not reach adding that while power generation had increased from 2,659MW in 2015 to 7,000MW currently, power wheeled out was gradually increasing to 7,000MW hence the need to work with the DisCos to expand the distribution capacity.
The Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Babatunde Raji Fashola SAN, has commended the Judiciary for its support in the fight against corrupt practices, enforcement of law and promotion of liquidity in the power sector.
Fashola, who made the commendation in his opening speech as Chairman of the 20th Monthly Power Sector Operators Meeting held on Monday in Owerri, the Imo State Capital, particularly thanked the Judiciary for the reversal of the tariff review case by the Appeal Court and the conviction of an electricity equipment vandal Okechukwu Anoke by the Federal High Court, in Abakaliki, Ebonyi State.
Recalling the two incidents, especially the sentencing of Okechukwu Anoke to three years’ imprisonment for tampering with electricity fittings, the Minister declared, “We welcome this judiciary support to stop corruption in the power sector, enforcing the law and promoting liquidity in the sector”, he said, adding, “This comes on the heels of similar support from no less an office than that of the Chief Justice of Nigeria who has issued practice directions for the full enforcement Arbitration clauses in power contracts so as to take such cases out of regular trial and place them in the hands of commercially sensitive adjudicators”.
Also welcomed with delight by the Minister was the intervention in the Court of Appeal in the case involving the tariff review, which the Trial Court had earlier set aside declaring the tariff setting process illegal, but which, according to him, the Appeal Court has reversed and ordered that the case be tried afresh. “On behalf of the entire sector we welcome the intervention in the Court of Appeal in the case involving the tariff review”, the Minister said.
The Minister of Power Works and Housing, Babatunde Raji Fashola SAN, has allayed the fears of the Electricity Distribution Companies (DisCos) over the promotion of the deployment of more solar power through mini-grids and other Federal Government initiatives aimed at improving service in the Power Sector.
Fashola, who spoke while presiding at the 20th Monthly Meeting of Power Sector Operators in Owerri, Imo State, said that the Sector had made noteworthy progress since the 19th Meeting held in Lagos and collectively the challenges that lay ahead in the roadmap to incremental, stable and uninterrupted power would be engaged.
The initiatives over which the DisCos wrote a letter to the Government dated 27thSeptember 2017 and titled, “Federal Government of Nigeria’s Initiatives in the Electricity Sector and the Impact on Electricity Distribution Company Activities”, include the provision of meters to consumers through licensing of meter suppliers and provision of more power to consumers through licensing of eligible customers.
Other initiatives are the provision of Independent dedicated Power to Universities, promotion of the deployment of more solar power through mini-grids and expansion of the Distribution Network of the DisCos so that they can take additional 2,000 MW of power now available for supply.
Fashola, who noted the concern of the DisCos about the impact of the initiatives on their businesses, however, pointed out that the initiatives were targeted at improving service to the people. He, however, commended them for the decision to channel their complaints to the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) by a jointly signed letter, a decision he described as “a welcome departure from the previous order”, which should to be encouraged.
“It is my understanding that you fear that you will lose some income or some customers if Government proceeds; and on the question of meters, you seek to have technical compatibility with what the licensee will operate. In respect of possible investment in Distribution equipment you seek that Government should route the investment through the DisCos. Understandably you are concerned about investment recovery and in your views, the solution is a tariff review”, the Minister noted.
He, however, pointed out that while their concerns about business viability, financial stability and cost recovery were well understood and indeed supported by the Electric Power Sector Perform Act of 2005 (EPSRA) which Government would respect, Government’s focus was also strong on the issue of service to the people, adding, “There must be a balance somewhere in the middle”.
Fashola said as far as the promotion of solar and other sources of independent power was concerned, they were not only supported by the ESPRA, but were “consistent with our Paris Climate Change Agreement Obligations and with emerging global practice”.
Noting that Government was yet to take position on the best way forward on the issue of channeling investment into Distribution assets through the DisCos, the Minister declared, “The ESPRA did not contemplate a monopoly for any licensee, unless it is expressly stated in the license”, adding, however, that Government was clear that a solution must be found quickly to the inability of DisCos to take about 2000 MW of power that would imminently increase as the sector got more incremental power
The Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN) has successfully restored and energized the second 330kV power transmission line 1 from Jebba to Kainji, and the Ajaokuta – Gwagwalada 330kV Double Circuit transmission line 11, the company’s General Manager (Public Affairs), Ndidi Mbah, has said.
In a statement, the General Manager, who said the feat was achieved on Monday, 2nd October, 2017, recalled that the second 330kV Kainji -Jebba line had been unavailable for two years due to technical problems emanating from the Kainji end of the power transmission line, while the Ajaokuta-Gwagwalada line 11, was out on account of cut sky wire which tangled with conductors at towers 338 and 339.
Mbah said with the rectification and energizing of the 330KV transmission lines, TCN now has transmission line redundancy on both the Jebbi-Kainji and Ajaokuta-Gwagwalada 330KV transmission lines adding that there was now increased evacuation and transmission flexibility on the Jebba-Kanji line.
The General Manager further noted that energizing the recovered 330kV power transmission lines meant that there were now two 330KV transmission lines, from Jebba to Kainji and two lines from Ajaokuta – Gwagwalada adding, “This has further increased the company’s transmission capability. With this development, interruptions in power evacuation and transmission would now be a thing of the past, even when there is a fault in one of the 330KV transmission lines in any of the line routes”.
Reports of more progress continued during the week as 100Megawatts of power was recovered from the damaged Afam 1V Power plant which was inoperative since January 2015 while Magboro, Ibafo and other neighbouring communities in Ogun State, who had not been connected for about 10 years, were successfully connected.
The reports, which were contained in the Remarks of the Hon. Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Babatunde Raji Fashola SAN and the Communiqué issued at the end of the 20th Monthly Meeting of Power Sector Operators in Owerri, the Imo State Capital, also included the metering of 196 out of 244 customers on Ajijedidun, Adamolekun and Abiola Alao Streets in Ijeshatedo, particularly and the progress made to restore power to 16 out of 36 communities in Ondo North (Akoko Communities) and the challenges in Okitipupa
In pursuance of its goal of providing efficient, clean and sustainable power to catchment areas that have high growth impact on the economy, the Federal Government in collaboration with Ariaria International Market Traders Association and Abia State Government have commissioned a pilot mini power plant (22kW) powered by compressed Natural Gas (CNG) for the Ariaria International Market in Aba, Abia State on Tuesday, 10th October, 2017.
The Managing Director/CEO of Rural Electrification Agency (REA), Damilola Ogunbiyi while commissioning the off grid pilot mini power plant said that the power plant was to provide energy solutions to the power challenges of Ariaria market, having identified the energy needs of the market. She disclosed that the power supply project would be run with a sustainable natural gas solution, pointing out that a few thousand shops in Ariaria market would be used to test run the electric power supply project.
Ealier, Abia State Governor, Okezie Ikpeazu expressed the willingness of the state government to support the Federal Government’s efforts to ensure the success of the project. The governor said that steady power supply is an important resource required to drive economic growth in the state and the nation as a whole
The Federal Government is not standing in the way of any state government in the country wishing to develop power projects, the Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola SAN, has said.
Fashola, who spoke at the just concluded 3rd National Council on Power in Jos, Plateau State, said states developing their own power projects would assist in accelerating the Federal Government’s roadmap of attaining Incremental, Stable and Uninterrupted electricity supply in the country.
The Minister, who said the Federal Government was well disposed towards states undertaking to develop their own power projects, declared, “The truth is the Federal Government is not standing in the way, the laws do not stand in the way of any state to develop power projects; because as Governor, we built seven power plants, the Government did not stop us. What we could not do was to do commercial distribution which the law now allows under license through the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC).”
It is believed that if the States develop their own power projects, it would add capacity to the National Grid which would in turn increase youth employment and improve social and economic activities in the country.
The Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Power, Works and Housing, Power, Louis Edozien has inaugurated the initial Board of Directors of the Jos Renewable Energy Group (JOREG), urging them to work assiduously to contribute to the achievement of the Federal Government’s target of 30 per cent renewable energy by the year 2030.
Edozien, while inaugurating the Committee at the just concluded 3rd National Council on Power (NACOP) in Jos, Plateau State, disclosed that the main objective of the Committee is to enhance sustainable renewable energy in Plateau State. The Committee was also charged with the responsibility of finding ways of harnessing abundance renewable energy sources which Plateau State has, such as solar, wind, and biomass.
The Permanent Secretary commended the Governor of Plateau State, Simon Bako Lalong’s administration for initiating the Committee which was an indication of providing effective and efficient power to the people of Plateau State.
Responding on behalf of the Committee members, the Chairman and Commissioner of Water Resources and Energy, Engr. David Jaafaru Wuyep, thanked the Plateau State Governor for counting them worthy to serve in the Committee. Wuyep promised that the Committee would justify the confidence reposed on them and also commended the German International Cooperation Agency (GIZ), for supporting the Committee. Some of the other Members of the Committee include Mer Best, Engr. Pam Markus, Mrs. Ulam Garba Matta, among others.
After over four decades of being on the drawing board, the 3,050 Megawatts Mambila Hydro Dam project in Taraba State is ready to kick off following the Federal Government’s recent approval of the award of the contract for the $5.72billion project.
The Minister of Power Works and Housing, Mr. Babatunde Fashola SAN, who disclosed this in Abuja, said the Office of the Attorney General was already perfecting the contract agreements preparatory for the final approval by Council, which, according to him, would take place in a few weeks’ time.
According to Fashola, the project, which had been in design and conception since 1972, would give a lot of momentum to the nation’s economy when the construction starts, adding that “it speaks very eloquently to our commitment to renewable energy, to our commitment to the Paris Climate Change Accord and also to a diversity of our power resource so that we are not over-dependent on one source of power”.
Hinting that the Federal Government would be open to new and tangible offers that would lead to divesting its 40 per cent shares in the 11 Distribution Companies (DisCos) in the country, the Minister said Government was looking forward to having private investors bring before it viable proposals that would lead to such divestment if available.
FASHOLA AT THE NIGERIA MINI GRID ROUNDTABLE OF THE 4TH MINI GRID ACTION LEARNING EVENT
Hon Minister of Power Works Housing Mr Babatunde Fashola SANleft and Managing Director Rural Electrification Agency Mrs Damilola Ogunbiyirightduring the Opening of the Nigeria Mini Grid Roundtable at the 4th Mini Grid Action Learning Event with the theme Upscaling Mini Grids for Low Cost Timely Access to Electricty at the Sheraton Hotel Ladi Kwali Hall Abuja on Tuesday 5th December 2017
FASHOLA INSPECTS THE ELECTRIFIED SHOPS UNDER THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENTS ENERZING ECONOMIES INITIATIVE ATARIARIA MARKET IN ABIA STATE
Hon Minister of Power Works Housing Mr Babatunde FasholaSAN rightManaging DirectorCEO Rural Electrification AgencyREA Mrs Damilola Ogunbiyi right and benefitting shop owner Mrs Ngozi Joel middleduring the inspection of the electrifiedshops under the Federal Government s Energizing Economies InitiativeatAriar ia market Aba Abia State on Thursday 17th May 2018