April 16, 2024

Minister of Power, Adelabu vows to increase Nigeria’s power generation capacity to 20,000 MW within 3 years

Adebayo Adelabu, Minister of Power

Oredola Adeola

 

Adebayo Adelabu, Minister of Power has set ambitious goals to increase Nigeria’s power generation capacity to at least 20,000 megawatts (MW) from about 12,522 MW, within the next three years, implement the 2023 Electricity Act, and prioritize universal metering to close over eight million metering gaps.

 

He made this known while delivering his opening address on Day 1 at Nigeria Energy 2023, held in Lagos on Tuesday.

 

 

According to him, as a politician and Minister, I have a limited amount of time to spend in the power Ministry and I am committed to making a lasting impact in the sector before leaving.

 

 

He said, “In an attempt to set targets for the power sector, we also need to set short-term targets and ensure that between now and the next three years, we can diagnose the issues to a large extent and make a significant impact.

 

 

“I found out that the solutions in the power sector are not as difficult as we all believe. I will hasten the pace of fact-gathering and leverage the views and experience of stakeholders to understand the sector and build workable solutions that will transform the power sector in Nigeria.

 

 

“You will agree with me that energy is the lifeblood of any modern economy, and Nigeria is no exception. No meaningful economic growth or industrial development can be achieved without power.

 

 

“Sustainable Energy is fundamental to fueling our industries, powers our homes, drives economic growth and it is the cornerstone upon which the progress and prosperity of nations are built.

 

 

“Nigeria with its abundant natural resources, growing population, and expanding economy, stands on a pivotal stage in its energy journey because the demand for accessible, reliable, and sustainable energy has never been greater than we have now.

 

 

The Power Minister promised to balance energy developments that drive socio-economic transformation, adding that the Power Ministry is focused on ensuring that energy development meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.

 

 

He said, “We are committed to identifying the challenges and seeing the inert opportunities in the energy sector in Nigeria. We seek collaborations to implement concrete action plans that will lead us toward a brighter and more sustainable energy future.

 

 

“I am confident that the narrative in the power sector, which is confronted with several challenges, will change shortly.

 

 

“Nigeria’s power sector was privatised a decade ago to establish the competitive markets intended to improve management and efficiency, attract private investments, increase generation, and provide a reliable and cost-efficient power supply to Nigeria. Although some progress has been made across the power sector value chain, there is still a huge gap, especially in the delivery of adequate and stable power supply to consumers nationwide.

 

 

“The truth of the matter is all these programs that we say we are best at, they remain, an effort is an energy that is reliable and affordable, but cannot reach the end consumers and households, small businesses, institutions, and industries.

 

 

The Minister reiterated the need for Nigeria to invest in technology to address the over 8-million-metering gap and ensure accurate billing for electricity consumption.

 

 

He said, ” We need to come up with technology to ensure that power connections are monitored, and DisCos are able to improve their collection to 90 percent of distributed power monthly.

 

 

“We need to ramp up our investments in collection technology to close the metering gap as much as possible.

 

 

All households, companies, government institutions, and industries in Nigeria must be properly metered so that everybody accounts for the power they consume and then pays for the utilization,” the Power Minister said.

 

 

Adelabu has noted that the recently passed Nigerian Electricity Act, 2023, will play a fundamental role in transforming the power sector by unlocking the potential of the energy mix and promoting the integration of renewable energy technologies into the existing grid system.

 

 

According to him, the new act aims to create an environment that supports sustainable growth and investment in the power industry by focusing on accelerated private investment and the promotion of renewable energy sources.

 

 

He said, “These challenges also lie in incredible opportunities such as annexing power from renewable energy sources for example, solar, hydro, wind, etc. which will not only reduce our carbon footprints in terms of the nation but also create jobs and stimulate economic growth.

 

 

“As a game changer that reformed the NESI, the Electricity Act will undoubtedly engender increased access to electricity and regulatory oversight, clean energy transition, improved service delivery, and infrastructural developments.

 

 

“In particular, the act will stimulate economic growth by creating a conducive environment for investment and competition. It will generate job opportunities, encourage entrepreneurship, and attract foreign direct investments,” Adelabu said.

 

 

The Minister of Power has called on players in the power sector to intensify their efforts towards improving communication with the general public, emphasizing that the Nigerian masses have a lot of roles to play in safeguarding power infrastructure.

 

 

According to him, issues such as vandalization, passing of meters, and damage to TCN and DisCo infrastructure must be addressed holistically to make significant gains in the power sector.

 

 

He further stated that the journey towards achieving their targets is not something that just a single operator in the value chain can achieve. The public needs to be informed and educated about their roles in safeguarding power infrastructure. This is a crucial step towards achieving a more stable power supply in Nigeria.

 

 

Adelabu emphasised that the power sector is a cornerstone for economic growth in Nigeria and that the gains made over the years in the power sector can only be consolidated by unlocking equity investments and funds for power development.

 

 

He said, “Of course, a lot of investment is required in the power sector. In three weeks, I’ve seen humongous investments that have come into this sector. But what are the steps that are required for those investment opportunities to reap the benefit of those investments, additional investments in the form of equity and capex need to come into this industry.

 

 

“The power sector is not an industry for short-term players to invest in less than two to three years and expect to make maximum benefits. The industry requires medium to long-term investments. Investors must understand that the moment we can break even, we will start making profits in the power sector,” he said.

 

 

The Nigerian Power Minister also urged operators in the NESI value chain to improve their service delivery, adding that Nigeria’s energy expansion plan of 60,000 Megawatts by 2060 is an achievable target.

 

 

He therefore called on gas companies, GenCos, TCN, and DIScO to showcase their success stories in generating and transmitting power to the last mile that pays for all the segments of operators in the value chain.

 

 

He emphasized that it is not enough to generate power, but also to transmit at least 80% of what is generated to the end users of electricity.

 

 

He also urged the stakeholders to invest in cutting-edge technologies and innovative solutions that can transform the way power is produced, transmitted, distributed, and consumed.

 

 

The Minister also stressed the need for strategic collaborations to identify challenges and leverage opportunities in the power sector.

 

 

He expressed optimism that Nigeria can achieve its target of 60,000MW by 2060 if all stakeholders work together.

 

 

The Minister stressed that achieving sustainable electricity for all is a goal that requires collective effort and support from all stakeholders. He emphasized that he is passionate and determined to make an impact in the industry and is ready to support stakeholders with all the political will required of champions.

 

 

Speaking about the need for collaboration and partnership to achieve a common goal, Adelabu said that sustainable electricity is not just a responsibility of the government or a single individual, but a collective responsibility of all.

 

 

 

He said, “Let us all work together to achieve this goal and make a positive impact on the industry and the environment. I will take responsibility for whatever happens in the sector. I am ready to work with stakeholders to harmonise our opportunities and investments across the GENCOS, TCN, and DisCos. We will need to collaborate to achieve electricity for all in 2030 and 2060.

 

 

 

“Let us actively engage, learn, or collaborate amongst ourselves. Let us inspire each other and challenge the status quo to create a better cleaner most people’s energy for their children and generations to come.

 

 

 

“I am reassuring you that you have my full support in achieving and political will is required to implement all the suggestions put forward by the stakeholders to ensure a positive turnaround of the power sector.

 

 

 

“Let us work together to complement this legislation effectively ensuring that its benefits are realized by all. Let me emphasize that there is a good ecosystem in the Nigerian Electricity Supply Industry (NESI) to support the Government’s journey towards a sustainable energy future.

 

 

 

“We will achieve the innovations and partnerships that will not only benefit our nation but also contribute to the global efforts to combat climate change and ensure a better quality of life for all. Together we can power Nigeria to a more glorious brighter future and prosperous future to which our government is committed.

 

 

 

“This is one very important sector that our overworking and passionate President Bola Tinubu wishes to lead the deserved economic growth and national development. We cannot afford to fail in this transformation effort,” the Minister said.

 

 

Adelabu therefore noted that the removal of fuel subsidies in Nigeria is expected to substantially stimulate the e-mobility market, attracting investors and driving innovation in the EV and hydrogen technology sectors.

 

 

He reiterated his commitment to collaborating with investors interested in these emerging industries, further solidifying Nigeria’s position as a key player in the global transition towards sustainable transportation.