Senate to investigate power supply in Nigeria

Golfa Francis, Abuja

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The Nigerian Senate Committee on Power has been given four weeks to investigate the activities of power generating and distribution companies to unravel the cause of unsteady power delivery in Nigeria.

The decision by the Senate to probe power generation, transmission and distribution in the country was reached sequel to a motion considered during plenary sponsored by Sen. Chukwuka Utazi, from Enugu State.

The investigating committee has four weeks to submit its report to the Senate for consideration.

Senator Utazi said with a population of 200 million and an annual growth rate of 2.6 percent per annum, Nigeria, is the seventh most populous nation on earth.

He said the power generating or installed capacity of Nigeria in relation to its population and Gross Domestic Product cannot place the country to compete favourably in terms of development with other nations, therefore, calling on the Government to find solutions to the power deficits faced by the country.

The lawmaker while citing Indonesia and Philippines as examples, noted that both countries with a population of 267 million and 107 million, respectively, have installed power capacity of 60,000 MW and generating capacity of 42,465 MW as well as installed capacity of 20,055 MW and generating capacity of 16,271ME.

He expressed optimism that Nigeria can set a realisable target of generating capacity of 100,000 MW in the next ten years, adding same can be achieved through a mix of energy sources like natural gas, hydro, coal, wind and renewable energy.

“The northern part of the country with vast expanse of land can tap into large solar farms while the southern parts of the country with significant reserves of natural gas and cola can generate power from same.

“Both the north and South have large water bodies that can still be dammed for hydro,” Utazi said.

The lawmaker further posited that Nigeria can improve on its transmission infrastructure by up-scaling its networks from the current 330kv and 132kv to 765kv super grid to enable big power plants to send power through such grid over long distances.