Power minister, stakeholders meet in Uyo

Golfa Francis, Abuja.

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Stakeholders in Nigeria’s power sector have met to rub minds on how to improve the country’s electricity supply.

The Minister of Power Works and Housing, Raji Fashola, told stakeholders at the 25th monthly power sector operators meeting held in Uyo, Akwa Ibom State, that Nigeria had secured the World Bank approval for four hundred and eighty six million dollars transmission expansion by Transmission Company of Nigeria, TCN.

Progress is also on with the same bank for the Rural Electrification and Distribution Expansion Funding.

He said TCN had completed Uyo, Calabar, Keffi, Karu, Abeokuta and Nasarawa sub-station transmission expansion among others, to improve their capacity to supply power to the Distribution Companies, DisCos.

The minister recently met with Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN), Distribution Companies, DisCos, and Generation Companies, GenCos on how to implement the Eligible Customer Policy and increase connectivity to an extra 2,000 MW.

 “In terms of off-grid supply, I am happy to report that citizens are already embracing the mini-grid policy and regulations to provide power for different uses” the Minister said.

In Ogun State, a renewable energy project was completed and commissioned last month.

In Kano State, a 73KW Solar Hybrid System developed by Rumbu Industries was commissioned to support its mat production, in a factory that employs 1,400 people.

In Abia State, work has commenced to connect and meter 31,000 shop owners in Ariaria Market.

“We are moving away from theorizing about power to actual provision of efficient power to support trade and business, especially small and medium enterprises, who are the drivers of our economy,” the Minister added.

On the meter supply side, Mr Fashola said that Nigeria Electricity Regulatory Commission had concluded the regulations that will provide the framework to license a new class of meter asset providers to complement the efforts of power distribution companies to supply meters to citizens.

Government’s decision to pursue an out-of-court settlement on a meter contract awarded since 2003, which was held up in Court until 2017, has made available about N39bn to kick off the meter distribution process.

Mr Fashola is optimistic that Nigeria’s incremental power initiative is well underway  and that the promise of steady power is real, calling on Nigerians to persevere.