Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Mr. Babatunde Fashola, yesterday reassured Nigerians of the federal government’s commitment to ensuring that the country makes steady growth in power supply. Speaking at the 25th Monthly Power Sector meeting in Uyo, Fashola said the power sector recovery programme put in place by the ministry and other stakeholders in the power sector was beginning to yield results. “Clearly, our implemental power initiative is well underway, some jobs are manifesting and the promise of steady power is real. If we persevere, I am certain that we will witness uninterrupted power, which is the final destination of our journey.’’ On funding, the Minister disclosed that the federal government had secured the World Bank approval for US$486 million dollars for the Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN) fund transmission expansion. In the area of rural electrification, Fashola said, “Progress is being made with the same bank for the Rural Electrification and Distribution Expansion Funding.
According to him, the Power Sector Recovery Programme (PSRP), policies, actions and programmes are meant to solve the power sector problems, stressing that they are delivering results. He said: “One of the results is the regulation that will democratise access to meters for power sector customers. We have reached a 7,000 Megawatts (MW) Generation Capacity and have a 5,000 MW Distribution Capacity, what is newsworthy is that in the last month, we have met with Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN), DisCos, and GenCos.’’ He stated that arrangements are already at high levels on how to implement the Eligible Customer Policy and increase connectivity to the 2,000 MW. “In many parts of the country connected to the grid, citizens’ feedback is positive, even though all the problems are not solved. Citizens acknowledge more power in dry weather, reduced hours of running their generators and reduction in fuel (diesel and petrol) purchase to power generators,” Fashola said. While describing solar energy as cleaner and more efficient source of power, he noted that in many states, solar power is being accepted and used. The minister said consumers were already embracing the solar power generation plan, an initiative of the government to boost electricity. The minister also inaugurated the Meter Asset Provider Regulation 2018, and presented a copy of the regulation to Gov. Udom Emmanuel of Akwa Ibom. In his remarks, Gov. Emmanuel said his administration was working toward the provision of digitalised meters in the state, adding that by 2019, every household in the state would be using a digitalised meter. Emmanuel said the metering company in the state would solve the four million meters need of the country. The governor, however, called on the Federal Government to take advantage of the metering company existing in the state. He warned against vandalism of power installations, adding that the state government would wage a war on vandals to protect the infrastructure in the sector. “The major cardinal point when we did our five-point agenda that anchored on industrialisation is also the drive that we are doing on electricity generation and distribution,’’ he said. The governor commended Fashola for his drive and efforts in solving the power problem in the country.