By Etuka Sunday
The Federal Government has said that 75 percent of Nigeria’s population and households would be connected to electricity national grid by 2020 as part of its efforts to light up the country.
This was disclosed by the Minister of Power Prof. Chinedu Nebo at the 7th Annual Conference of the Nigerian Association for Energy Economics (NAEE) in Abuja, Monday.
Nebo said, “We are getting these things ready. Government is investing a huge amount of resources to make sure that most communities in Nigeria that are not connected to the national grid eventually get connected to the national grid.”
“That is going to happen. By the grace of God, it will not be long. By 2020, 75% of all Nigerians population and all households will be connected to the national grid,” Nebo said.
Asked whether the vision of connecting 75% of Nigerians to the national grid by 2020 is realizable, the minister stated that: “What the government of President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan has already put in place is dynamic with infrastructural development that is not only conceived but also being implemented in extensive grid transmission and will soon make a national grid that will make that possible.”
“By the grace of God, we will be able to achieve that and for those that are not connected to the national grid. We are making efforts to make sure that they have power upgrade that is sufficient for them to regard themselves also as first class Nigerians,” he said.
Nebo explained that the Federal Government is actually developing a robust renewable energy policy not only based on one arm of government because it wants to make it a holistic one and also integrate energy efficiency and conservation in the policy.
Besides, he noted that from the recent vandalism of the nation’s gas pipeline, the Federal Government has learnt not to depend of one source of energy.
He said the Federal Government has in its energy policy adopted the development of an energy mix to complement gas as a source of energy.
Nebo noted that in not too distant time, the government would commence the development of the Mambilla Hydro Power project in addition to the adoption of renewable energy from wind, solar, biomass and biofuel.
Nebo explained that Nigeria is yet to utilize coal to generate power because there no proven adequate quantity in the country, noting that Nigeria could venture into coal-to-power with a proof of adequate quantity that would last for 25 to 30 years.