By Sebastine Obasi
President Goodluck Jonathan yesterday said that the three tiers of government have collectively spent $8.26 billion on the 10 National Integrated Power Projects (NIPPs) in the country, in the quest to bring electricity to every part of the country.
This is as he promised that in the next two years, electricity will be taken for granted as in other countries of the world. Jonathan who stated this at the commissioning of the 750 megawatts, four-gas unit of Olorunsogo 11, power station, in Ogun State, also said that electricity remains the pivot on which every economy revolves.
“Electricity remains the pivot of our economic and social development. Without a stable power supply, small and medium scale enterprises will not survive.
“In the next two years, electricity will be taken for granted in Nigeria, as in other countries,” he said.
The president who explained that the privatisation of power sector is a success story going by the various expansions in the generating and distribution companies since November, 2013, said that proceeds realised from privatisation will be reinvested in transmission, to strengthen the sector.
According to him, Olorunsogo Power Station is the third NIPP to be commissioned by his administration, after Geregu and Omotosho Stations.
The President who emphasised that he was not in Olorunsogo to campaign for votes however enjoined to Nigerians to support his transformation agenda to achieve maximum success.
Also speaking, the Minister of Power Professor Chinedu Nebo said that NIPPs were initiated to breach the power gap in the sector. According to him, of the available 5,000 MW in the national grid, NIPPs contribute about 2,500 MW.
“The commissioning of Olorunsogo demonstrates the commitment of government to contribute to the socio-economic growth of the country.
“NIPPs were moribund until President Jonathan gave them a Midas touch. Major challenge in generating electricity is shortage of gas caused by vandalism,” he said.