Electricity reforms: Nigeria turns to Brazil for capacity upgrade

Prof Chinelo Nebo10 October 2013, Abuja – The federal government has indicated its willingness to tap into the expertise developed by Brazil in increasing its electricity generation and distribution capacity to ensure that its reforms of Nigeria’s power sector becomes beneficial to all her nationals.


The Minister of Power, Prof. Chinedu Nebo, told a Brazilian delegation led by the country’s Vice-Minister of Development, Industry and International Trade, Ricardo Shaefer, that Nigeria seeks to provide quality and sustainable electricity supply to a good number of its citizenry and was prepared to take in supports from around the world towards revamping its power sector.


Nebo indicated that Brazil had remained rather absent in Nigeria’s ongoing power sector reforms programme, adding that the Nigerian power sector was open for serious investors to take advantage of.


“Brazil has not penetrated enough in our ongoing sales of power assets. We are prepared to link you with Nigerian partners, so that we can benefit from your expertise in generation, distribution, technology access and capacity building,” Nebo said in a statement from the ministry yesterday in Abuja.
He noted that Brazil had done well in various mixes of electricity generation like big hydro, biomass, solar, wind and coal to power and that Nigeria intends to learn from its experience.


He said on rural electrification, the leadership shown by Brazil to other countries in the so-called “Third World” had provided the ray of hope that will inspire Nigeria to soon overcome her developmental challenges.


The minister who also spoke on the challenges of closing up the electricity metering gap in the country, explained that the fact that over 50 per cent of electricity consumers in the country have no meters was a huge problem capable of scaring away interested investors in a privatised electricity market.


The Brazilian delegation had earlier stated that they were in Nigeria to know the country’s challenges with her power sector but with a view to assisting in proffering workable solutions.
Meanwhile, the Nigeria Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) has intervened in the blame game between electricity consumers in Das Local Government Area of Bauchi State and officials of the Yelwa Business Unit under the Jos Distribution Company (Disco) over allegations of unfair electricity billing amid poor power supply.


Both parties were at NERC’s enlightenment campaign tagged: “Power Consumer Assembly (PCA)” at the local government library hall in Das.


The PCA is part of efforts by NERC to acquaint consumers with their rights and obligations in Nigeria’s emerging private sector driven electricity industry.


Similar programmes have been organised by NERC in other parts of the country.
The President of Das Youth Awareness Forum and Chairman for Coalition of Civil Society for Good Governance, Mr. Sadiq Yusuf, who made the complaint on behalf of the electricity consumers, said they were getting outrageous electricity bills from the distribution company in the midst of inadequate power supply.


– This Day


Chineme Okafor, This Day

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