75% Nigeria’s electricity to come from natural gas – Nnaji

Franklin Alli &
Providence Obuh

16 May 2012, Sweetcrude, LAGOS—Minister of Power, Prof. Barth Nnaji, yesterday in Lagos, said the Nigerian government has put plans in place to generate 75 per cent of the country’s electricity requirements from natural gas.

Nigeria currently has gas deposit of 184 trillion cubic feet, making it the country with the 7th largest gas reserves in the world.

Speaking during the opening session of the Federal Ministry of Trade and Investment’s workshop on “Enhancing the Productivity of our Industries,” Nnaji, said that by the year 2014, power generation in Nigeria would have increased to 15,000 mega watt.

He said government is working to ensure that gas is used as a raw material to increase the power generation by 75 per cent, while 25 per cent will be generated from coal and hydropower.

While explaining his Ministry’s short-term, medium-term and long-term framework to fast- track power generation, transmission and distribution to homes and industries in the country, the Minister said as power comes, “we will deliver to industrial areas across the country like Lagos, Kano, Kaduna and Ogun State.”

On the long term solutions, the minister maintained that the ongoing privatisation of the power sector will see the end to government involvement in business from generation to distribution, transmission and marketing while government will only provide the enabling environment for the players.

“We are not going to give excuses on issue of power again. We will remove electricity from the hand of government. It should be in the hands of private sector. By October this year, we would have completed privatisation of power. From July we will remove government hand so that government will only be regulator,” the minister said.

On the new electricity tariff that is expected to start next month, he noted that except for Zambia, Nigeria is the only country paying the lowest electricity tariff in Africa. “We are paying non-cost reflective tariff. The new tariff to take off June 1 will be cost effective tariff,” he said.

He also noted that the federal government has resolved to revisit and complete all the abandoned power projects that were begun since 2005.

“We want those who are producing excess power to inform the Federal Government. We are ready to buy and distribute”, he said.

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