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Electricity Supply Will Improve Within 6 Months – Minister | Citizen NewsNG

ByCitizen NewsNG

Mar 15, 2024

 

The Minster of Power, Adebayo Adelabu, has assured Nigerians that the ongoing power upgrade and investment in power sector would improve electricity supply within the next three to six months.

Mr Adelabu gave the assurance during a working visit to some ongoing projects in Maryland and Alausa substations on Thursday in Lagos.

Mr Adelabu visited Ikeja Electric and other ongoing projects in Lagos metropolis.

He disclosed that upgrading some substations in Lagos by Transmission Company of Nigeria, TCN, had commenced on 30MVA transformers to 100 MVA and 205 MVA in Maryland and Alausa, respectively.

The minister maintained that the Federal Government’s position on the implementation of a cost reflective tariff for the power sector was inevitable.

He said that investment across Distribution Companies (DisCos) was low due to the unavailability of funds to carry out infrastructure upgrades, appealing to the companies to ensure good service delivery to justify tariff review.

He said the ministry would do all it could to ensure that DisCos up their games through massive investment, noting, “if that fails, it will resort to legal backing.”

Mr Adelabu bemoaned the rising cases of vandalism of power assets across the country, recommending capital punishment for vandals.

He labelled vandals of power assets as “killers of people and saboteurs of business growth”.

“We need scapegoats. We are ready to give them the right punishment in terms of prosecution.

“Punishment for vandals should go beyond six months jail term. Capital punishment should be meted out for power vandals. They kill people, and they kill businesses,” he said.

Mr Adelabu added that all hands must be on deck among operators within the power sector value chain.

He said it remained worrisome that the country with an installed capacity of 13,000MW was generating a paltry 5,000MW.

The minister said the government to further advance his strategy of overcoming the present impasse, Adelabu pledged to change his master plan from top-to-bottom approach to bottom-to-top.

”Going forward, efforts will now be concentrated on development and infrastructure upgrade from DisCos to GenCos and then transmission.

“If we get it right at the DisCo level, then we are most certain that we are almost getting there. The meeting is planned, not accidental. You have made landmark achievements in the last 10 years.

“You have done well in relation to other DisCos. We can just shake your hands and leave, but they said the biggest room is the room for improvement.

“You are a model DisCo, the biggest in terms of revenue collection. I don’t know the one that is bigger between you and Ibadan DisCo, in terms of industrial clusters, because I am aware there are a lot of industries within your catchment areas,” he said.

Mr Adelabu urged Nigerians to continue contributing positively to the growth of the country in spite of the current economic challenges.

“It is a bad time for the country. I mean, if you look at the hardship in terms of commodities and prices, these have affected the purchasing power of a lot of people.

“I believe that this is the time for all of us to wake up and do things well for the country.

“Though, I am bothered about what is happening, but I am not discouraged.

“This is the time that you (DisCos) should work hard with us to get desired improvements in power supply to people and businesses,” he added.

He urged DisCos to work closely with the government to expedite national development through a sustainable power sector for reliable and cost-effective sustainable power supply.

Earlier in her address, the Chief Executive Officer of Ikeja Electric, Folake Soetan, while reeling out some of the giant strides recorded by the company, said that the company had achieved a lot in terms of infrastructure upgrades and capital expenditure.

Mrs Soetan said that the company’s total CAPEX in 2015 was N5 billion but grew to N50.58 billion in 2023.

She added that average revenue collection in 2015 was N3.75 billion and grew to N18.22 billion as at 2023.

On metering, she said 30,000 meters were deployed to consumers as at 2015, while the figure hit 800,000 as at 2023.

Mrs Soetan lamented that revenue collection in the industry was largely hampered by the huge metering gap and non-payment of bills.

She worried that meter bypass and energy theft contributed immensely to the losses recorded by DisCos.

The Ikeja Electric boss said power generating capacity was still significantly lower than the demand for electricity.

This she noted that had resulted in frequent power outages and load shedding.

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