By Joseph BAMIDELE
LAGOS-The Federal government of Nigeria has announced that the country’s first ever wind-propelled power project, due for commissioning in July 2012 in Kastina State, will contribute about 10.8 mega watts to the national grid.
This was disclosed the nation’s Minister of State for Power, Arc. Darius Ishaku, when a 2-man delegation from Kastina State Government paid him a courtesy call.
Wind turbines at Logan Airport in Boston
The wind-propelled power project, which is funded by the Japanese international Cooperation Agency (JICA), was installed by Vergnet, and its successful take-off is expected to herald the construction of more wind-powered electricity projects across the north of the country.
He told the delegation which comprised Kastina State Commissioner of Water Resources, Hon. Jamilu Mohammed Dan Musa and the Special Adviser on Higher Education, Dr.Garba Shehu Matazu.
The Minister of State said that another 0.8MW would be transmitted directly to the Umaru Musa Yar’Adua University, Kastina to serve the University Community. The 0.8MW according to him, would be sourced from a Solar Energy project also on going in the State.
The Minister of State advised the State government to woo Private investors to the State to participate in the provision of electricity as Government was willing to encourage private public partnership (PPP).
He noted that there are three dams in the State including Zobe, Sapkea and Jibia dams which when fully utilised, would provide electricity for the people of Kastina State and its neighbouring states as well as improve the socio-economic status of the people.
Ishaku further noted that the feasibility Reports of Zobe and Jibia dams have been completed and submitted to Government.
He also informed them that the Kurfi, Kankara, Malumfashi sub-stations and the Daura lines have been re-awarded to improve the voltage in Kastina and Kano States as well as ensure speedy completion.
He said the Federal Government was making all efforts to provide lasting solutions to the challenges in the power sector.He stressed that the current problem of power outages is caused by the shutdown of Kainji hydro power plant due to flood and under performance of the turbines in the Shiroro hydro power station largely due to low water level in the last few weeks.
He promised to call for a meeting of the Chief Executive Officers in Charge of the Zone on how to improve on electricity supply to the area.
Ishaku also advised electricity consumers to pay their bills promptly as dearth of funds in the sector would also affect the distribution of power by the distribution companies as they also need funds to pay for the gas received from the generating companies.
He also told the delegation that the pre-paid meters would soon be distributed to the people of Kastina as this would encourage consumers to pay for electricity consumed instead of the estimated meter reading bill given to them monthly.
Matazu had told the Minister that they were in the Ministry to convey the Kastina State Governor, Ibrahim Shema’s message of concern on incessant power outage in the State and to solicit the Minister’s intervention to remedy the situation.