April 20, 2022

Power sector recovery back on track, says FG

Targets 4,500MW minimum grid supply

By Obas Esiedesa

THE Federal Government yesterday disclosed that the effort to improve power supply across the country was back on track after about two months of challenges that led to the collapse of the National Grid thrice within a month.

The government said it expects the grid to deliver a minimum of 4,500 Megawatts of power daily.

However, checks by Vanguard on grid supply as at 1pm showed that 17 generation plants were delivering 3,072MW to the grid with Azura-Edo (393MW), Geregu Gas (390MW), Jebba Hydro (328MW), Egbin (317MW) and Kainji Hydro (303MW) among the top generators.

Speaking at a Power Sector Recovery Programme (PSRP) workshop for journalists in Abuja, the Chairman of the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC), Engr. Sanusi Garba said consumers would soon begin to see changes in electricity supply.

Engr. Sanusi noted that failure to review the tariff in the past threatened the viability of the sector, adding that now things are much better with services expected to improve.

According to him, “the Federal Government initiated the PSRP with the support of the World Bank to achieve the goal of Nigerians having access to adequate, reliable and affordable electricity in Nigeria.

“Notwithstanding the electric power supply industry is now private sector driven, its relevance to economic growth and industrial development will require strategic government interventions. At this developmental stage, the industry’s challenges require that hands be on the deck to achieve an efficient and effective electric power supply industry that we desire for our economic development”.

He explained the objectives of PSRP to include the power sector’s financial viability, improve electricity supply reliability to meet the growing demand, strengthen the sector’s institutional framework, and implement policies that promote and encourage investors’ confidence, and institutionalise a contract-based electricity industry.

He pointed that despite the challenges faced by the sector, “all the stakeholders involved in this power sector recovery programme are very much on track and are ready to do what we all need to do both in terms of financial performance by the distribution companies and the issue of the off-taker. I am not saying we are at the destination yet but at least the trajectory is looking upward and great promise for service delivery to Nigerian consumers”.

The NERC boss, who used the occasion to formally launch a new website for the PSRP, said the new portal would afford Nigerians the opportunity to access direct information about the sector and make comments on the services delivered by the operators.

Also speaking, Engr. Belije Madu of the PSRP Secretariat explained that the PSRP new 4,500MW minimum grid supply was expected to have commenced at the beginning of the year, but has not been attained due to generation challenges.

He pointed out that the PSRP “includes a set of measures to ensure that a minimum 4,500MWh/hour of electricity is supplied to the distribution grid from 2022. This is the minimum level of supply necessary for grid stability and the reduction of system outage”.

He also disclosed that the government plans to clear all outstanding debts resulting from tariff shortfall over the years by December this year.