By Udeme Akpan
BARELY nine years after, stakeholders in Nigeria’s power sector have called for massive investment in generation, transmission, and distribution through privatization.The stakeholders, including experts and investors, noted that the sector still has a long way to go, especially in delivering adequate and stable supply to consumers nationwide.
Speaking at the just-concluded Nigeria Power Sector Awards, NPSA, in Abuja on Thursday, the Special Adviser to the President on Power and Infrastructure, Engr. Ahmed Zakari, said the government has already taken bold steps to address issues, which culminated in the sector increasing generation capacity to about 17,000 megawatts, MW, from about 13,000MW.“He said the feat could not have been achieved without much commitment from every stakeholder, stressing that teamwork would be required in moving the sector forward. Similarly, the former Minister of Power, Prof.
Barth Nnaji, said the main idea behind privatization was to attract investors with technical and financial resources into developing privatized assets. He said: “The government wanted companies that would have the technical and financial capacity to impact the sector. For instance, if the procured asset has the capacity to generate 900MW, but could only generate 200MW, we expected the investor to invest resources and increase the capacity to 900MW.
We also expected the Electricity Distribution Companies, or Discos, to invest their resources targeted at building networks, distribution lines, and prepaid meters in order to enhance supply to consumers.”
Also speaking, the chairman of the organising committee, NPSA 2022, Mr. Odion Omonfoman, noted that with an average generation of 4,000MW, of electricity, the nation’s power sector still has a long way to go. However, he observed that some accomplishments, including the setting up of a legal and regulatory framework, innovative regulations like the service-based tariffs, mini-grid regulations, and meter asset provider regulations, have already been made in the sector.
He noted improved generation, transmission, distribution, and customer satisfaction, through many initiatives, especially the Presidential Power Initiative in collaboration with Siemens.
Mr. Omonfoman, who disclosed that the Electricity Distribution Companies, or DisCos, have also executed innovative projects, targeted at improving supply to several communities, said: “There is no need to reiterate how important electricity and the power sector are to our lives and livelihoods as individuals and businesses.”