Amaechi blames PHCN for inability to achieve 24-hour power supply in Rivers
THE Federal Government said Monday that the current electricity generation in the country had reached 4,502 megawatts, the highest in recent times.
Minister of Information, Mr. Labaran Maku, made this known at a news conference on the achievements of government in 2012. According to him, electricity generation was expected to move up to 7,000 megawatts in 2013.
“At the moment, there is an average of about 15 to 18 hours per day of constant power supply to different parts of the country. This feat was brought about through the implementation of the integrated power sector reform programme anchored on the power roadmap. This includes institutional reforms to involve the private sector in power generation, transmission and distribution,” he said.
Maku stated that under the roadmap, 10 new thermal power plants had been completed, adding that more were coming in 2013 to boost electricity supply to all parts of the country.
He said that the rehabilitation of power generation and distribution infrastructure across the nation were ongoing, to take generation to installed capacity.
According to him, contract for the maintenance of the Shiroro power station had been awarded. Maku also said that new contracts had been awarded for hydro power plants in Kaduna and Mambila Plateau to generate additional 750 megawatts.
“The implementation of the National Integrated Power Project is being fast-tracked to ensure stability in power supply,” he said.
The minister said that $1 billion and $150 million loan would soon be secured from the African Development Bank (ADB) to finance gas supply and liberalisation of the power sector respectively.
Meanwhile, Rivers State governor, Chibuike Amaechi, has blamed his inability to achieve 24-hour power sufficiency for Rivers in 2012 on Power Holding Company of Nigeria (PHCN’s) failure to grant the state the requisite permission to distribute.
The governor in his New Year broadcast to the state, said that his administration’s plan in 2013 was to ensure that it adequately catered to the needs of all sectors including water, urban development, culture and tourism as well as employment generation.
Amaechi who had last year promised that the state would enjoy uninterrupted power supply by December 2012, regretted that the aspiration could not be achieved because of the inactions of PHCN.
“We had promised to deliver on 24-hour power supply by the end of 2012. Unfortunately, we couldn’t meet this deadline, as we still need the Power Holding Company of Nigeria (PHCN) to hook us up and grant us the requisite permission to distribute. Although we have completed 26 power injection sub-stations to help us move the 560 mw of power currently generated by our four power stations and import from the national grid, we have only been able to achieve 50 per cent success in this regard,” he said.
He, however, expressed optimism that with the state support for the four power consortium that won the sale of the Port Harcourt Distribution Company, the state would gradually deliver on its promise.
According to him, with the massive investments government had made in the power sector, it was close to fulfilling its promise to the people.
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