How Buhari laying solid foundation for uninterrupted power supply – APC group

President Muhammadu Buhari

A think-tank group of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) known as APC Legacy Awareness and Campaign has revealed how President Muhammadu Buhari-led administration has introduced policies and programmes that will ensure uninterrupted power supply in the country.

The group in a statement signed Wednesday in Abuja by its national youth leader Ismaeel Ahmed, former national publicity secretary Lanre Issa-Onilu and the director general of the Progressive Governors Forum (PGF) Salihu Lukman, said already over 500,000 meters has so far been delivered to electricity distribution companies (DisCos).

The group stated further that more than 280,000 of the meters had been installed as of May 2021 under the National Mass Metering Programme launched in August 2020.

The group while highlighting President Muhammadu Buhari led administration power sector scorecard explained that the measure was aimed at ensuring that all Nigerians receiving electricity from the national grid are metered.

It further stated that already the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) had been tasked with providing the N60 billion for the first phase of the NMMP, with a target of 1 million meter installations to achieve the objective.

The group reiterated the APC led administration resolve to complete inherited projects, 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.

The group made reference to several power projects including the gas-to-power infrastructure projects to buttress its assertion.

It noted: “The 342KM Escravos—Lagos Pipeline System Phase 2 (ELPS 2) has been completed, as has the Second Lot of the 130KM Obiafu-Obrikom-Oben (OB3) Gas Pipeline. Construction is ongoing on the 614KM Ajaokuta-Kaduna-Kano (AKK) Gas Pipeline Project.

“When completed and operational, all of these projects will substantially increase the amount of gas available to feed power plants across the country. In addition, the Niger Delta Power Holding Company (NDPHC) and the Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN), which are Government-owned entities in the sector, have completed and are completing hundreds of generation, transmission and distribution projects with renewed vigour, under the Buhari Administration.

“The Solar Power Naija: This 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.

“The Presidential Power Initiative (PPI), also known as The Siemens Power Programme: This is yet another manifestation of President Buhari’s emphasis on Government-to-Government initiatives, for tackling some of the most pressing challenges facing the country.

“The PPI is a partnership between the Governments of Nigeria and Germany, and a multinational firm, Siemens AG of Germany, to upgrade and modernize Nigeria’s electricity grid, in three phases, over the next few years. President Buhari has since approved the payment of Nigeria’s counterpart funding for the pre-engineering segment of the PPI, and the relevant contract was signed earlier in 2021.

“The PPI alongside a host of other investment by the private sector and Development Finance Institutions like the World Bank, African Development Bank, Central Bank of Nigeria and others will attract more than $3 billion of new investment into the transmissions and distribution segments of the value chain.

“The Nigeria Electrification Project (NEP) is providing grants to support the deployment of 200,000 Solar Home Systems, as well as a nationwide rollout of mini-grids, positively impacting the quality of life for millions of Nigerians.

“Introduction and Implementation of a landmark ‘Eligible Customer’ Regulation, which provides for a ‘Willing Buyer, Willing Seller’ scenario in which certain classes of electricity customers are permitted to buy power directly from available Generation Companies (GenCos); and are permitted to freely select and change suppliers while also being empowered to negotiate with these suppliers on the most beneficial terms of supply. The Eligible Customer Regulations have helped usher in a new vista of competition in the Nigerian Electricity Industry.

“Consumer Protection: Under the Buhari Administration the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) is more actively rising up to its regulatory responsibilities. In 2019 it issued an Order capping estimated billing by DisCos.

” Most recently (July 2021) it has issued a Consultation paper on the Review of Customer Protection Regulations in the Nigerian Electricity Supply Industry, and is inviting the input of citizens and stakeholders as it works to strengthen these consumer protection frameworks.

“Financial Interventions from the Federal Government, by way of electricity pricing reform, as well as the introduction of a multi-billion dollar Payment Assurance Programme – all designed to resolve the liquidity challenges in the Power Sector by increasing the revenues available to Discos, Gencos and Gas Suppliers. Since the tariff reforms commenced in 2020, with “service-based tariffs”, DisCo collections have increased by more than 60 per cent, bringing greater stability to the value chain.

“Completion of Inherited and Abandoned Power Projects: 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: 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.

“The Energizing Education Programme: 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 Energizing Economies Programme: A complementary programme to the Energizing Education, this time targeted at markets and economic clusters across the country. Completed projects include sections of Sabon-Gari Market in Kano, Ariaria Market in Aba, Abia State and Sura Shopping Complex in Lagos.”

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