By Michael EBOH
The Federal Government is to spend N20.6 billion to ensure steady supply of power across the country in 2014.
The amount contained in the 2014 Federal Government’s 2014 budget proposal is 7.87 per cent less than the N22.36 billion budgeted for the same purpose in the 2013 budget.
Major projects to be undertaken with the fund as proposed in the budget include the construction of a 215 mega watts Low Pour Fuel Oil (LPFO)/Gas power plant valued at N3.7 billion and a 10 mega watts wind farm worth N1 billion.
The Federal Government is also proposing an expenditure of N2.3 billion for the construction of small and medium hydro power plants; while N461 million is proposed for renewable energy for electricity generation.
The government also planned to spend N700 million and N1.8 billion to connect Gurara and Bayelsa, respectively to the national grid in 2014.
The FG budgeted N1.4 billion for the Electrifying Nigeria (Light Up Nigeria) project; N150 million for advocacy and awareness for successor companies and N1.7 billion to conduct feasibility studies for coal-fired plants at Enugu, Gombe, Benue and Kogi.
Other capital projects to be undertaken in 2014 are: consultancy service for detailed engineering design and project management/supervision valued at N300 million; N250 million was projected as take-off grant for the Hydro-Electric Power Producing Areas Development Commission, HYPADEC, Act, while N300 million was set aside for Environment Impact Assessment and resettlement study for the 700 mega watt Zungeru Hydro-Electric Power project.
The National Load Demand study is to gulp N250 million; sustenance of power sector administrative support structure — N150 million, while N1.75 billion was set aside for the purchase of administrative buildings for the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission, NERC.
Despite the ongoing reforms in the energy sector, which has led to the sale of the Power Holding Company of Nigeria’s successor companies among other far reaching initiatives, the Federal Government is to spend N136.99 billion on the energy sector — Power, Petroleum Resources and Mines and Steel Development — in 2014.
The amount represents 2.95 per cent of the total projected expenditure in the 2014 budget and is 7.79 per cent less than the N148.56 billion allocated to the sector in the 2013 budget.
This is irrespective of the fact that the Federal Government is anticipating a N7.16 trillion Gross Federally Collectible Oil and Gas Revenue in the budget, which represents 20.92 per cent of the projected Gross Federally Collectible Revenue of N10.88 trillion.
Specifically, the Federal Government is proposing an expenditure of N61.928 billion in Petroleum Resources sector in the 2014 budget; N62.45 billion for power and N12.607 billion for mines and steel development.
The allocation was broken down further into N3.4 billion recurrent and N59.05 billion capital expenditure for power; N55.71 billion recurrent and N6.22 billion capital expenditure for petroleum resources and N10.58 billion recurrent and N2.03 billion capital expenditure for mines and steel development.
In the Petroleum sector, the Federal Government is planning to spend N800 million on the Hydrocarbon Pollution Restoration Project; N162.678 million for surveillance and monitoring of environmental restoration programme and N150 million for the cleanup of oil and gas sediments.