Poor Power Supply: Adelabu Meets Governors, Seeks Collaboration


Following the worsening power supply in the country, Minister of Power, Chief Adebayo Adelabu has sought collaboration with the state governors for the provision of quality power supply to households, businesses, and underserved communities.

The meeting with the NGF also focussed on the development of a sub-national electricity market, Nigeria Sub-National Electricity Markets Support Programme (NSEMSP), and the National Electricity Policy and Strategic Implementation Plan.

The Minister who re-emphasized the cardinal impact of power in the economic growth and development of the nation, also spoke on the importance of distributed power to fast-track the provision of energy in the country, adding that governments at the State level have a major role to play, not only in distribution but along all segments of the power sector value chain, including rural electrification, adding that the Rural Electrification Agency (REA) will be realigning its operational structure to ensure more visible impact across the various States of the federation.

The Minister who proposed a meeting with Energy commissioners across the States, also invited the NGF to a roundtable discussion with the REA, noting that every state is entitled to a portion of the allocation from the funding of rural electrification. He enjoined States and the REA, to relate more with each other.

Adelabu said collaboration with States Energy Commissioners and the electricity boards would enable REA to know where to focus on rural electrification projects as the States are in the best position to know the communities that should benefit from rural electrification projects.

“Rural Electrification Agency should collaborate with state rural electrification board for even distribution of benefits of rural electrification in all the states. This is one of the strategies to empower the underserved and unserved communities”.

The Minister said apart from budgetary allocation, REA also has access to funding from foreign development partners that could further enhance access to power in different communities in the country.

“ However, apart from budgetary allocation, there is the Power Consumer Assistance Fund whereby a portion of tariff is preserved for the less privileged”, he said.

Concerned about bill collections, the Minister appealed to the States to assist DISCOs in their States.

“Liquidity is essential in the sector and we need to improve bill collection, there are places the DISCOs may not be able to access, and the States thus need to use their apparatus to assist in collection.

“It is equally important for States to establish a relationship with DISCOs in their various States in case of some emergencies that need urgent attention”.

He was empathic that there should be an unbundling of DISCOs along State lines to ensure optimal performance and these could start with administrative unbundling. “ Every State must know who is in charge of power infrastructure for each of the States.”

Adelabu said States should also be encouraged in line with the new Electricity Act to also generate hydropower by utilising small dams that are in different communities in their States.

“ One of the plans we have is to utilize rivers in some States to generate electricity. There are small dams that can generate between 500 kilowatts and 10 megawatts, we want to encourage States to do that including hybridising the hydro with solar for a seamless transition during the dry season when the water level is low”.

On incessant vandalization of power facilities, he also enjoined the State government to help safeguard energy infrastructure from vandals and prevent energy theft.

“States can use their apparatus like the Amotekun In the southwest to enter into the interiors of the state where the discos officials cannot access to arrest the criminals that vandalize power properties and those that engage in meter bypass”.

Earlier, the Director General of NGF, Mr Asishana Okauru had presented a six-page document to the Minister where he listed areas of concern of the NGF. He also emphasized the need to foster collaboration between federal and state governments on electricity matters.

Okauru spoke on the inauguration of the steering committee for the NSEMSP which is a hybrid technical assistance programme being implemented under the auspices of the NGF to facilitate the development of sustainable, competitive, and viable sub-national electricity markets in the country.

Apart from that, Okauru called for the setting up of a working committee between the Ministry of Power and representatives of NGF adding that the time is ripe for State governments to have representatives on the boards of DISCOs alongside the Ministry of Finance Incorporated (MOFI).

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