FG seeks $3.4bn to expand power generation
ABUJA: The Federal Government has begun sourcing for foreign financing to the tune of $3.4 billion to step-up its power generation and transmission to 20,000 megawatts, from the current 4,800 megawatts.
This is just as President Goodluck Jonathan noted that some companies from the United States that participated in power contract transactions in the country admitted that the process was transparent and corruption-free, making unreasonable the accusations by the US government that his administration wallows in corruption.
Jonathan, who disclosed this at the Presidential Power Reform Transaction Signing Ceremony in Abuja, however, admitted that, indeed, there is corruption in the country but added that it’s been over-amplified, expressing his administration’s unrelenting commitment to fighting the scourge.
He, similarly, assured the nation that the age-long problem of inadequate power supply would be brought to an end eventually, adding that Nigerians must have electricity for domestic and industrial use and there was no turning back or relenting on it.
The President promised that his government would not rest until each and every Nigerian can sleep at night without the irritating noise of generators, adding that “Nigerians deserve the best and we cannot afford to offer less.”
While describing the current grid transmission of 4,800 megawatts as a weak link, he disclosed that the Federal Government was working out the funding of the Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN) long term expansion plan from a mix which will include the Transmission Development Fund, International Development Banks and multilateral agencies.
Also in his address, the Minister of Power, Professor Chinedu Nebo, however, regretted the setbacks suffered by the reforms in the power sector was due to the unprecedented size and scope of the reform programe, promising that the problems would be finally put to rest by end of next June.
The minister noted that with the targeted massive increase in generation from both the NIPP projects by 1,896 megawatts and the government’s legacy assets by 514 megawatts and the total capacity of 4,234 megawatts from large, medium and small hydros, the need for a robust transmission grid becomes necessary since the current grid transmission remains weak.
In his remarks, the Chairman of the Presidential Task Force on Power, Engr Beks Dagogo-Jack, explained that the initiative for the Power Reform Transaction signing was basically to correct the misconception and misunderstanding of the totality of the modern power market.
The United States government had Friday last week indicted the President Jonathan- led Federal Government of massive and widespread corruption.