Power Sector: President Buhari’s government completing abandoned projects – APC group

Godwin Amunde

The APC Legacy Awareness and Campaign group, a think-tank group of Nigeria’s governing party, the All Progressive Congress (APC) said the President Muhammadu Buhari led  administration is revamping the power sector in Nigeria by completing abandoned projects, promoting off-grid/renewable initiatives and ensuring robust consumer protection for on-grid electricity consumers.

The group said this in a press statement signed by its leaders; the APC national youths leader, Ismael Ahmed, Director General of the Progressive Governors Forum (PGF) Salihu Lukman, a former APC National Publicity Secretary Lanre Issa-Onilu and a presidential media aide Tolu Ogunlesi.

Amongst the efforts to improve power supply in Nigeria, the Legacy group said is the completion of one of the biggest power plants in the country – the Zungeru Hydropower Plant by the end of 2021, while already over 500,000 meters has so far been delivered to electricity distribution companies (DisCos).

Part of the statement reads:

“President Buhari administration fully acknowledges the vital role of electrification in the development of Nigeria. Since 2015, the administration has focused on the following: Completing inherited projects, many of which had been abandoned or facing funding challenges; Resolving the liquidity issues faced by players in the sector; Promoting off-grid/renewable initiatives, especially targeting underserved communities and vulnerable populations; and ensuring robust consumer protection for on-grid electricity consumers.

“Abandoned projects inherited include the 40MW Kashimbila Dam and Hydropower Plant; the 10MW Katsina Wind Farm; and the 30MW Gurara Hydroelectric Power Plant, which has been completed and concessioned to the private sector in 2020. The 700MW Zungeru Hydropower Plant is scheduled for completion at the end of 2021 – it will be one of the biggest power plants in the country. 

“New projects started by the APC-led President Buhari administration are the private-sector-led Azura Power Plant in Edo State (460MW), for which the financial close was facilitated in 2015/2016, and which was completed in the first quarter of 2018, several months ahead of schedule. The Buhari Administration also built the Afam Three Fast Power Plant, with a capacity to generate 240MW of electricity. Following a competitive bidding process, that new plant has been sold, alongside the neighbouring Afam Power Plc (966MW installed capacity), to Transcorp Plc, in demonstration of the administration’s belief in the managerial capacity of the private sector. 

“This was designed to supply clean and reliable energy (Solar and Gas) to Federal Universities and Federal Teaching Hospitals across the country. So far, four Universities have had their power plants completed and commissioned: BUK (Kano), FUNAI (Ebonyi), ATBU (Bauchi) and FUPRE (Delta); while others are ongoing in the first phase of the programme.

“The National Mass Metering Programme was launched in August 2020, in line with a presidential directive to ensure that all Nigerians receiving electricity from the national grid are metered. The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has been tasked with providing the 60 billion Naira for the first phase of the NMMP, with a target of 1 million meter installations. As of May 2021, more than 500,000 meters had been delivered to the Discos, and more than 280,000 installed. The NMMP is ongoing. 

“The Solar Power Naija was launched in April 2021 to deliver 5 million off-grid solar connections to Nigerian households, as part of the Economic Sustainability Programme of the Buhari Administration, under the oversight of Vice President Yemi Osinbajo. The Solar Power Naija initiative is expected to generate $10 million in annual earnings from import substitution. In addition to the homes that will be covered, the programme will also see the deployment of solar-powered grids to Primary Health Centres (PHC) and Unity Schools nationwide.

“While we acknowledge that there is still a long way to go in terms of permanently breaking the country’s electricity jinx, the efforts of the Buhari Administration t is contributing significantly in laying a solid foundation for uninterrupted power supply in every part of the country in the near future. For the first time in decades there is the political will to roll out policies, incentives and financing to improve the generation, transmission and distribution of reliable electricity to all Nigerians, including the poorest and most vulnerable among the population. This is President Buhari’s scorecard in the Nigerian power sector, and it is clear that he is walking his talk. ”

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