By Ediri Ejoh
THE Minister of Power, Works & Housing, Mr. Babatunde Fashola, yesterday, said that the Federal Government has concluded plans to concession six hydro dams to private operators under the build, operate, and transfer (BOT) initiative.
Fashola, who made the disclosure in a keynote address at the 2018 pre-conference workshop of the Nigerian Association of Petroleum Explorationists (NAPE) in Lagos, said that the current component of grid power consists mainly of gas-fired power which is 85 per cent and hydropower 15 per cent, adding that there is the need to produce an energy mix that targets a 30 per cent component of renewable energy by 2030.
He said: “let me be clear and unequivocal by saying upfront that our commitment as a nation and government to pursue renewable and low carbon energy at low cost is clear, firm and unshaking.”
He said concessioning of the dams was aimed at energising educational institutions and markets in the country.
Mr. Fashola said: “These are government-led initiatives based on the rural electrification plan approved by the President in 2016 to provide access to power for rural dwellers and vulnerable members of our society.
“We proposed to use six small hydro dams that had been abandoned for decades, Federal Government owned universities and some markets as anchors. Apart from the universities, where government is directly funding the intervention, the markets are being privately funded.
“There are currently 15 markets under contemplation with Ariaria, Sabon Gari and Sura markets in Aba, Kano and Lagos as flagships.’’
“Our thinking is simple. While the whole value chain and power privatisation gradually evolves, it is possible to create oases of success by showing to our children that they can have reliable power while in school.
“If that is a reason to get children to school and keep them there, certainly, no good business can oppose this.”