What the planned 4,600mw plants projects by NNPC portends
For over three decades, the story of electricity sector in Nigeria has been one of the most problematic in the world, with an estimated installed electricity generation capacity of 8,644 MW, and available capacity of about 3,718 MW.
A cursory look at the sector over the years show that the historic gap between the demand for electricity and the available capacity has often led to power shortage, inefficiency, self-generation of power by both industrial and residential consumers.
The poor performance of the electricity power sector in Nigeria has been a significant barrier to private investment in the country, the overall development and economic growth.
In the views of industry close watchers, the dissatisfaction with the performance of the power sector symptomised by its low capacity generation; high costs; inadequate distribution of electric power; inability to finance new or expanded infrastructure.
To them, inadequate machinery for effective billing and collection of bills fuelled the debate on the theoretical and empirical justification for its involvement in Nigeria’s electricity power sector, and became the driving force behind liberalisation.
It is against this backdrop that the planned 4,600 megawatts power projects by Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) are being hailed as a welcome development.
The power plants which will be established in Kaduna, Kano and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) according to industry experts signify welcome development for the improvement in power supply.
Ndu Ughamadu, Group General Manger, Group Public Affairs Division, NNPC in a statement opines that the additional 4, 600mw will be generated through the recently-approved contract for the construction of the Ajaokuta-Abuja-Kaduna-Kano Gas Pipeline.
Ughamadu stated that the AKK pipeline has started yielding early benefits with the commitment by the corporation to build power-generating plants with combined capacity of 4550 megawatts in Abuja, Kaduna and Kano states.
The power plant in Abuja is expected to generate 1,350 mw, Kaduna (900mw) and Kano (2,350mw).
Maikanti Baru, NNPC Group Managing Director (GMD) has over time reiterated that the corporation in partnership with private investors would build power-generating plants to support Federal Government’s effort to providing stable electricity in the country.
“The project comes with other auxiliary ones which include: 1,350 megawatts, 900 megawatts and 2,350 megawatts of power generation plants in Abuja, Kaduna and Kano respectively.”
Industry close watchers observe that collaboration with stakeholders is needed to drive the adoption of a strategic direction that would reposition the power sector for optimised performance.
They are of the views that leveraging on the recently declared eligible customer regime and mini grid regulations to advance system stability and improved service delivery represent a step in the right direction for government and power sector operators.
According to them, “The plan would enable power sector operators establish various resolution mechanisms to deal with critical challenges within the system to increase generation capacity.
Liberalisation has not enjoyed the predicted success. The challenges facing the sector can be summed up as both institutional and regulatory. Some have argued that, for liberalization to attain its objectives, the government must have political will and also allow for a captive-free regulation regime.
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