12 September 2011, Sweetcrude, Abuja – Minister of Power, Professor Barth Nnaji, has assured that the Federal Government’s plan to attain 5,000 megawatts of electricity by year-end was fully on course.
He said government was exploring various short-term measures including upgrading and refurbishing of old plants as well as improving capacities of the plants to achieve the objective.
In the long-term, however, Nnaji stated that plans had been concluded to privatise the power plants as well as distribution companies across the country to ensure greater efficiency and performance towards providing adequate electricity to Nigerians.
Nnaji, who is on a country-wide tour of power installations, over the weekend visited the Ughelli Power Plant and Sapele Power Station, in Delta State, and Alaoji Power Station in Abia State, where he assessed their performances and laid guidelines for the on-going government’s power sector reform.
At the end of the tour of Ughelli and Sapele plants, the minister said the power plants that were designed to generate a maximum capacity of 1020Mw had fallen to 170Mw due to poor maintenance culture and lack of adequate investment.
The management of the Sapele power plant, however, assured the minister that they were working to restore the Steam Turbine Unit 3, STU3, which would add 100Mw to the grid by month end.
The managers of Alaoji Power Station also promised that more than 250Mw of electricity would be added to the national grid at the completion of installation works, which had been hampered by insecurity in the area.
Nnaji said: “The plants that we have inspected have shown too much ageing, and this is unfortunate because something as sensitive as a power plant that provides essential power to an ever-growing population ought not to show so much ageing.”