The minister of power, Adebayo Adelabu, has described as shameful the fact that Nigeria’s electricity transmission and distribution capacity has remained stagnated at about 4000MW for several years.
Adelabu also announced that Nigeria’s second-largest hydroelectric power station, the 700 megawatts capacity Zungeru Power Plant, was ready to begin operations before the end of November.
Adelabu, who spoke during a parley with power correspondents in Abuja yesterday, stressed that the situation was not acceptable.
He also said he had ordered investigation into the extension, by five years, the licences of Electricity Distribution Companies, DisCos.
“When I came in, the licences I saw were for 10 years, 2013 to 2023, but along the line I spoke to the Nigeria Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) chairman he said they had extended the licences by another five years. We are trying to review the correctness of that.
We have ordered an investigation into the extension of the licences (to see) if they are actually in order,” he said, adding that despite the extension, the licences can still be revoked if the DisCos do not fulfil their performance benchmarks.
The power minister also disclosed that plans had been concluded to organise a Power Sector Retreat between December 12 and 14, 2023, which shall produce a workable roadmap for the sector.
Adelabu stressed that no nation can grow its economy, industries or any sector without a reliable power sector, noting that countries that had grown significantly were those who identified electricity as the engine or driver of growth.
“For example, South Korea, with a 49 million population, generates and distributes 130,000 megawatts of power. So companies like Daewoo, Hyundai, LG and others are now giants of industry, having grown from one-shop companies that they were in the 1960s.
“Secondly, China with a 1.4 billion population generates and distributes 1.3 million megawatts of electricity.
“So when we say we are over 200 million people and what we generate and distribute on our national grid is just 4,000 megawatts, it is shameful; it is not acceptable. We must achieve better results,” the minister ordered.