09 February 2016, Sweetcrude, Abuja — The Federal Government has expressed confidence that power generation in the country could top 7,000 megawatts by year end if current efforts to boost transmission and refurbish the power plants continue.
Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Mr. Babatunde Fashola, who stated this when he defended his 2016 budget before the Senate Committee on Power and Mines, in Abuja, said that given the various plans undertaken by the present administration in the power sector, the country may end 2016 with an additional 2, 000 megawatts (MW) of electricity in the national grid.
Only last week, the Transmission Company of Nigeria, TCN, had announced that the country’s electricity generation has grown to over 5000MW. Fashola’s statement thus suggest that Nigeria may end 2016 with about 7000MW of on-grid electricity supply.
A statement from the ministry noted that the Minister informed the senators about “a lot of changes that have taken place in recent times in the management of power in the country.”
The minister also reminded the senators that electricity generation and distribution was no longer the business of the government but that of private companies who bought stakes in the sector through the privatisation programme, which has left the government with the transmission aspect as being managed by Manitoba Hydro International of Canada.
He noted that the ministry’s 2016 budget now focuses more on the transmission sector, completion of on-going projects, refurbishing of power plants and tackling gas supply issues which have been identified as key challenges of the sector.
Fashola explained that if all these are well addressed, the expected projection would boost electricity generation in the country by that figure.
He further stated that the ministry plans to take its role as a policy maker more seriously in the years to come, while all its relevant agencies will be tasked more on implementation and execution of government’s plan for the sector.
The statement further noted that the Chairman of the Committee, Senator James Manager, urged the ministry to engender creativity in its management of its targets for the power sector.
Manager also stated that he expects Nigerians to reap from the sacrifices of increasing retail electricity tariff, with uninterrupted power supply.