From Romanus Ugwu, Abuja
A voluntary think-tank group of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Legacy Awareness and Campaign, has claimed that President Muhammadu Buhari has shown political will to roll out policies, incentives and finance to improve the generation, transmission and distribution of reliable electricity to all, including the poorest and most vulnerable Nigerians.
Legacy group noted that though there is still a long way to go in terms of permanently breaking the country’s electricity jinx, however, the efforts of the Buhari-led administration is contributing significantly in laying a solid foundation for uninterrupted power supply in every part of the country in the near future.
In a statement signed by the quartets of Barr Ismail Ahmed, Lanre Issa-Onilu, Tolu Ogunlesi and Salihu Moh Lukman, they emphasised that tne Buhari-led administration fully acknowledged the vital role of electrification in the development of Nigeria.
Tagged Buhari-administration power sector scorecard, the group noted: “While we acknowledge that there is still a long way to go in terms of permanently breaking the country’s electricity jinx, the efforts of the Buhari administration is contributing significantly in laying a solid foundation for uninterrupted power supply in every part of the country in the near future.
“For the first time in decades there is the political will to roll out policies, incentives and financing to improve the generation, transmission and distribution of reliable electricity to all Nigerians, including the poorest and most vulnerable among the population.
“This is President Buhari’s scorecard in the Nigerian power sector, and it is clear that he is walking his talk,” the group insisted
Itemising the scorecards, the statement from the group read: “Completing inherited projects, many of which had been abandoned or facing funding challenges; 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.
“In line with this, the Buhari-administration has embarked on the following programmes and initiatives: Completion of inherited which 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 including ones started by the APC-led 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-led 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 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.”
On consumer protection, Legacy noted: “Under the Buhari-led 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.
Gas-To-Power Infrastructure Projects: The Buhari-led administration is investing significantly in the construction and completion of several large-scale gas pipeline projects across the country.
“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-led administration,” the group noted in the statement.