Former governor of Lagos State and minister of power, housing and infrastructure, Babatunde Raji Fashola has said the problem of Nigeria’s power sector is man-made and that he is determined to make sure the sector works, promising to deliver on uninterrupted power supply.
Fashola, who is one of the speakers at the maiden edition of Made in Nigeria Festival taking place at Eko Atlantic, Lagos, presented a 3-phase blue-print of power-generation, steady supply of power and uninterrupted power supply.
Speaking on the challenges, Fashola said ‘”we had an issue some time ago during an electrification project; we got to this expanse of land and we were told that the land where we need to lay electricity cable belongs to ‘spirits’. The indigenes of that area scared the contractors away by invoking a curse on the project. I was briefed about this and we entered negotiations with them. You won’t believe this, but by the time we finished the negotiation, the ‘spirits’ collected money and we were able to continue with our project.
“Another instance was where we had a telecommunication mast obstructing electrification of a village. The former regime and the telecommunication company were exchanging letters; all I did was call Otunba Mike Adenuga and the mast was removed in a week.
‘The power challenges are not impossible [to fix], most of them are man-made. I am determined to ensure we get to the point where Nigeria has uninterrupted power supply.”
Nigeria generated 5074 megawatts of power in February 2016. The first time the nation has generated past 5000 megawatts since independence in 1960.
Fashola disclosed that he and his team are putting up a development plan consisting of power generation which focused on maximising all available power-generating components by repairing them. The second phase would steady the supply of power, while the third phase would achieve uninterrupted power supply.
The minister was spoke at the event as a member of a panel consisting of Mrs Adeola Sumola of Bello Osagie & Associates, Ms. Chantel Abdul MD/CEO Mojek International and Mr. Mofid Karameh Chairman Mikano Group. Dr. Ogho Okiti, publisher of Economics Times, Abuja was the Moderator.