The Federal Government has urged the Power Holding Company of Nigeria (PHCN) to improve on power distribution and generation in the country. Speaking during a special meeting convened by the Vice President, Arc Mohammed Namadi Sambo at the State House, Abuja, Sambo tasked Ministry of Power and other stakeholders on the efficient power supply in the country.
He said the meeting was to address non-involvement and low participation of Disco chief executives in National Integrated Power Project (NIPP) in various zones especially Lagos and Abuja zones. He noted that there was a drop in power supply in these two zones recently.
Sambo also urged stakeholders in the sector to address the issue of lack of trained personnel to be able to adequately and efficiently handle the operation of the power plants when they are commissioned, adding that if the issue of capacity building is not addressed now there will not be operators to man the new machines that government is about to provide. He therefore directed that staff should be trained if the power project is to succeed.
On the issue of tariff and efficiency in collection, Vice President Sambo noted that money is needed to provide power and emphasised on the need to carry out campaigns to sensitize Nigerians on the importance for payment for electricity tariff to cater for generation, distribution and transmission of power.
He ordered for a summary of all the power plants to be able to know the conclusion of power purchase agreements especially that of Afam and also ordered that a standard agreement be prepared for the proposals of investors such as Agip, Mobil and Shell, noting that a major problem in the power sector for now is Disco. He said it is not reasonable for government to provide power at the cost of N23 billion and sold it for only N9 billion.
The VP also addressed the issue of inadequate gas supply to commission the combined Cycle Plants at Oloronsogo, Alaoji and Sapele. In order to deal with all matters concerning successful implementation of the power project he set up a standing committee to be chaired by Ministry of Power.
The committee include Minister of Power, Managing Directors of the eleven Discos, Representative of National Electricity Regulatory Commission, Representative of Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN). Others are Executive Director of NIPP and the Senior Special Assistant on Power, Office of the Vice President. The committee is to review the capacity of the Discos, manpower and any other matter that needs to be addressed.
Earlier, the Chief Executive Officer of Ikeja Disco said there is shortage of trained operators to man the 34 locations in Ikeja and the contractor only installed 20 out of 240 switch transformers to make taking over possible. Abuja station needs additional capacity to move more power to the affected sections of the FCT.