03 December 2013, Lagos – Mr. James Olotu, Managing Director, Niger Delta Power Holding Company Limited, NDPHC, was in Lagos recently where he commissioned some NIPPs built by NDPHC. He spoke to some journalists on the NIPPs and the interface with the new owners of generation and distribution companies.
Can you tell us the significance of the commissioning ceremony?
We of the Niger Delta Power Holding Company Limited are very happy to see that there are more additional projects being delivered in Lagos State generally. We are also happy that since the handover of the privatized distribution companies to the new owners, we are joining them hand in hand to work together to achieve the objectives of Mr. President through his transmission agenda for power, driving back darkness by bringing light.
We were at Eko Electricity Distribution Company. We met with the new owners, West Power and Gas Company. Our relationship and association during that meeting showed that they are people of focus. They are determined to improve the power efficiency we have in Nigeria. They are prepared to invest more by buying the right equipment that will ensure that power gets to the people they want to provide power to.
We were able to join hands with them to commission four power injection sub-sections in those locations. Those four gave us about 105 MVA added to the sector. That is about 90 megawatts. Some four stations are doing very well. Some of them have two transformers. Three of them have two transformers, while the other one has one transformer. Each of the transformers has 15 MVA capacity.
Already customers are feeling the impact. We have been to Magodo, where we commissioned an extension of an existing sub-section by adding 15 MVA transformer to the station and improving and updating the equipment in the control building, from the old technology to the new technology, making them state-of-the-arts, making it easy for the operators to manage them.
Formerly, when they were using the old equipment, there was risk that sometimes it could blow up. We are happy we are contributing equipment that are new and that have high stake steel standard and that improved the power delivery system to the people of Lagos.
We also commissioned another 15 MVA transformer at Ogba Ijaiye. In these locations, the new majority shareholders, Sahara Energy were also with us. We went round together. We held a meeting also with them. The meeting introduced a lot of wonderful interface relationship between us. Coming out with us made them see practically what is obtainable in the field and the challenges that they have to worry about and to bring solutions to.
When the private sector comes into a place what they look at is the business models, they look at performance and to the private sector, the customer is always right. We are looking for eminent customers around them who are willing and ready to pay for quality and sustainable power delivery. And then they will have to assess how much is that estate or how much is that group worth. And how much do we need to invest to make that group happy.
When there is a balance in that equation that makes them feel it is a profitable venture, they will surely invest. But before now, no matter how profitable a place is to the business, as long as it does not meet any political agenda, it might give them the power. Today things are different. We are happy that government privatized. We are happy the privatization is ongoing. Even the NDPHC has joined the fray. We also want to privatize the 10 plants we are building, two of which you all know were commissioned by Mr. President some weeks ago – Geregu and Omotosho.
We have seen other stations that were commissioned. Everything was ready before your arrival. We expected this one to be commissioned by now. Giving that you have been checking off these projects across timelines, what measures are you deploying against non compliant contractors?
You notice that at Oworonshoki, where we went first, the Lagos state government demolished the building three times. We had to meet them and let them know that this project is for the people of Lagos before they allowed us to resume work. How do you blame such a contractor for not finishing a project at the right time? So there are many situations like that.
There was another location where the contractor started work and it was demolished for not meeting one standard or the other. He had to start all over again. Some people had the freedom to start their project and finish them, while some had difficulties on the way and we had to tackle those difficulties and then worked together to achieve the needed result.
The important thing is that we delivered the projects to Nigerians. Yes, I agree with you that some contractors are slow. There are very few of them. If for example you put J