No icon

Distribution Companies Responsible for Power Shortage, Says Fashola

By Halimat Isah & Bako Ishaku

The Minster of Power, Works and Housing, Mr Babatunde Fashola has said that the problem of power shortage in Nigeria lies in its distribution across the country.

The distribution companies, according to the Minister, have much work to do in ensuring that power generated by the Federal Government "reaches the end users." He lamented that only 5000MW of the over 7000MW generated by the sector has been distributed for both industrial and domestic use.

Mr Fashola who made this known while on a visit to Geregu Power Station in Ajaokuta Local Government Area of Kogi State said his Ministry would work with relevant agencies to ensure that what is generated by the country is adequately distributed.

He said the excess of 2000MW was yet to be utilized by the distribution companies, stressing that the new challenge with the power sector in the country was how to distribute the excess power supplied from the national grid.

According to the Minister, when he visited the Geregu power plant in 2016 only a plant was working, saying that with the assistance of the Federal Government the three plants in Geregu one and two stations are presently generating power.

Fashola said the priority given to the sector by President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration made the country to reach an all-time high of 7000MW power generation, stressing that the policy adopted for the sector has succeeded in helping it to record huge success in the last two years.

He urged power distribution companies to intensify efforts to solve the problem of power distribution, adding that “as the year comes to an end, I employ you to continue to work hard, as much is expected from the sector. There is need to put the unused excess power to use because more power will be generated in the various power generating points in 2018.

“We cannot afford to keep all generating power without selling them as that wouldn't help the country's economy and the business of those who have invested in the project.”

The Minister said the sector has also decided to complete some of the distribution centres under NIPP in Ohunene, Okene, Idah and Ayingba in Kogi State before the end of the first quarter of 2018 to ameliorate the problem.

According to him, the decision would solve the problem of lack of metres, overestimated billing, and other service related issues that would meet the people's expectations and in return boost their confidence in the sector.

He commended the host communities for making the environment peaceful for power generation.  

In his remarks, Governor Yahaya Bello of Kogi State, who took the Minister round the Geregu power station said his administration has supplied power to almost all the communities in the state.

He said “they were communities which didn't know electricity for over 30 years and when we came, we intervened and now we have succeeded in giving them power.”

Governor Bello called on communities yet to be supplied with power to be patient with the government as efforts are ongoing to ensure those communities identified are connected to the national grid.

According to him, “with the current effort of the Federal Government, the people of the state will have no cause to complain about inadequate power supply.”

He expressed appreciation to the Minister for his efforts in the area of power generation and assured of his government's attention in ensuring the safety of the power plants.

The Governor used the opportunity to appeal to the Minister to intervene in the maintenance of Federal Government roads in the state and expressed gratitude to the traditional ruler in the area for maintaining peace in the community.