By Daniel Idonor, Oscarline Onwuemenyi &Yemie Adeoye
ABUJAâ€”THE Federal Government, yesterday, approved a new administrative structure for the implementation of the ongoing reforms in the nationâ€™s energy/power sector.
It created two presidential committees which would function under the direct supervision of President Jonathan and Vice President Namadi Sambo respectively.
Not only that, the nation has recorded another milestone in its quest to improve its power sector, with the signing of the first-ever Gas Supply and Purchase Agreement, GSPA, between the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, its Joint Venture, JV, partner, Pan Oceanic Oil Corporation, and the Egbin Generating Company Ltd, a subsidiary of the Power Holding Company of Nigeria, PHCN.
Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Mr Ima Niboro, said in a statement that the new structure was to be driven by the Presidential Action Committee on Power chaired by the President, and supported by a Presidential Task Force on Power.
He said: â€œPresident Goodluck Ebele Jonathan has approved the composition of a new power reform structure as part of measures to transform the power sector and breathe life into electric power in the country.â€
The Presidential Action Committee, he said, would provide leadership and guidance for the development of the power sector, and determine the general policy direction and strategic focus of the ongoing power reform.
The committee has Vice President Sambo as alternate chairman, with the Minister of State for Power, the Ministers of Finance, National Planning and Petroleum Resources, Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Head of Service, Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, a Special Adviser on Power, and Chief of Staff to the President as members.
The Presidential spokesman said â€œthe Presidential Task Force is charged with developing and driving the action plan for the nationâ€™s power sector with achievable targets within the lifespan of the present administration.
â€œIt is also to articulate a proper plan of action for implementation in the areas of power generation, transmission distribution as well as all issues regarding power sector reform. The Taskforce will report to the President and the Presidential Action Committee on a regular basis.â€
NNPC, Pan Ocean sign deal
Meantime, the nation has recorded another milestone in its quest to improve its power sector, with the signing of the first-ever Gas Supply and Purchase Agreement, GSPA, between the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, its Joint Venture, JV, partner, Pan Oceanic Oil Corporation, and the Egbin Generating Company Ltd, a subsidiary of the Power Holding Company of Nigeria, PHCN.
The agreement will underpin the supply of 65 million cubic feet, mmcf/d, of gas from Pan Oceanâ€™s Ogharafe Gas Plant to the Egbin Power plant, which has the capacity to produce about 1,330 mega watts of electricity to the grid.
The Minister of Petroleum Resources, Mrs. Diezani Alison-Madueke, noted during the signing ceremony in Abuja that the event was a critical step in governmentâ€™s efforts to rapidly reposition the Nigerian domestic gas market for sustainability.
She said: â€œThe importance of this event is anchored not on the size of the gas supply, but in the integrity and robustness of the process for gas access and contracting that this agreement has come to symbolize in the evolving Nigerian domestic gas market.â€
Alison-Madueke said the new agreement provided a platform for the immediate roll-out of the new gas to power pricing system, as well as clearly defining what specification gas is and what deviation is tolerable and at what price.
She added: â€œThis puts a contractual obligation on the producers to improve the quality of their gas. It also provides a world-class bankable agreement structure that facilitates new players to want to supply into the Nigerian domestic gas market as the contractual agreement now begins to attain international standards.
â€œThe domestic gas market is set for unprecedented growth, driven largely by demand from the power sector, but also from potential demand from gas-based industries, etc. the investment required in gas supply development will be enormous.â€