31 October 2014, Abuja – A Chinese firm, Shandong Power Equipment Company Limited, is to construct a new power grid for the country, the Federal Government has said.
The Minister of Power, Prof. Chinedu Nebo, disclosed this in Abuja on Thursday while signing a Memorandum of Understanding with SPECO for the construction of a new national grid system.
The minister said he had no doubt that SPECO had the financial muscle to undertake the project, adding that the firm’s net worth was in excess of $300bn.
He said SPECO also possessed the expertise to make the difference in Nigeria’s quest to build a robust and vibrant national grid.
Nebo was quoted to have said that the existing grid line was not competitive enough, as the 330KVA currently in use was far below what was obtainable in China, India and the United States.
He said the three countries had systems that exceeded 1,050KVA transmission capacities.
“As Nigeria is currently at the threshold of the launch of its ambitious national industrial revolution, power will be required to drive it. The Industrial Revolution Plan will be dead without power and power will be dead without transmission,” the minister said.
The representative of the Chinese firm, Kay Zhang, said the company had what it takes to provide Nigeria with world class transmission project.
SPECO, he said, was currently serving 1.1 billion Chinese and covering about 88 per cent of China’s land, adding that the company was the seventh of the top 500 firms in the country.
Meanwhile, the Federal Ministry of Power on Thursday announced its intention to work with the National Association of Nigerian Students to check the menace of vandalism of oil and gas pipelines and electricity infrastructure across the country.
It said the partnership was to ensure that the goal of adequate and constant power supply to every Nigerian became a reality.
Nebo said this at the headquarters of the ministry after receiving an award of excellence from the leadership of NANS.
He said the students’ association would be engaged as agents of change in the fight against sabotage of government assets in the sector, a hazard which had greatly undermined the efforts of both the past and present administrations in the provision of uninterrupted power supply.
On capacity building, the minister said the National Power Training Institute would incorporate students into its programme, as they would have undergone necessary skill acquisition before graduation.
This, he said, would enable them to have seamless transition as mechanical and electrical engineers to contribute positively in the new power sector.
The minister also spoke about the plan of his ministry to leverage on its proposed National Power Sector Apprenticeship Scheme to reduce the over dependence of the sector on foreign expertise.
“Our people have the right to know. NANS should be involved in our sensitisation efforts as we will gladly support any robust programme aimed at building enterprise and patriotism,” Nebo said.
Earlier, the NANS President, Mr. Tijani Usman, commended the minister for stabilising the sector, stressing that there had been noticeable improvement in the supply of power nationwide.
He requested the minister to consider incorporating students in the consumer forum, training modules at NAPTIN and active participation in anti-vandalism of pipelines and other power infrastructure campaign.
– The Punch