Federal Government has said it would require six billion US dollars annually to meet the Nation’s aspirations for Vision 2020 through sustaining the electricity needs of the country just at it signed another Joint Venture gas Supply Agreeement with an oil company to cover the supply of quality and volume of gas to the Nation’s existing Thermal Power Stations.
The Minister of State for Power, Arc. Nuhu Somo Way disclosed thedevelopments at two different occasions: during a facility tour of the Jebba Hydroelectric Complex in that Niger State and when World Bank Climate Change Assessment Team visited him in Abuja.
He said the abject poverty level among the citizens is unacceptable in a country so prodigiously blessed with 150million vibrant and virile population with abundant natural and mineral resources.
He said it is depressing whenever comparative reports of power output of Nations less endowed than Nigeria are presented.
He revealed that mega financial institutions like IFC have been reluctant to commit public funds into public enterprises run by Government because governments are not known to be committed, efficient and profit-oriented managers of public enterprises. Pointing out that if the Government had tried all these years without succeeding despite enormous fund injection in the sector, commonsense demands that it tries other alternatives like contracting the sector out to committed institutions and corporate bodies with tested management finesse in order to get results.
He allayed the fears of the workers saying “we are not laying off the workers but your productive capacity must not only meet global standard but also justify the enormous resources invested in the sector to provide electricity on commercially oriented basis.
Wya lamented the wastage of available energy in homes, public buildings, villages and highway as people treat electricity as government property that is deployed to them free and emphasized that if the citizens are paying appropriate tariff on the energy they consume, bulbs and electrical appliances would not be allowed to waste energy especially at day times.
In an emotion laden voice, Wya said: “we must not allow our children inherit this depressing state of social and economic quagmire in the power sector or even be witnesses to the mess we are passing through. Let them only read it in history books.”
In an address presented to the Government, the Chairman of Senior Staff Association of electricity and Allied Companies, Mr. S.V. Azua, assured the Minister that if regular annual maintenance schedule of the plant is followed and plant overhaul maintained according to manufacturers’ specification coupled with availability of funds, the workforce will be ever ready to improve the performance of the station and increase overall efficiency of the machine.
On the signed Joint Venture Gas Supply Purchase Agreement with PanOcean Int’l Company to cover the supply of quality and volume of gas to the Nation’s existing Thermal Power Stations, the minister stated that agreement spelt out the obligations of all parties in the deal, ensures appropriate penalties for defaulting parties.
Arc. Nuhu Somo Wya told the Leader of World Bank Climate Change Assessment Team and Africa Regional Director, Climate Change, Raffaello Cervigni that the Gas Supply Agreement (GSA) is a milestone achievement by the present administration as it is the first of its kind in the country, adding that because of the commitment involved, gas supply to Thermal Power Stations would be guaranteed leading to an enhanced improvement in electricity supply throughout the country.
The Minister who reiterated government’s determination to hands off the power sector, stated that it has decided to revert to the Electricity Supply Power Reform (ESPR), meant to address all the issues militating against the industry as well as open doors for private sector investment. According to him, this will reinvigorate life into the sector as witnessed in the telecommunication industry.
Arc. Wya however, stated that government is conscious of the devastating effect of climatic change, adding that right now, Lake Nyos in Chad Republic is posing a potential disaster for the Country.And is also collaborating with Chad Republic on the dangers of climate change.
He therefore expressed the country’s willingness to embrace the noble idea of taking proactive measures that will prevent avoidable human activities that can devastate the climate.
He commended the World Bank for its cooperation and assured that two more gas agreements will be signed soon with Chevron and Shell Petroleum Development Company.
Earlier the leader of the delegation of the World Bank, Climate Change Assessment Team, Mr. Raffaello Cervigni, lead Economist and Regional Coordinator, climate change, African Region said World Bank is ready to assist and partner with Federal Government on the effect of climate change in Nigeria and help in the Energy Sector.
Mr. Cervigni also told the Minister that the World Bank is organizing a Workshop on the effect of Climate Change in Nigeria. He also solicited data on the demand and supply of Electricity in Nigeria so that Climate Change issues can be incorporated into the data.
The workshop on climate change which comes up tomorrow will cover areas such as generation, transmission and distribution of power, supply side efficiency and demand side management, climate consideration in power sector, ways in which World Bank can assist among others.