Power: FG collating data for emergency actions

THE PUNCH Newspaper-Obinna Ezeobi

The Federal Government has begun collating data that will assist the Presidential Power Committee set up by Acting President Goodluck Jonathan to take urgent action in revamping the power sector.

The committee is scheduled to hold its inaugural meeting on Monday in Abuja, after the return of Jonathan from his trip to the United States.

In preparation for the meeting, where the Federal Government is expected to announce emergency measures for the sector, the Minister of State for Power, Mr. Nuyu Wya, has started to take detailed briefings on the state of the various units of the sector and what must be done to record an immediate improvement in power supply.

Our correspondent gathered on Wednesday that the minister, who is also the vice-chairman of the Presidential Power Committee, took briefings from chief executive officers of the 11 distribution companies of the Power Holding Company of Nigeria on Monday, and on Tuesday, it was the turn of the CEOs of the generation companies.

Officials of the Transmission Company of Nigeria and managers of other key agencies in the sector were also scheduled to make their presentations to the minister, outlining short and long term strategies that would deliver improved power as promised by the Acting President.

Our correspondent was also told on Wednesday that the international oil companies operating in Nigeria were scheduled to make their presentations on gas supply for power generation directly to the secretariat of the committee on Thursday.

There are strong indications that the secretariat has been set up in the Presidency with Wya confirming that a programme of action had already been drawn up by the committee.

He said the outline was similar to what had been prepared by the Ministry of Power.

Wya had told our correspondent last week that the committee would after the meeting announce specific plans and targets for the improvement of the sector.

He had said, “I do not want to delve into figures. We have a committee and we have not sat.

“So I will not want to comment on any figure at the moment because it will be a team work and we will unfold our plans to Nigerians as soon as possible.

“But there will be remarkable improvement in electricity in Nigeria in the shortest possible time.”

It was learnt that the immediate objective of the committee would be to improve power supply to the generality of Nigerians, get sufficient gas, reinforce the transmission and distribution networks and ensure that whatever had been put on ground was improved upon and sustained.

The committee will also strive to create an enabling environment for the private sector to come in and invest and to make the power sector a very conducive environment for both present and new participants.

According to Wya, “We are going to explore in the medium term other sources of energy. We have many dams that had been constructed by the water resources; they have huge hydro electric potential.

“We are going to tap into those resources so that we can give Nigerians more electricity delivered to the point of consumption.”

Private sector members of the committee include Mr. Basil Omiyi, the immediate past Chairman of the Shell Group in Nigeria, and Prof. Barth Nnaji, a former Minister of Science and Technology and Chief Executive Officer, Geometric Power, an independent power project is coming up in Aba, Abia State.

Other members of the committee also include the Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Mr. Lamido Sanusi, the Minister of Finance, Dr. Olusegun Aganga; Director-General, Bureau of Public Procurement, Mr. Emeke Ezeh and the Acting Director- General, Bureau of Public Enterprises.

On the composition of the committee, Wya had explained, “The Central Bank of Nigeria will unravel the issue of letters of credit, the issue of securitisation-ensuring that whoever is giving us power has some kind of security and other issues which militate against the clearing of our good from the ports.

“The Minister of Finance will fast track whatever we need in terms of budgetary needs and address any budgetary challenge we may have comprehensively and timely.

It also includes BPP who will process and ensure that our procurements are done timely.

“It also includes BPE who will fast track the reform agenda which was started in 2005.”


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