FG Hands Over Zungeru Power Plant To Mainstream Energy Subsidiary,Penstock Ltd

Mohammed Shosanya

The Federal Government has officially transferred operations of the Zungeru Hydroelectric Power Plant to Penstock Limited.

The government explained that the move is expected to boost Nigeria’s power generation capacity and contribute significantly to meeting the country’s growing energy demands.

This was announced on Tuesday during the first meeting of the National Council on Privatisation (NCP) for the year 2024 at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.

He also disclosed plans by the Federal Government to recapitalize and restructure the Bank of Agriculture (BOA) to bolster Nigeria’s agricultural sector and achieve national food security.

Speaking at the meeting, Vice President Shettima noted the potential of BOA to play a central role in achieving national food security, citing its extensive branch network across all senatorial

Adelabu Says Judicial Pronouncements Attract Private Investments In Nigeria’s Power Sector

Mohammed Shosanya

Minister of Power, Chief Adedayo Adelabu,Tuesday,commended the Nigerian judiciary for playing vital role in attracting private investment in the power sector of the economy.

He gave the commendation, while speaking during the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission, NERC’s 4th seminar for Judges, held at National Judiciary Institute, Mohammed Bello Centre, Airport Road, Abuja.

According to him,the Nigerian judiciary has helped Nigerian Electricity Supply Industry, NESI, with notable pronouncements and the act of the judiciary goes far in attracting private investment in the power sector.

He said: “In the financial services industry, we say that investments will only follow certainty; and there appears to be no greater means of providing certainty than predictable, clear and logical judicial precedent that is dispensed by a competent bench.

“As we navigate our path towards a more a commercially viable electricity market that is characterised legal and contractual obligations, the imperative to understand the peculiar and nuanced nature of a regulated electricity market becomes even more imperative.

“This seminar is part of the broader vision of the Commission and NJI to engage the members of the judiciary on important developments in the sector.

“The judiciary’s pivotal role, through notable pronouncements, contributes significantly to attracting private investment in the power sector.”

He recalled that, Nigeria has started on the journey towards critical reforms in the power sector towards producing revolutionary results.

He added that: “Prior administrations have contributed immensely in this regard but the legislative changes that have occurred in the past year have placed the sector on the path of a total paradigm shift.

“The notable legislative changes have been the amendment of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria with the granting of unfettered powers to sub-nationals to develop electricity markets within their jurisdictions and the Electricity Act 2023 that was assented to by Mr. President in the first month of his administration.

“The Electricity Act 2023 introduces far reaching features that propel market liberalisation, extend regulatory reach, and establish a more coherent policy framework that will mitigate of the operational and systemic risks in NESI.”

Mainstream Energy:Celebrating Robust Impacts In Nigeria’s Power Sector

Mohammed Shosanya

Nigeria’s power sector has undergone significant trajectory since the country’s independence which underscores its industrialization and economic growth.

This trajectory occasioned the construction of power plants, and related infrastructure, sector reforms and the transfer of assets to the successive companies of the defunct Power Holding Companies of Nigeria (PHCN) to private hands.

The beauty of the ongoing phase of the country’s power sector is the involvement of the private sector with requisite manpower and resources in the management of assets which were earlier overseen by the government in a lamentably lukewarm manner.

Mainstream Energy Solutions Limited (MESL) is one company whose entry into the country has brought about phenomenal contributions to power generation and the Nigerian Electricity Supply Industry (NESI).

With a vision to be the recognized performance leader of the electric power industry in Nigeria and beyond, the company has etched its name in the annals of Nigeria’s power sector and in the revolution of the hydroelectric power business in Africa.

The company has set an uncommon pace in the execution of cutting edge, value-adding power business in line with its mission to generate and deliver electricity in a safe, reliable, efficient and most environmentally friendly manner.

Evolution Of Mainstream Energy Solutions Limited

Mainstream Energy Solutions Limited (MESL) was incorporated and licensed as a power generating company in 2011.

The Kainji and Jebba Hydropower Plants (HPP) with a total installed capacity of 1338.4 MW were acquired through a concession agreement with the Federal Government of Nigeria in November 2013.

Situated 100km apart, with Kainji dam at the upstream of Jebba, the two hydro power plants, have installed capacities of 760MW and 578.4MW, respectively. Kainji was commissioned as Nigeria’s first Hydro Power plant in 1968, while Jebba Hydro Power plant was commissioned in 1985.

At takeover by MESL 11 years ago, the total available capacity of the two plants was 482MW-with Jebba at a capacity of 482MW while Kainji had deteriorated to the point that there was no generation at the time. However, presently, MESL proudly boasts of a combined available capacity of 1002MW while also acquiring other power plants in the country.

Inspite of the challenges the company faced when it initially acquired the plants, it has done very well in optimising power generation in Nigeria and delivering on the mandate of the Federal Government’s decision to privatise the Nigerian Electricity Supply Industry (“NESI”) in 2013.

Responsible for over 25 percent of the country’s power generation, the company maintains that its achievement so far is a testament to the fact that privatisation works as it has created an avenue for private sector investments in the industry, for the benefit of the economy.

 Recovery, Expansion And Acquisition

The company has a medium-term strategic vision to achieve 3000MW through its capacity recovery and expansion programme.

The capacity recovery plan aims at bringing the two hydro power plants to the full installed capacity of 1338.4MW as established in the concession agreement with the Federal Government.

In this regard, at Kainji HPP, the rehabilitation of four units IG5, IG6, IG7 and IG12 with a combined capacity of 420MW has been completed.  Unit IG9 with a capacity of 80MW is currently undergoing rehabilitation while discussions on units IG8 and IG10 with a combined capacity of 160MW have commenced with Power China.

In Jebba, the rehabilitation of two generating units-2G5 and 2G6-is in progress and would add 192.8MW to Jebba’s HPP existing capacity upon completion.

Upon completion, these projects will facilitate the addition of a combined capacity of 432.8MW from both plants which will be of immense benefit to the Nigerian national grid.

With respect to expansion projects, MESL has commenced the installation of two brand new turbines in the existing four open pits. The project is being executed by Power China and envisioned to be completed in 2026. At completion, the two units 1G3 and 1G4 costing the company USD 89 million, would provide an additional capacity of 220MW at Kainji hydropower plant.

On the 40 megawatts (MW) Kashimbilla hydropower plant in Taraba State, MESL, the concessionaire of the plant through a joint venture with Kashimbilla Power Limited, has affirmed its commitment to operating the plant in line with international best practices while also keeping to the terms of the concession agreement.

During the commissioning, the former president explained that the realization of the project demonstrated the Federal Government’s commitment to achieving the Electricity vision 30:30:30 which entails the supply of 30GW od electricity by 2030, with renewable energy contributing to at least 30% of the energy mix to accelerate the increase in access to electricity.

Besides,the Federal Government, last year announced Penstock Energy Limited, a subsidiary of MESL as the preferred bidder of the 700MW capacity Zungeru HPP, which is Nigeria’s second-largest hydroelectricity power station, after the 760MW Kainji Hydroelectric Power Plant.

This was followed by a ceremony at the Bureau of Public Enterprise (BPE) on the 23rd January 2024 where the certificate of handover was presented to MESL’s Managing Director Engr. Lamu Audu thereby naming Penstock Energy Limited as the concessionaire of the Zungeru Hydropower plant for a concession fee of $70,000,251.00 for a period of 30 years.

The company has moved into the plant in readiness of its resolve to operate it exponentially for maximum impact on the nation’s power sector .There is also the ongoing construction of a 132Kv line which would radiate from Zungeru to Tegina in Niger State.

Nigeria will increase grid connected electricity from the current 12,200MW to about 13,000MW and move the total number of power plants on the grid to 27 on account of the coming on stream of the over the $1.3 billion Zungeru Power Plant.

Profitability, Shareholders’ Succour

The company has continued to maintain a profitability streak since 2018 when it hit N28.6billion in revenue. It attributes its success to the full repayment of the company’s acquisition loan of $170 million which enabled the company to optimise its profitability as a business.

Inspite of the challenges in the business environment staring the company in the face, it has managed to keep its head above water and given its shareholders the succour and requisite confidence to respond to their demands.

    Investment In Technology

Realizing its position as the leading hydroelectric company in Africa and understanding the need to sustain its standing, Mainstream Energy Solutions Limited, has continued to put technology on the front burner.

Specifically, the company has invested hugely in technology and in state-of-the-art equipment to optimise operation and maintenance at both plants, such as the satellite-based technology, called the Inflow Forecasting System and Operational Tool Software (IFS/OPT) which help with flood management and projections of the flow of water into the dam reservoirs.

The company’s ambitious efforts on improved operations through investment in technology has continued to earn it uncommon recognitions from far and near.

The company has been invited to numerous fora for presentations on its operations. The International Hydropower Association and the World Bank have adopted MESL as a case study on best practices in Operations and Maintenance.

Besides,Mainstream Energy Solutions Limited,recently obtained certifications in ISO 9001:2015,ISO 14001:2015 and ISO 45001:2018 making its operations more efficient and environmentally friendly,in line with international standards.

The company said it will continue to maintain its position as the recognized performance leader in the power sector within the borders of Nigeria and beyond.

 

 Human Capital Development

Because it recognizes the import of personnel in the long-term growth of the company, the company’s thrust on human development is unimpeachable.

The company said,its focus on staff welfare has been integral to the growth of MESL as employees now have a sense of ownership.

According to the company, MESL has put in place a share trust scheme where every employee becomes a beneficial owner of the company upon assumption of duty.

A senior official of the company, who confirmed this to Premium News, said the staff of Mainstream Energy Solution Limited, see the company as theirs and gear to invest their sweat in the sustainable growth of the company.

He added: “I would therefore say that the effectiveness of these programmes has driven productivity amongst staff and aided the growth of the business to where it is today”.

 

Another veritable tool the company employs to promote human capital development is constant training and retraining of its workforce.

Mainstream Training Academy was established in 2018 as part of MESL’s capacity development strategy.

The Academy provides courses and programmes designed in collaboration with subject matter experts in the power sector and other related fields.

These programmes help existing and new employees at MESL improve their knowledge, productivity and efficiency in their jobs. The Academy is also used to provide external training and support for the CSR programmes.

The academy now plays a pivotal role in capacity building, fostering strong partnerships with original equipment manufacturers like Siemens and Andritz.

The Executive Director, Corporate Services explained that the academy aims to incubate talent not only for Mainstream but for the broader Nigerian and international energy landscape. He further elucidated that the goal for 2024 is to tap into the expertise of retired staff aged 65-70 for the creation of a knowledge exchange platform.

Last year, the Northeast Development Commission (NEDC) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Mainstream Energy Academy to train 60 youth from the northeastern states of the federation for an 8-week electrical technicians training programme.

 

       Midas Touch

With almost N10billion spent on Corporate Social Responsibility by its humanitarian arm Mainstream Foundation since its inception in 2016, the company has metaphorically given a midas touch to the communities around its catchment area with a focus on health, education, environment and community empowerment.

The Foundation is funded through 1% gross monthly revenues from Mainstream Energy Solutions Limited

MESL is the only company today with a duly registered Foundation among the successor PHCN companies that seeks to engage directly with communities in ensuring that they are touched by various initiatives.

The Foundation aims at coordinating the humanitarian intervention of the company through its Corporate Social Responsibility while the company focus on its core business of generating electricity.

The Foundation executed 889 projects between 2016 and 2023 which has largely benefited different age groups in the communities. With the provision of cataract surgeries, general surgeries, portable water, classroom rehabilitation projects, construction of health centres and clinics, and a lot more, the Mainstream Foundation has left its footprints in the hearts of both the young and old.

Penultimate weekend,Mainstream Foundation organized  three-day medical camp for free cataract  in Yauri,Kebbi State.

A total of 414 patients were screened,112 cataract and four Pterygium surgeries were successfully done.No fewer than 138 patients were given drugs for various eye related ailments and 160 eye glasses were given free to people.

A senior official of MESL told Premium News that the company would continue to strengthen its humanitarian arm through increased support for the downtrodden in the society.

He added:”We brought relief and restored hope to the most vulnerable people in our society.They are happy and thankful while we give glory to God.

“Mainstream Foundation positively impacting lives.We will do more”

        Projections

With its core value,teamwork, responsibility, innovation, integrity and passion,the company reiterates that they are focused on contributing to national development through ensuring the generation of electricity in a safe and reliable manner to meet Nigeria’s electricity demand.

MESL also intends to partner, with, ANDRITZ -an Austrian firm with several power projects to its name, to provide technical services as it works towards the exploration of green fields in Nigeria all in a bid to increase generation in the country.

 

With an installed capacity of 2082MW, Mainstream Energy Solutions Limited is currently the largest hydropower company in Africa. And in line with the words of the ED Corporate Services, Usman Umar, they are strategically working towards the achievement of 3000MW in the next four years.

The company’s projection also includes conscious tactics and strategies which were well articulated to take hydropower business to another level not only in Nigeria,but also across the continents.

Its fast-paced presence in the Africa’s  power sector has placed the company in sound pedestal as well created a formidable in road for Nigeria to assert its presence in the global hydroelectricity business.

Observers have no doubt that MESL is playing its pivotal role in the sector admirably,while the company’s thirst for robust impacts have continued to remain unimpeachable and non- negotiable.

Mohammed Shosanya

The Nigerian government has claimed it Nigeria cannot continue to subsidise electricity because of huge debts already incurred,the Federal Government has said.

The Minister of Power, Adebayo Adelabu,who disclosed this a press conference in Abuja on Wednesday, said the country must begin to move towards a cost-effective tariff model, as the country is currently owing the tune of N1.3trillion to generating companies.

According to him, N450billion was budgeted for subsidies this year,despite the fact that the ministry requires more than N2trillion in subsidies, adding that state governments would now be able to generate power independently to supply power to their respective states.

He added that the grid had collapsed six times between December 2023 and now due to a lack of gas, ageing machines in the grid value chain, insufficient capacity to evacuate generated power, and the destruction of power stations in some parts of the country’s North-East geopolitical zone.

He mentioned that over N50 billion has been set aside in the 2024 budget to establish small grids to provide power to remote locations.

He warned power distribution businesses (DisCos) should sit up, or those found wanting will have their licence revoked.

The minister also stated that he had contacted Nuhu Ribadu, the National Security Adviser (NSA) to assist with the protection of power infrastructure.

Tinubu To Commission Geometric Power Plant February 24

Mohammed Shosanya
President Bola Tinubu,will February 24,commission 188MW Geometric Power generating plant in Aba,Abia State.
The plant is expected to give an uninterrupted  power supply to people in Aba and  nine local government areas in the state.
Abia State Commissioner for Information and Culture, Prince Okey Kanu, who disclosed this to newsmen in Umuahia while fielding questions, described the commissioning of Geometric Power Plant as a dream that has come through for both the initiators and Abia State Government.
He said: “The State Government has worked assiduously behind the scenes to ensure that the project is realized because when that plant comes on stream, it will benefit our people”.
“The power project has underscored the commitment of the State government to boost the economic fortunes of the state through the encouragement of private sector   investment in infrastructure.
“Of course, you know what that project means to our people; it would help Aba residents, the business community and environs a great deal because power has been a great challenge to Aba and some parts of the state.
“Once that plant is commissioned, quite a lot of things will change in Aba business environment. It’s worthy to note that the birthing of Geometric Power Generation Company is somewhat fortuitous. His Excellency, Dr Alex Otti, OFR as the former Managing Director and CEO of defunct Diamond Bank PLC was involved with the Geometric Power Project right from its conception”
On security, the information Commissioner said efforts are on to enhance security around Umunneochi through the construction of a perimeter fence for the Lokpanta Market which will remain operational as a daily market.
According to him, in line with its commitment to facilitating business activities, government has issued 200 Certificates of Occupancy (CoO) in the month of January to property owners in the state, assuring that it will sustain the tempo.
The Abia Information Commissioner, who disclosed that renovation of three model schools selected in each of the three senatorial zone are ongoing, stated that the state government has directed principals and head teachers of public schools to refrain from renting out their premises for various events.
Liquidity Challenges Responsible For Nigeria’s Poor Power Generation-Kaduna Electric Boss

Mohammed Shosanya

The Managing Director/CEO of Kaduna Electric, Dr. Umar Abubakar Hashidu has attributed the abysmal power generation in the country over the years to severe liquidity challenges facing the power sector arising from poor remittance by Nigerian electricity consumers.

He disclosed this on Wednesday, in Kaduna when he received the Chief Medical Director, National Eye Center, Kaduna, Dr. Aminatu AbdurRahman in his office.

He said due to the widespread default by electricity consumers across the country, the distribution companies have been unable to discharge their market obligations, thereby denying all players in the sector of the needed resources for adequate investment in network rehabilitation, expansion and infrastructure upgrade.

Dr. Hashidu,who explained the dynamics of the Nigerian Electricity Supply Industry, from gas suppliers, generation, down to the distribution companies, disclosed that there is renewed effort by all relevant stakeholders to change the narrative.

He said that: “Nigerians must collectively accept the fact that those who continuously default or deliberately evade payment of their electricity bills constitute the clog on the wheel of the nation’s power sector development”.

He assured the National Eye Center CMD of the company’s resolve to ensure sustainable improvement in service delivery and prompt response to all their demands.

“We are adopting new mechanism and deploying relevant technology to increase visibility and endure that our staff live up to their responsibilities at all times”, he said.

In her remarks, the Acting Chief Medical Director, National Eye Center, Kaduna, Dr. Aminatu AbdurRahman expressed deep appreciation to the Management of Kaduna Electric for what she described as “uncommon consideration being given to the Center.

Dr. Aminatu AbdurRahman, who disclosed that the National Eye Center is the only tertiary eye care institution in Nigeria, promised to ensure that the National Eye Center’s obligations to Kaduna Electric are discharged in accordance with the agreed terms.

In a related development, the Managing Director/CEO of Kaduna Electric, Dr. Umar Abubakar Hashidu has assured the military high command of the unwavering commitment of the company to continue to provide steady electricity services to military formations in its franchise.

Dr. Umar Hashidu gave the assurance when the Commander of the Nigerian Air force, 453 Base Services Group, Kaduna, Air Commodore Mohammed Adamu Garba paid him a courtesy visit in his office today.

He disclosed that Kaduna Electric shall continue to give sufficient consideration to the Airforce Base and all other military formations in its franchise given the critical importance of such establishments to national security.

“As we pride ourselves as the home of the armed forces, we are delighted to be part of the success stories of the military and shall remain undaunted in our commitment”.

Speaking,the Commander, 453 Base Services Group, Air Commodore, Mohammed Adamu Garba thanked the Managing Director for granting audience to his team at short notice and pleaded for more collaboration with Kaduna Electric in addressing some lingering electricity challenges in the Base.

CESEL-CONSERTO JV Delivers Clean Electricity To 1,200 Households In Ife

Mohammed Shosanya

The CESEL-Conserto Joint Venture (JV), through the Nigerian Electrification Project (NEP) of the Rural Electrification Agency of Nigeria, has delivered clean electricity to 1200 households in Ife South Local Government Area of Osun State.

The development comes after the JV commissioned four Solar Hybrid Mini-Grid projects in the Osi, Arajoshua, Alutierin, and Olomouja communities of Osun State,a statement said.

The ceremony was honoured by the presence of His Imperial Majesty, the Ooni of Ife, Oba Adeyeye Enitan Ogunwusi (Ọjájá II), along with other Royal Fathers including HRM Oba Solomon Adenipekun Ademakinwa, Oloosi of Osi; HRM Oba Dr Ademilokun, the Olu of Olomu; HRM Oba Oladepo Towobola, Lerinyo of Alutierin; and Princess Adeola Ademakinwa, the Representative and Community Leader of Arajoshua who expressed their delight at the arrival of electricity in their respective communities after decades without power.

They acknowledged the CESEL-Conserto JV’s contribution as a pivotal step in their communities’ advancement.

Representing the adopted communities and alongside other Royal Fathers, His Royal Majesty Oba Oladepo Towobola, the Lerinyan of Alutierin in Ife South LGA, expressed gratitude, stating, “This endeavor marks the dawn of development for us. We extend our heartfelt appreciation for not overlooking our needs. Without the provision of electricity through the solar-grid, it would have been unlikely for any organization to consider constructing essential amenities in our community. With this initiative, we now have access to a multitude of amenities that significantly enhance our quality of life.”

The Executive Governor of Osun State, Reverend Bunmi Jenyo,who was represented by the Commissioner for Commerce and Industry, expressed his appreciation.

She said:”The initiation of a project of this magnitude to address the energy needs of our communities is indeed heartening. The commissioning of this mini grid serves as a beacon of hope, promising accessible clean energy to our rural areas and empowering citizens irrespective of their socioeconomic backgrounds. This initiative will significantly contribute to the social and economic prosperity of the communities it serves.”

Mr. Olanrewaju Daramola, Chairman of the CESEL-Conserto JV, added, “We are proud to contribute to this transformative project that brings clean and reliable power to these communities. The commissioning of these Solar Hybrid Mini-Grid projects reflects our dedication to delivering sustainable energy solutions that support economic growth.

“This project will stimulate economic activities among small business owners and farmers, thereby fostering a ripple effect on the local economy. This partnership exemplifies the collaborative spirit we aim to foster across various sectors of our nation.’’

I Didn’t Advocate Removal Of Electricity Subsidy-Adelabu

Mohammed Shosanya

Minister of Power, Chief Adebayo Adelabu,says he didn’t advocate removal of electricity subsidy in the country.

He clarified that what he he said was that if the government was subsidizing power, it should be backed up with payment.

He conveyed the clarification in a statement signed by Bolaji Tunji, his Special Adviser, Strategic Communication and Media Relations,and made available to Premium News on Monday.

The statement quoted,“There is a need to correct the erroneous impression going around quoting the Minister of Power, Adebayo Adelabu as advocating removal of subsidy in the Power sector.

“For clarification, the Minister of Power embarked on an inspection visit to power facilities across the country to get a first hand report on power facilities in the country, the inspection visit took him to Kanji Power Plant which will soon be adding about 980 megawatts to the national grid from the present generation of 760 megawatts.

“The Minister has also visited Ayede Sub-Station and some other power facilities in Oyo State including a visit to the Ibadan Distribution Company (IBEDC) where he read the riot act that no distribution company should compel communities to buy transformers or electricity poles as it should be the responsibility of the distribution companies to do so.

“During his visit to the power facilities to Olorunshogo Power Plant in Papalanto and Omotosho, he discovered certain challenges affecting the smooth operation of the Power Plants. Some of the issues are related to liquidity problem in the sector which has adversely affected low gas supply to the generating companies leading to drop in power generation in the country.

“The Minister said the country should either focus on whether we want power to be a social service or be fully commercialized. If it is a social service with government fully subsidizing, then NBET should pay what is being owed to enable payment to gas suppliers through the generating companies”.

The statement also said,the Minister met with top management teams of power Generating companies (GENCOs) and Distribution companies (DISCOs) in a bid to find lasting solution to blackout in some parts of the country.

He was quoted as saying that there was a noticeable improvement in power supply during the yuletide period but the situation changed in the new year with poor supply leading to blackouts across the country.

The Minister said his investigation revealed that the poor supply was due to low gas supply to GENCOs.

“It was based on the need to understand the challenges first hand that led to inspection visits to power facilities in Olorunshogo in Ogun State and Omotosho in Ondo State. The problem is traceable to low supply of gas and we need to resolve this as quickly as possible”, he said.

The meeting also discussed issues of indebtedness to GENCOs by the Nigeria Bulk Electricity Trading Company (NBET).

“We are aware that the sector has liquidity challenge, but we need to have a minimum threshold, we are working on revalidating the debt and determining a fair resolution”.

Adelabu spoke further on the need by GENCOs to enter a contractual arrangement with gas suppliers to ensure steady supply of gas to generating companies.

“We know that there are certain concessions expected of government before this could be achieved and we are willing to work on this to stabilize the power sector”, he assured.

To resolve the gas impasse and the liquidity issue, the Minister assured that a committee would be set up comprising all stakeholders to come up with appropriate recommendations.

“To tackle the gas supply and liquidity challenges, I’ve decided to form a committee involving all stakeholders. Together, we will work on recommendations to resolve these issues and ensure a more reliable and consistent power supply for our citizens.

A plan has also been established to initiate discussions with the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources regarding collaboration and to emphasize to the Ministry the importance of prioritizing gas to power.

“Our commitment is unwavering in addressing the challenges affecting power supply. We understand the impact on citizens, and our goal is to swiftly resolve the issues of gas supply, indebtedness, and overall sector stability. Your patience is appreciated as we work collaboratively towards a brighter, more reliable energy future for Nigeria”.

FG To Use Rivers To Boost Power Generation

Mohammed Shosanya

The Federal Government has revealed plans to utilize rivers in some states to generate electricity in the country .

Minister of Power, Chief Adebayo Adelabu,disclosed this during his recent meeting with the Nigerian Governors’ Forum and States Energy Commissioners.

The meeting was organized to further promote provision of quality power supply to households, businesses and underserved communities in the country through collaboration between States and the federal government.

He said:”There are small dams that can generate between 500 kilowatts 10 megawatts, we want to encourage States to do that including hybridising the hydro with solar for seamless transition during the dry season when water level is low”.

The Minister,who re-emphasized the cardinal impact of power in economic growth and development of the nation, also spoke on the importance of distributed power to fast track provision of energy in the country.

He added that governments at the state level have a major role to play, not only in distribution but along all segments of the power sector value chain, including rural electrification, adding that the Rural Electrification Agency (REA) will be realigning its operational structure to ensure more visible impact across the various States of the federation.

The Minister who proposed a meeting with Energy commissioners across the States, also invited the NGF to a roundtable discussion with the Rural Electrification Agency, noting that every state is entitled to a portion of the allocation from the funding of rural electrification.

Adelabu explained that collaboration with States Energy Commissioners and the electricity boards would enable REA to know where to focus on rural electrification projects as the States are in the best position to know the communities that should benefit from rural electrification projects.

He said:”Rural Electrification Agency should collaborate with state rural electrification board for even distribution of benefits of rural electrification in all the states. This is one of the strategies to empower the underserved and unserved communities”.

He said apart from budgetary allocation, REA also has access to funding from foreign development partners that could further enhance access to power in different communities in the country.

He added:“However, apart from budgetary allocation, there is the Power Consumer Assistance Fund whereby a portion of tariff is preserved for the less privileged.Concerned about bills collections, the Minister appealed to the States to assist DISCOs in their states.

“Liquidity is essential in the sector and we need to improve bill collection, there are places the electricity distribution companies may not be able to access, the states thus need to use their apparatus to assist in collection.

“It is equally important for States to establish relationship with DISCOs in their various States in case of some emergencies that need urgent attention”.

He said that there should be an unbundling of DISCOs along state lines to ensure optimal performance and these could start with administrative unbundling

He added:”Every State must know who is in charge of power infrastructure for each of the states.”

Adelabu said states should also be encouraged in line with the new Electricity act to also generate hydro power by utilising small dams that are in different communities in their States.

Speaking on incessant vandalization of power facilities,he enjoined State government to help in safeguarding energy infrastructure from vandals and prevent energy theft.

“States can use their apparatus like the Amotekun In the south west to enter into the interiors of the state where the discos officials cannot access to arrest the criminals that vandalize power properties and those that engage in meter bypass”.

Earlier,the Director General of NGF, Mr Asishana Okauru had presented a six-page document to the Minister where he listed areas of concern of the NGF. He also emphasized the need to foster collaboration between federal and the state governments on electricity matters.

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Meter Manufacturers To Tinubu:Address Forex Crisis,Inflation To Avert Looming Prepaid Meter Scarcity

Mohammed Shosanya

The Association of Meter Manufacturers of Nigeria,AMMON, has implored President Bola Tinubu’s administration to urgently address the foreign exchange crisis, inflation, and instability in the metering industry in order to avert the looming scarcity of the product in the country.

The group conveyed this in a statement on Friday.

It challenged the government to consider the liberalization of meter prices in order to enable manufacturers adapt to market dynamics and maintain a steady supply of meters, adding that cost-effective meter specifications are also essential.

The association expressed concern over the challenges posed by foreign exchange fluctuations as it impacts the continuous supply of electricity meters to the Nigerian Electricity Supply Industry, NESI.

It emphasized urgent need for regulatory measures to address the issue of a fixed meter price when all input costs are affected by increasing inflation and foreign exchange movements.

This attention is urgently required to ensure the seamless provision of meters across the nation,it said in the statement,adding that
the strategic move would not only facilitate the sustainability of the meter manufacturing industry but also ensure that end-users have access to reliable and affordable electricity meters”

The association emphasized the need for regulatory authorities to consider the liberalization of meter prices, allowing manufacturers to adapt to market dynamics and maintain a steady supply of meters.

The association added: “If urgent action is not taken and stakeholders to prioritize and expedite measures to address the impending shortage, which is occasioned by a three month, and growing, supply chain gap by our estimates.

“If this action is taken, it will ensure the continued and uninterrupted supply of meters to meet the nation’s growing demand for reliable electricity services barring the short gap already realized.

“AMMON advocates for collaboration between regulatory bodies and the Nigerian Electricity Management Services Agency, NEMSA, to develop cost-effective meter specifications tailored to NESI requirements.

“By working closely with NEMSA, the association believes that it can contribute to the development of standards that promote affordability without compromising quality and reliability.

“AMMON remains committed to supporting the nation’s power sector and believes that these proposed measures will contribute to a more robust and resilient electricity metering ecosystem,”it added.