13 August 2015, Abuja – President Muhammadu Buhari on Wednesday promised that his administration would give priority to power supply in Nigeria.
A statement by his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Mr. Femi Adesina, quoted the President as saying this after the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Power, Ambassador Godknows Igali, briefed him on the ministry’s activities at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.
Buhari said his administration had already identified the critical problems in Nigeria’s power sector and was taking appropriate actions to address them.
The President said that his administration had also prioritised certain measures in its action plan to boost electricity supply in Nigeria.
He said, “The problems besetting our power sector are not difficult to identify. Therefore, priorities can be easily set in order to tackle them.
“The problems are more with transmission than generation, and we equally need to secure the power infrastructure round the country. We will address all these issues.”
Igali told the President that power generation in Nigeria, which was 1,750 MW in 1999, had now peaked at 4,600 MW.
He added that gas was available to take generation to 5,500 MW in a short time, but that the country needed to expand its electricity infrastructure to accommodate additional generation.
The permanent secretary later told State House correspondents that power distribution remained a challenge, but added that the ministry was working closely with distribution companies to improve the situation.
“They must improve on their network; they must improve on the availability of transformers and the supply of meters because Nigerians are tired of estimated billing. We have been working closely with them, tracking them, and sometimes even fining them,” he said.
On the Senate’s directive stopping monthly charges, Igali said he had met with the Chairman of the National Electricity Regulatory Commission, Dr. Sam Amadi, to devise measures that could be taken to address the genuine concerns being raised by Nigerians.
He said, “We have discussed with the chairman of NERC and these matters are being addressed and very soon, NERC will be attending to what the Senate has said. We will also discuss with the Senate to enlighten them a little bit more on this process, the value chain of the power supply.
“Electricity supply is now in the hands of private sector. If it is in the hands of the private sector, then, it means that the private sector people must bring in copious investment into the sector. If they must bring in investment, then it means that they must earn revenue. It is chicken and eggs situation. If the power supply situation must improve, especially at the distribution level, they must provide transformers; they must provide switch gears and they must provide meters.”