17 August 2014, Sweetcrude, Lagos – Labour leaders under the auspices of Nigerian Union of Electricity Employees, NUEE, and the Senior Staff Association of Electricity and Allied Companies, SSAEAC, there is no way the Federal Government could achieve 10,000 megawatts, MW, capacity of electricity generation by December this year.
They were reacting to a report quoting Minister of Power, Prof. Chinedu Nebo as having made the pronouncement, though the minister came out to promptly debunk the report.
NUEE Secretary-General, Mr. Joe Ajaero, who maintained that the problem of gas supply to the generation companies has not been resolved, stated that achieving that figure would also be impossible considering other factors. “Is it (the generation of 10,000MW) based on the availability of gas? Is it based on the enhanced transmission network? Is it based on the refurbished distribution network? Where is he (Minister) basing his analysis of giving Nigerians 10,000MW on? Is he talking of sustainable 10,000MW?,” he queried as he stressed that the Federal Government has not done enough work to guarantee the target.
President, Senior Staff Association of Electricity and Allied Companies, Mr. Bede Opara, on his part, stated that Nigeria could only achieve that through the inauguration of new power stations as he maintained that, for the old ones taken over last year by private investors, “I am yet to know of any that has been rehabilitated to produce that kind of power”.
The Minister of Power was also widely quoted in the media to have told a delegation from India that the government would organise a forum for all electricity distribution and generation companies, the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission, NERC; Nigerian Electricity Management Liability Company, NEMLC; and Nigerian Bulk Electricity Trading Company, NBET, work out modalities for the achievement of the 10,000MW target.
He was also reported to have said the government would hold the National Council on Power this month to look at measures to further boost electricity supply to Nigerians.
“We may need to consider NBET a body that will outlast the current proposition. With the new thinking, the NBET can be structured on a Public-Private Partnership model that is permanent in nature, as electricity is always an ongoing concern,” the minister was quoted as saying.