By Dayo Adesulu
LAGOS—VICE President Yemi Osinbajo, yesterday, disclosed that the Federal Government has succeeded in increasing power generation from 4,000 megawatts to 8,100MW over the past three years.
Osinbajo said this when he delivered a lecture titled: Nigeria rising: The path to prosperity, during the University of Lagos, UNILAG, 50th Convocation Lecture said: “On power, we have moved generation from 4000MW to 8100 MW. But the effect of this increase in generation has not translated significantly to better service to the consumer. This is mainly due to distribution challenges. Over 2000 MW of power is not taken up by the DISCOS for distribution to consumers largely because of problems they experience in collection of tariff, but one of the reasons for this is the fact that the DISCOS have not invested significantly in metering.
“We have now embarked on a major metering initiative known as the Metering Assets Programme which involves private metering assets providers.
“In addition, the Federal Government has, in the past 18 months, taken on the deficiencies in transmission head on through the TCN and the NDPHC we are completing transmission projects all around the country.
“But the more important strategy is to decentralize power production. So, we have adopted an off grid programme; which means that we are encouraging private investors to collaborate with government to build IPPs and supply power to willing buyers. This was made possible by what is called an eligible customer declaration by the Ministry of Power, Works and Housing. By this collaboration, we have been providing power, especially Solar Power to economic clusters such as markets across the country, including Ariaria market in Aba, 31993 shops, Sabongari market in Kano 13,598 shops, Sura market in Lagos 1047. Isikan 493, NEPA 256, Gbagi 8778, UMBC 2178, a total of 81691shops servicing 320000 SMEs. In Lagos we recently commissioned the Sura market solar project; the businesses there now have 24 hour power. From printers, commercial tailors to small chop businesses, everyone is employing more and making more profit.”
Speaking on plans for the next four years, he said: “The topic was informed by the curiosity of the university about what you expect from the Buhari administration in the next four years or what is the meaning of that expressionThe Next Level.
According to him, prosperity would be attained if we are able to address the issues of extreme poverty, productivity, corruption, rule of law, deficiencies in the quality of human resources caused by poor education and health care.