On Monday, the Federal Government yesterday said so far it has mapped at least 3,937 settlements and 3.2 million houses in 23 states in its efforts to supply reliable electricity to Nigerians.
While speaking at the 5th National Council on Power (NACOP) conference in Abuja, tagged: “Sustaining and Improving Electricity Supply through the Power Sector Value Chain for Socio-Economic Growth,” the Permanent Secretary in the power ministry, Temitope Fashedemi, stated that this comprised 60,183km of 11 and 33kV medium voltage line of the grid.
He explained that the maiden edition of NACOP commenced in 2014 with the purpose of galvanising ideas and policies aimed at improving the power sector in the country, pointing out that over the years, the programme had gone a long way to proffer solutions to myriad of problems affecting the power sector.
Despite what he described as the giant strides made since the enactment of the Electricity Power Sector Reform Act (EPSR) in 2005, and the roadmap for the power sector in 2010, Fashedemi stressed that there are still serious concerns affecting the various segments of the sector.
On generation, he noted that there was still inadequate gas supply and power plants transmission Right of Way (RoW) issues, preventing building of new infrastructure and vandalism of existing infrastructure.
As for distribution, he listed inadequate maintenance; resistance to cost reflective tariff by a segment of the population, explaining that all these cause illiquidity issues and subsequently inadequate power to meet the needs of the people.
He said the council was expected to design an action log to track the implementation of the decisions and directives at the meeting and ensure policy initiatives that would make available, sustainable power supply within the shortest possible time.
According to him, it would also fast-track government’s effort in diversifying the energy mix, promote renewable energy sources from solar, wind, biomass, hydro and coal to power, increase electricity access to unserved and underserved pre-urban, rural areas or areas with difficult terrains as well as strengthen the existing partnership in the sector.
“Given Nigeria’s enormous energy resources, its huge human capital and population demography, it is obvious that creating an enabling environment is a critical component in the realisation of the electricity vision 30:30:30 which seeks to make available 30GW of electricity by year 2030 with 30 per cent of the energy mix coming from renewable energy sources.
“The ministry through collaboration under the Nigerian Energy Support Programme (NESP) has achieved the following: Mapped over 3,937 settlements, 3,244,605 buildings and 60,183km of 11 and 33kV medium voltage line of the grid in 23 states,” he stated.
In addition, he noted that a Minimum Energy Performance (MEP), Energy Efficiency (EE) Household label and Standards had been developed and approved for lighting, refrigerators and air-conditioners by the Standard Organisation of Nigeria Council (SON).
Furthermore, he stated that six solar PV mini-grids were providing sustainable electricity to more than 15,000 people as at 2020, and 100,000 additional people would be reached under the second phase through the Mini-grid Acceleration Scheme (MAS).
Also speaking, the Managing Director of the Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN), Sule Abdulaziz, said in the last year, a lot of old substations had been reinforced with new transformers and associated switchgear.
He added that TCN has also made remarkable progress in transmission lines maintenance while vegetation under the lines were being cleared constantly to prevent unnecessary faults caused by vegetation, thereby reducing downtime.
“Recently, TCN took delivery of twenty-two brand new power transformers; spare parts and other critical equipment which were delivered to TCN Central Store in Ojo, Lagos State. The stockpile of equipment in the store is the highest of such in the history of TCN,” he added.
Abdulaziz said the grid encountered system disturbances occasioned by sudden drop in generation brought about by the disruption in gas supply to power stations and by the vandalism of transmission lines.
“Vandalism is now a recurring challenge for TCN. Funds meant for grid expansion and routine maintenance are constantly being deployed to clean up the act of vandals. These challenges are definite signals that we cannot afford to rest on our oars in achieving our goal,” he noted.
According to him, the TCN is equally confronting the problem of illiquidity in the electricity market as payment for TCN services in the market has gone down from 55 per cent to 30 per cent in the recent past.