President Goodluck Jonathan said on Saturday that the his administration would not rest on its oars until it stabilised power supply in the country.
He made the pledge at the inauguration of the rehabilitated Unit 6 and unit 4 of the Egbin thermal plant in Lagos to raise the output of the plant by 220 megawatts
“For government, there is no going back until we surely stabilise power in the country,’’ the president said.
He said the rehabilitation of the plant had returned Egbin to its full capacity of 1,320 megawatts.
According to him the landmark achievement was happening for the first time since the inception of the plant.
He said the power output would be beneficial to the Lagos industrial layout and its environs while its sustenance would lead to creation of more jobs.
The president added that the power road map of his administration had set out the key foundation needed to remove the obstacles needed in the power sector investment.
He said that stemming from the privatisation of the power sector more dividends had accrued to the nation.
He noted that the feat achieved by the administration would extend the life span of the Egbin plant by another 20 years.
“The Egbin power plant and the result shown today demonstrate without doubt that we have made a strong foundation upon which we are building a sound and sustainable electricity industry.
“Let me restate that we are committed to irreversibly reposition the Nigerian power sector as a pivot for the attainment of our nation’s development targets.’’
The president further said that his administration was diversifying the energy source by exploring all the options available to remain the strongest economy in the continent and beyond.
He said that from now and in the future the FG would continue to make the power sector growth become self-sustaining and viable by creating a conducive environment through access to low interest finance and sound policy formulation.
He commended the Board and Management of Egbin and the regulatory bodies for a job well done.
He further urged the host community to partner the power station to conserve the environment and protect the facility.
The Minister of Power, Prof. Chinedu Nebo, noted that since privatisation the power sector had received a new boost to move the nation to the next level.
He said that for 16 years before the advent of the Jonathan administration, no engineer was hired or employed by the operators in the industry but Egbin had hired more than 107 engineers in training.
He said that the revamped units had been moribund for more than nine years while the new company owner invested over N50 billion to revive the plant.
He said that a lot of work was done in the other power generation companies to boost their capacity.
Accordingly, he said, that Kainji dam was raised from 80 mw to additional 150mw with another 330 mw to be injected soon.
He said that Shiroro dam’s 450mw plant had added another 150 megawatts.
He said Ugheli had increased to 600mw from less than 200mw before privatisation.
He also said a minimum of 5,000 megawatts would be added to the grid when the coal turbines across the country were completed.
The chairman of the board of directors of the plant, Mr Kola Adesina, said the management recognised the importance of the plant to improve power when it commenced the revamping exercise.
He praised the Jonathan administration for the CBN power sector intervention fund which had assisted industry operators.
He said over one million homes in Lagos would enjoy additional six hours of power per day, with more than 6,000 direct jobs and 10,000 indirect employment opened.