Increase in Power Generation Not Felt By Customers – Osinbajo
– Osinbajo says Nigeria now generates 8,100 Mega Watts of power but has not been felt by customers due to distribution challenges.
– He says IPP is encouraging private investors to collaborate with government to supply power to willing buyers.
Vice President Yemi Osinbajo on Monday said that the effect of the increase in generation has not translated significantly to better service to the consumer.
Osinbajo stated this when he delivered a lecture titled: Nigeria rising: The path to prosperity, during the University of Lagos (UNILAG) 50th Convocation Lecture, where he revealed that the Federal Government has succeeded in increasing power generation from 4,000 megawatts to 8,100MW over the past three years.
He therefore blamed lack of service on distribution challenges, claiming that over 2000 MW of power is not taken up by the Distribution companies (Discos) for distribution to consumers largely because of problems they experience in collection of tariff.
He added that the Discos have failed to invest significantly in metering. This has made the Federal Government to embark on a major metering initiative known as the Metering Assets Programme which involves private metering assets providers.
He also added that the Federal Government has, in the past 18 months, taken on the deficiencies in transmission head on through the Tranmission Company of Nigeria (TCN) and the Niger Delta Power Holding Company Limited (NDPHC) by completing transmission projects all around the country.
While noting that the more important strategy is to decentralize power production, Osinbajo said the government has adopted an off grid programme; which means that it is encouraging private investors to collaborate with government to build Independent Power Plants (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,” he explained.
Citing Lagos for example where the government recently commissioned the Sura market solar project, the vice president said that the businesses there now have 24 hour power.
“From printers, commercial tailors to small chop businesses, everyone is employing more and making more profit,” he added.
Speaking on the plans of the preisdent Muhammadu Buahri-led administartion for the next four years, he said 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.