27 September, 2011, Sweetcrude, ABUJA– The Federal Government has announced an improvement in the electricity generation capacity of the nation to about 4,273MW as at Tuesday, further strenthening indications that the 5,000 MW electricity projection of the government for this year would be met.
The Minister of Power, Professor Bart Nnaji, who disclosed this on in Abuja, praised the determination of the Chief Executive Officers (CEOs) of the nation’s generation and distribution companies who have pushed generation beyond 4005 megawatts excluding the 268MW spilling reserves the first in the Nation’s history.
Nnaji congratulated the CEOs and conveyed Mr. President’s appreciation of their efforts pointing up that it was in order to boost their morale that the Federal Government approved 50% increase in their salaries which begin this month with the Federal Government accepting to pay 3 months arrears from June 2011.
He noted that, “We have improved and stabilized generation, curtailed losses, paid 50 percent basic salary increase with arrears to be undertaken by the Federal Government from June to August 2011. The onus is now on you to prove that you are qualified and capable to drive the Nation’s economic engine.”
The Minister added that, “You are no more representing the Government. These are your Companies, run them as private enterprises. It is not possible to owe a private enterprise billions of Naira on electricity consumed without being disconnected and asked the Companies to embark on mass revenue drive and spare no debtor who owes the company.”
According to Nnaji, that that would be the only way to shoulder their wage obligations and still make profits.
He, however, described the 15 percent increase in revenue generation as miserable, and reminded them that the 50 percent hike in the salary of electricity workers would be funded from the revenue generated by them as Government would not commit a dime in this wise.
The Minister added, “So do your absolute best not to fail the nation. We are aware that gas is being supplied to the plants to a certain measure, and I will request thatyou alert me if there are challenges along the way.”
Government had announced a ‘remarkable’ increase last week when the nation attained the highest quantum of power ever generated in its history when about 3,982.7 megawatts was fed into the national grid, with 260MW maintained as spinning reserve for system stability.
Nnaji pointed out that, “There are credible reports of a noticeable improvement in power supply in many parts of the country. We are expecting an additional 10MW from the Delta Power Station in Ughelli, Delta State, this month, plus 120MW later in the year thus bringing the quantum of power from this plant to 470MW.
“From its sister power station in Sapele, we are expecting an additional 100MW this year raising supply from this station to 252MW.”
He added that the administration has a programme to recover as soon as possible lost capacities at Egbin, Kainji and other hydro and thermal stations across the country.
On the acute shortage of knowledgeable manpower, the Power Minister urged the Chief Executives to be proactive and advised them as people on ground to reshuffle what they have for maximum benefit of the system as a short term remedy while appropriate long term steps were being considered to find solution to the manpower requirement of the sector.
Nnaji further charged the CEOs “to forward their monthly requirement of gas to him noting that they are in business and if gas is not supplied to your business, you must cry out and remember you must work hard to pay for your supplies.”
According to him, “The Nigerian President has made pledges to the Nation on your behalf and stated the Government credibility on your ability not to disappoint the nation.”.
The Minister urged the Company Executives to device appropriate management strategy of the consumer metres and warned that it is a criminal offence for any person to bye pass metres.
In their respective responses, the CEOs pledged to work harder to generate not only more electricity but revenue to sustain the enormous fund injected into the power sector.