FG, States Chart Way Forward on Regular Power Supply

… as 23 State governments meet Power Minister

In a bid towards strengthening collaboration between the Federal and State governments towards achieving regular power supply in the country, Minister of Power, Chief Adebayo Adelabu on Wednesday met with the Forum of Commissioners of Energy in Nigeria. The forum is made up of energy commissioners in the country.

Addressing the forum which had 23 States in attendance, Adelabu said with the efforts put in place to address the challenges in the sector, Nigerians should be patient as irregular power supply would soon be a thing of the past in the country. “ We are poised to address the root cause of the electricity challenge. We have done enough diagnostics, we know the cause of the problem, we are now in the implementation stage. We have realised that in the past, temporary solution were applied to the challenges without dealing with the root cause”, he said.

It was also an opportunity to encourage State governments to take advantage of the new Electricity act and get involved adding that the electricity act has brought about unity in diversity. He enjoined the Federal and State governments to seize the opportunity to work together.

“You can always call on me to intervene, I will stand by you and I know once the States start to perform and take up further responsibilities, it means I have also performed.

“When each of the States starts getting involved, there would be healthy rivalry akin to what we used to have in the days of regional government”.

Adelabu drew attention to Abia State where Geometrics Power Limited has established a 188 megawatts power generating plant supplying and distributing power to between seven and eight local government areas in the State. “They enjoy 24 hours power supply, this is what we want States to also adopt, it might look difficult, but with tenacity and if we endure, it is achievable”, he said.

Adelabu revealed that the government has acquired about 10 mobile power substations that could be moved to places where there are challenges or disruption due to fault on the substation.

The Minister advised State government to get involved in distribution networks in their States and also bridging the meter gap.

“You can then discuss with the DISCOs on how to capitalise your investment. State government can get involved in picking the executive management of the DISCOs. You already have about 40 percent of the shares of the DISCOs. You need to discuss with the Ministry of Finance Incorporated (MOFI) on the shares. If a State buys about 10, 000 meters, all that needed to be done is to agree with the DISCOs on capitalising the investment”.

“You should know who you are dealing with at the State level and if you invest in the power infrastructure, you would know who to hold responsible. It is easy for the States and DISCOs to work together on distribution. As a State, you are in a position to know the unserved and the underserved or where there are weak infrastructure that States can invest in. Once we are able to attend the challenges from 36 points, we would have solved a lot of our electricity problems”, he said.

Earlier, Chairman of the Forum who is also the Commissioner of Power and Energy, Cross River State, Prince Eka Williams re-affirmed unflinching support towards the outstanding visions, ideas and the electricity reforms of the Federal government.

He noted that the Electricity act has given the States the responsibility of running the affairs of electricity in the state.

Williams emphasized the readiness of the states to jointly put in effort to make sure the issues and fundamental challenges are resolved. “The Honourable Minister’s consistent call for collaboration and partnership is key”, he said

Bolaji Tunji
Special Adviser, Strategic Communications and Media Relations

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