After 50-day in office, new Power Minister unveils agenda for power sector

Oredola Adeola   Minister of Power, Engineer Abubakar Aliyu, after spending 50 days in office, has promised to improve services in the power sector with special focus on billing transparency and accuracy; and creation of liquidity in the electricity market. He also stressed his resolve to accelerate progress, complete key projects of the ministry, promote competition and bring in more participants in the Nigerian Electricity Market (NEM). In August 2021, the Minister was redeployed from the Minister of State for Works, as substantive Minister of Power , following the sack of Engr. Saleh Mamman, by President Mohammadu Buhari. In a statement commemorating his first 50 days in office, the Engr. Aliyu said he met the Nigerian power sector with several challenges promising to deal with all the issues.     The key focus of Ministry of power, according to him is to fix Kashimbilla power station, Gurara phase 2, Zungeru Power Mambilla Plant and others. He said, “Kashimbilla 40MW power station has already started generating power into the National Grid. “Gurara Phase 2 being developed in partnership with Ministry of Water Resources will soon be ready to deliver 30MW to the grid. Zungeru Hydroelectric Power Project is progressing towards completion next year to deliver another 700MW of renewable power. “Katsina Wind farm is with a full capacity of 10MW is already generating part of its full capacity on the grid. “Dadin Kowa 40MW Power Station started generating power into the National Grid under a concession with the private investor. The remaining regulatory and power purchase agreement issues are being resolved. “Mambilla Hydroelectric Power Project was contracted in 2017. Discussions are being intensified so that all encumbrances preventing full take off of the project are resolved soon. “TCN’s Transmission Rehabilitation and Expansion Program funded by various multilateral financial institutions to ensure adequacy and stability of the National Grid. “Systematic implementation of the Presidential Power Initiative (PPI) of this administration. The Nigerian government and German energy company Siemens AG  in 2020 entered into a Power Infrastructure revamp agreement. It is a government-to-government agreement. “The Nigerian Electrification Roadmap (NER) is a partnership that will expand Nigeria’s electricity capacity from the current average output 4,500MWh/h to 25,000MW. “We are confident that the NER will succeed because of the pedigree of Siemens and their footprint in the Global Power Industry”, he said. The Power Minister noted that the first phase of the PPI is the upgrading and expansion of the vital infrastructure of the TCN and Discos with the end goal of achieving 7,000MW. “This first phase started in earnest this year, with the ongoing pre-engineering phase. The selected EPC Contractors will soon be contracted officially so work on the project implementation can commence”, he assured.