7 June 2021
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As poor power supply persists in many parts of the country, the Nigerian government says it is pushing ahead to ramp up generation by 2022, OKECHUKWU NNODIM reports
The Federal Government has said it will grow Nigeria’s power generation to 11,000 megawatts by next year as measures to actualise this are well on course.
The country’s power generation currently hovers around 4,000MW and 5,000MW.
In March, the Transmission Company of Nigeria announced a peak power generation of 5,801.6MW, which was transmitted to power distribution companies across the country.
In response to enquiries by our correspondent on what the government was doing to grow the country’s power supply, officials of the Federal Ministry of Power said the ministry was currently implementing recommendations contained in the Siemens deal.
They said through the deal, Nigeria would be able to increase power generation to 11,000MW by 2022, as well as supply this quantum of electricity to consumers nationwide.
“The Siemens roadmap is the plan which the government intends to follow through to achieve the 25 gigawatts power generation target,” the Special Assistant on Media and Communications to the Minister of Power, Aaron Artimas, said.
He added, “It is in three phases. The first phase is meant to deliver 7,000MW at least by this year. By 2022, we target 11,000MW and thereafter the 25,000MW.”
In July 2019, the Federal Government signed an agreement with Siemens for the implementation of a roadmap geared towards resolving existing challenges in the power sector and expanding capacity for future power needs in Nigeria.
The Bureau of Public Enterprises, represented the interest of Nigeria, while Siemens represented the interest of Germany in the agreement.
Artimas said the Siemens deal was currently being implemented to realign the power sector from generation to transmission and distribution.
“They (Siemens) are going to construct more power lines that would boost electricity. They are also supposed to install more power stations across the country,” he said.
The official noted that once this was achieved, it would dramatically improve power supply nationwide and revamp industries in Nigeria.
“This deal is because right now, we have a lot of problems with infrastructure, especially in transmission and distribution,” Artimas stated.
He added, “We can generate up to 7,000MW of electricity as we speak, but the facilities to transmit and distribute this have been a major problem. This is why you often see the disagreements between the transmission and distribution companies.
“You hear transmission complaining that it has given distribution companies enough power, while the Discos, on the other hand, would say the transmission lines are old and obsolete and need to be renewed and expanded.”
The minister’s aide said the Federal Government believed that there was a need for some form of realignment and the erection of more power stations, as well as providing more high capacity 133KV transmission lines.
Artimas said, “This transmission lines project is also one of the power projects that the African Development Bank is supporting. Last year or thereabout, the bank gave over $200m to Nigeria for network expansion.
“And with that expansion drive, we will be moving towards achieving our target in the sector. Also, some power projects are on the way, for instance, the Kashimbila project is almost completed.
“The Zungeru project that is to provide about 700MW of electricity is also planned to be completed later this year. The Mambilla project, however, will take some time due to some of the challenges currently facing it.”
He added, “Overall, the government is on course to improve the country’s power generation. The final target of 25,000MW is billed to be achieved by 2025.
“But by next year we are talking about aligning generation, transmission and distribution effectively so as to be able to efficiently distribute up to 11,000MW in 2022. So we are on course.”
Also commenting on the matter, another official at the ministry said the first phase of the Siemens deal was focusing on implementing projects that would improve power supply in Nigeria within a short period of time.
The official, who requested not to be named as he was not authorised to speak on the matter, said the deal would significantly reduce the Average Technical Collection and Commercial losses in the sector and help achieve improved grid stability and reliability.
“The next phase, which is being targeted for completion by next year, will bring the system’s operational capacity to about 11GW, while the third phase will involve increasing the system’s capacity to 25GW,” the source said.
The official noted that the target to generate and distribute 25GW would be achieved within the medium to long-term planning period.
According to the official, the Federal Government was working hard on appropriate upgrades and expansions in generation, transmission and distribution.
The positions of the government officials came as the Abuja Chamber of Commerce and Industry called for closer synergy among power sector stakeholders to address the many challenges of the sector.
ACCI President, Al-Mujtaba Abubakar, stated that lack of cooperation among stakeholders was affecting programme implementation in the sector.
He particularly made emphasis on the national mass metering programme and urged the industry regulator to redouble efforts towards reaching out to electricity consumers.
Abubakar said there was an urgent need to deepen trust among the public, operators in the sector and the industry’s regulator