The Minister of Power, Prof. Chinedu Nebo has disclosed that all was set for two coal fired power plants in Kogi State to be commissioned by President Goodluck Jonathan next year.
The Minister who made the disclosure at a dinner organised for Energy Correspondents in Abuja said, Nigeria has great potentials especially in the area of renewable energy sources therefore would be properly harnessed to light up the country.
Nebo said that a persistent vandalism of gas pipelines in the country was affecting the planned stable power supply to Nigerians therefore advocated for energy mix as a solution.
According to him, “the national grid is limited in reach. The available electricity is insufficient to meet existing power needs, in spite of shortage; government is making effort to electrify the rural communities.”
He said it was in a bid to bridge the electricity deficit in the rural areas, that Mr President flagged off Operation Light Up Rural Nigeria (OLRN) Initiative on January 13th, 2014 at Durumi, Shape and
Waru in the FCT using renewable energy. Adding, that plans are underway to replicate OLRN pilot across the 36 states of the Federation.
Nebo thanked the correspondents for good understanding of the challenges facing the sector.
The Minister said it wouldn’t have been possible to reach the public, consumers and would be investors without their understanding and cooperation.
Prof. Nebo admired the courage of journalists in trying to be factual and objective as possible in covering their beat.
The Minister said there is significant improvement in quantum of electricity to consumers and gave example of Kaduna which now has about 23 hrs of electricity per day.
He lamented that the sector has dilapidated infrastructure and some obsolete transformers, almost 30 years of installations.
He also implored the correspondents to tell Nigerians what is really happening in the sector.
Responding, Madina Dauda, of the Voice of America (VOA) on behalf of energy correspondents, appreciated the Minister for finding time out of his tight schedules to honour the correspondents.
Madina assured the Minister of the commitments of energy correspondent in covering the sector.
She further testified that there was significant improvement in electricity supply across the country.
Dauda informed the Minister that energy correspondents would continue to be part of the power sector family.
It would be recalled that a similar dinner was organized last year to honour, appreciate and for harmonious working relationship between the Ministry and Energy Correspondents.