The Power Minister, Adebayo Adelabu, expressed his dismay at the stagnant electricity transmission and distribution capacity in Nigeria, holding steady at around 4000MW for several years. During a discussion with power correspondents in Abuja, he emphasized the unacceptable nature of the situation,leadership report.
Adelabu has initiated an investigation into the five-year extension of the licences of Electricity Distribution Companies (DisCos) and emphasized that the licences could still be revoked if performance benchmarks were not met.
Addressing the importance of a reliable power sector for economic growth, Adelabu cited examples of countries like South Korea and China, highlighting their substantial power generation capacities. He called for a significant improvement in Nigeria’s power sector, pointing out the inadequacy of generating only 4,000 megawatts for a population of over 200 million.
Adelabu announced the readiness of Nigeria’s second-largest hydroelectric power station, the Zungeru Power Plant, with a capacity of 700 megawatts, to commence operations by the end of November. He also expressed skepticism about the privatization of power sector assets, suggesting that commercialization might be a more viable option.
On the issue of cost reflective tariffs, Adelabu stated that the time was not right for implementation, and the government continues to subsidize electricity tariffs until there is convincing evidence of incremental power supply. He urged states to invest in DisCos within their regions and disclosed plans to focus on alternative power sources, including hydro, wind, and solar energy, with an emphasis on off-grid power generation. Adelabu criticized previous administrations for prioritizing power plant establishment over improving delivery and transmission channels.