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The Federal Government is seeking more investments in distribution to improve electricity, Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Mr Babatunde Fashola, has said.The government, he said, was working towards actualising its dream of making electricity generated in the rural areas, a commercial product.
He said the government was committed to making generation, distribution and transmission of electricity a business activity.
The government, according to him, can only maximise the potentials in the sector, when it is able to sell what it produces.He said: ’’ We must be able to sell what we produce, because there is no gain in generating what you cannot distribute or supply to the people.Fashola, who spoke at the side line of the inauguration of 2xby 60 MVA 132/133 KVA in Odogunyan power sub-station in Ikorodu, Lagos, said energy distribution is vital to the growth of the industry, stressing that the government is targeting more investments from it.
According to him, the country requires more players in the distribution value chain, in order to be able to compliment the services of the eleven companies, approved by the Federal Government, to distribute power to the consumers in the country.He said the country was able to distribute 5,000 megawatts of electricity out of 7,000 megawatts of electricity that was generated in recent times, adding that the shortfall of 2,000Mw of electricity would have been avoided, if there is enough power destruction capacity on ground.
Fashola said: ‘’At the moment, the country generates 7,000 Mw of electricity, while it is distrusting only 5,000 Mw of electricity. In the meantime, the country needs more capacity and capital in the distribution segment of the sector. That is where the country needs to focus its attention now, if Nigeria is to handle the industry as a business venture. We must be able to sell what we produce, because there is no gain in generating what you cannot distribute.
’’He said the country would generate more electricity, adding that the power generation must be matched with distribution to achieve growth in the sector.The Minister said the country is expecting 240 Mw of electricity from Afam Power Plant, adding that the development will help in improving power generation in the country.
Still on power, he said the government has created and executed 90 projects in Yola, and other parts of the country, adding that the idea would help improve supply of electricity.Similarly, LAGA CE Power Limited Managing Director, Mrs Rhoda Afolabi, said her firm had in the past nine years built the power sub-stations in Ipaja, Odogunyan and two others, adding that Odogunyan sub-station will help improve electricity supply to the industrial areas.
She said steel, manufacturing and other companies in Ikorodu will be able to access electricity through feeders on the sub-station. She said the project ensures that 90 Mw of electricity would be release to the industries and other users in the area.
She said his ministry inherited over 800 containers at the ports, on assumption of office in 2015, adding that the containers were not cleared due to poor finance.The inability of past government, Afolabi said, to clear the containers, made it difficult for contractors in the power sector to get materials to work with.He said the ministry has been able to clear 500 containers, while at the same time, moved the equipment in those containers to sites where electricity is being transmitted and distributed in the country.
He said the government would have by the end of 2018, expand the distribution capacity in the country, to boost supply iof electricity in Nigeria.