…To partner with States to enhance efficiency
30 July 2016, Sweetcrude, Abuja – The Federal Government has indicated that it would review the National Building Code to enforce energy efficiency and conservation rules towards ensuring and efficient and proper management of power in its bid to achieve uninterrupted supply in the years to come.
The Minister of Power, Works, and Housing, Mr. Babatunde Fashola, who made the observation at a meeting in Abuja, noted that the current administration was focused on rolling out efforts at enhancing transmission capacity to rise up to the challenge of being able to evacuate additional power to be produced in this short term plan.
Fashola also emphasised the need to collate effective and reliable data on energy usage in the country even as the sector moves to the next stage on the newly-launched Roadmap for Power, which is a stable power supply.
He said, “We must know how many we are and how many we are going to be in the years ahead. This can only be through census – head count. It is after this exercise that we will know on an annual basis what additional population we must provide for, otherwise, even if we increase supply, we may not have stable power.
“On the last leg, which is the uninterrupted power, we will emphasise on conservation and energy efficiency through energy saving building guidelines, which would now be incorporated into the National Building Code.
“Government must not also neglect the rural areas through its Rural Electrification programmes in order to improve the rural economy through increased access by rural folks,” he stressed.
He noted that going by the threat of a gas shortage, which has become a serious challenge to the efficient power supply in the country, the Federal Government, through National Council on Power (NCP), has devised new strategies for involving all the 36 states to resolve the electricity crises.
Fashola further noted that the involvement of states was due to the fact that states were in better position to assist in areas of right-of-way, access to land and documentation, reasonable compensation modalities “as we are faced, a number of times, with difficult situations around these issues.”
According to him, “We have realized that the Governor working with traditional rulers have provided practical and workable solutions to these problems. We have made appreciable progress in the Road Map journey of incremental, stable and later uninterrupted power supply.
“The country does not have enough power, hence the need to double efforts at production. As a short term pool, what do we need to do to quickly address this supply shortfall? The state governments should support the Federal Government by harmonizing this plan with their support,” he added.
He appealed to state governments to consider, as a matter of urgency, the establishment of ministries, departments, bureau or offices of special adviser on energy as a specialized organ to coordinate, interface and interact with other stakeholders, as envisioned in the Electricity Power Sector Reform Act, 2005.
According to him, in view of the lean resources available to states, it might not be expedient to set-up a full-fledged ministry, but rather a manageable outfit that would provide the link for the states to also take full advantage of privatization and the investment potentials available, as well as help solve some particular power issues in the various localities.
The minister also stated that projects like the 215 dual fuel plant in Kaduna State, which is expected to come up with two units to be ready in less than a year from now, would add 30 megawatts to the national grid, which would help to resuscitate the dying textile industry within the area in Kaduna.
Furthermore, he said, the Katsina 10-megawatt wind farm had reached an advanced stage, stressing that work was also in progress in the 39-megawatt Dadin Kowa Dam in Gombe State, while work had progressed on the private sector-funded Azura plant in Edo State.
He pointed out that Federal government designed Kudenda Kaduna 215-megawatt Power Plant because of its realization that more optimal utilization of gas resources would require the development of alternatives to pipeline disruption of natural gas, liquefied petroleum gas, and natural liquids, while the country would diversify its independence on gas as an antidote to vandalism of the pipelines.