By Chris Ochayi
ABUJA – To ensure uninterrupted electricity supply to the Aso Rock Villa, the Federal Government has concluded arrangement to procure a dedicated supply to power the president’s residence directly from the national grid.
The Minister of Works, Power and Housing, Mr. Babatunde Fsshola, who disclosed this via a statement issued by his media aide, Hakeem Bello in Abuja, explained that the power project will be facilitated under the Eligible Customer policy of the administration.
He said the measure is aimed to curb the present state of erratic supply of power to the presidential villa in spite of the availability of power by the Generation Companies, GENCOs.
Fashola, who announced that the approval was parts of several others given by the Federal Government aimed at achieving more improvements in electricity supply and distribution in the country, said chief among the approvals, is the Aso Rock Villa, the official residence of the Presdient.
He said the Aso Rock Villa will benefit from the Federal Government’s Eligible Customer Policy as the Council approved a Distribution Expansion Programme to off-take part of the stranded 2,000 MW to provide dedicated power to the Villa.
The Eligible Customer Regulation, which was issued by the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission, NERC, in mid-2017, permits electricity customers to buy power directly from the generation companies in line with the provisions of Section 27 of the Electric Power Sector Reform Act 2005 whereby Eligible Customers are permitted to buy power from a licensee other than electricity distribution companies.
According to Fashola, “The Ministry had earlier obtained approval from the Bureau of Public Procurement, BPP, following its letter to the Bureau intimating it of the Council’s approval of the Distribution Expansion Programme with the intention of the Ministry to procure civil works that would facilitate uninterrupted power supply to the Aso Rock Villa and curb the present erratic supply of power in spite of the availability of power by the Generation Companies, GENCOs.”
He said, “The project to be executed by Messrs Dextron Engineering Limited, has a completion period of six months under the Distribution Expansion Programme. An arrangement has also been put in place such that a GENCO, North-South Power Company Limited, will procure the dedicated supply to the Villa from the National Grid while the Abuja Electricity Distribution Company, AEDC, has indicated interest to ensure success of the project.”
Other approvals which according to the minister, came as a response to a memorandum submitted earlier, was to include the Villa in the Distribution Expansion Programme earlier approved by the Council to enable 2,000MW of currently unutilized generation capacity to be distributed to targeted metered customers.
He said “Also approved alongside the Villa project was the final payment for the completion of the Afam 240 MW Power Plant in Rivers State, the construction of Dedicated Solar Power System for the Federal Ministry of Power, Works and Housing Headquarters in Mabushi and the concession of five Hydro Dams to facilitate electricity supply to Rural and Agrarian communities across the country.
“The approval of the final payment for the completion of the Afam 240 MW Power Plant was also sequel to a memorandum by the Ministry seeking Council’s approval for the award of contract for additional works at the 132KV Switchyard for the evacuation of power from the 240 MW Afam.
“Three Fast Power Project following the observation that the graveling of the switchyard and the outside cable trenches with concrete enforcement and slab, earlier excluded from the scope of work by the Bureau of Public Procurement, BPP, were necessary for safety and operation of the sub-station. The project is to be executed by Messrs Power System and Automation Solutions Limited.
“The approval by the Federal Government of the concessioning of five Hydro Dams to facilitate electricity supply to Rural and Agrarian communities in the country was sequel to the recommendation of the Ministry and its Water Resources counterpart that Six hydro power resources be concessioned to private sector investors to increase the nation’s power supply by a total of 16.49MW to cater for the power needs of their immediate and essentially rural communities.
“The five small and Medium Hydro Power Plants to be concessioned include the 6 MW Ikere Gorge Dam in Ekiti State to be concessioned to Messrs Power Control and Appliances Limited, the 2 MW Omi-Kampe Dam in Kogi State, to be concessioned to Messrs Quaint Power & Infrastructure Nigeria Limited.
“The 300 KW Zobe Dam and 4 MW Jibiya Dam in Katsina State to be concessioned to Messrs Pan-African Global Infrastructure and the 3 MW Bakolori Dam in Zamfara State to be concessioned also to Messrs Pan-African Global Infrastructure.
“In the memorandum seeking approval of the FEC, the Ministry relied on the Electric Power Sector Reform Act of 2005 saying the aim was to increase renewable and clean electricity supply for the benefit of Nigerians.
“The Ministry has already concluded negotiations with the concessionaires and letters of notification have been issued to them accordingly “in order to facilitate necessary action for early delivery of the project in compliance with regulatory procedures”.
“According to the memorandum seeking FEC’s approval for the construction of Dedicated Solar Power System for the Federal Ministry of Power, Works and Housing Headquarters in Mabushi, the comprehensive solar power project “is intended to achieve uninterrupted power supply to the Ministry’s offices in Mabushi to supplement the existing energy supply from the National Grid” and to facilitate clean and renewable energy.
“The memorandum added that the emphasis was to optimize the utilization of renewable energy in view of the availability of abundant solar energy in the environment, listing the blocks to be affected by the project to include the four blocks/complexes each comprising four floors with a total of 894 offices.
“The comprehensive solar power project, to be executed by Messrs EM-ONE Energy Solution, involves the Design and installation of Solar Power PV Plus Microgrid System and Energy Retrofitting to provide uninterrupted power supply to the Ministry.”