By Lawrence Olaoye
The federal government has approved a fresh investment into national distribution of electricity to enable the extra 2000 mega watts of electricity generated by the Generation Companies (GENCOs) get to the consumers.
The Federal Executive Council (FEC) chaired by President Muhammadu Buhari yesterday also approved the sum of N3.78 billion for the rehabilitation of water supply scheme in Kazaure, Jigawa state.
The FEC equally okayed the sum of N656 million for the upgrade of Flight Safety Laboratory meant for aviation accident investigation purposes in the country.
Briefing newsmen after the weekly FEC meeting yesterday, Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola, said the government would provide its 40 percent investment Ito provide 33KVA and 11KVA lines currently lying fallow because the existing distribution capacity could not carry the total 7000MW the GENCOs are generating.
According to him, the DISCOs capacity stands at 5000MW leaving out extra 2000MW that is hot getting into the national grid for distribution to consumers.
He said, “FEC today approved a Memo providing a framework of investment at the 33KVA and 11KVA line in expanding the national distribution network, to deliver an extra 2000MW of electricity to consumers which is currently not getting to the grid, will get to the grid and then to consumers.
Nigeria today has 2000MW of electricity that cannot reach consumers because of lack of distribution capacity
There is is not getting to the grid is that those networks are not sufficient to support more than 5,000MW, so investments has to come in.
“While the federal government has 40% shareholder and the DISCOS have 60% and will be compelled to make additional investments which they were suppose to have made. The process of which will involve international participation for the procurement of the equipment, lines and all of the accessories to build those networks and there will be more under international procurement standards. The federal government will put its own 40% and ask the DISCOS to put their own 60% and other parties who are interested will have the opportunity to improve the investments.
“This is just to accelerate action to ensure that the 2000MW that is available now gets to the grid and gets to the people because power is coming. We are expecting many more power plants to complete this year which will add almost 1,600MW to the grid.
“So we can’t continue to accumulate power that doesn’t get to the people, so this framework is to start the process.”
Asked why government has yet to start its policy of tax credit policy of investment in infrastructure where investors are to build infrastructure in place of tax payment, Fashola explained that some of the companies have begun to build roads and bridges across the country in line with the policy.
Minister of Water Resources, Sulaiman Adamu, said “Council approved a memo for the rehabilitation of water supply scheme in Kazaure in Jigawa State at the cost of N3.78 billion to CGC Nigeria Limited.
Minister of State of Aviation, Hadi Sirika, said “Council today approved a memo to upgrade our flight safety laboratory which is used for accident investigation purposes. The amount is N656 million.”