Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Mr. Babatunde Fashola on Tuesday announced that the very erratic power generation in the country has hit 6, 911 megawatts.
The Minister stated this in Abuja at a Summit on “Energy Options in a Low-Cost and Low Carbon World: Which Way Nigeria and Africa”, organized by Africa Today Magazine.
In his speech delivered by the Minister of State for Power, Engr. Suleiman Hassan, the Minister also stated that Nigerian economy was moving from a growth economy to developed economy as she was investing in power infrastructure.
He said, “Growth can occur in Economies as we have seen in commodities-driven economies when prices rise; but they do not necessarily bring about development which has a correlation with infrastructure, such as power.
“It is important therefore to keep in mind the clear difference between Growth and Development; as I think most African economies, including Nigeria, are now doing as they focus on investing in Infrastructure especially power.”
He stated that the projections about Nigeria generating 10, 20 to 40 megawatts of electricity failed because a generation was not explained scientifically.
He said, “If you look at news reports in 1999, 2007, 2010 and 2011 in the first few months of the emergence of a new administration at our Federal Government level, you will see different statements of commitments to produce certain Megawatts of power ranging from 10, 20, to 40 thousand megawatts by a certain date.
“None of those targets was met, but that is not the problem. The problem is that the scientific basis for deciding those targets was not explained.”
But the former UNIDO Director General, Dr. Kendah Yumkella said that the generation of 6, 911 electricity megawatts was far below expectation. According to him, Nigeria was expected to supply the Africa Continent electricity given the abundant resources.
He advocated a shift from high grid power generation to mini-grid power generation to bridge the electricity supply in the country.
Also, speaking at the Summit, the former Minister of Power and the governor of Taraba State, Arc, Darius Ishaku decried policy changed in the power sector.
The governor said as a Minister of Power, the roadmap put in place would have generated more power if it was continued consistency.
Speaking on the present roadmap, Fashola said it is to get incremental power because the country does not have enough, make that steady, because that is what consumers want, and aim toward uninterrupted power through conservation, elimination of waste and use of technology.
He said, “We are currently at the Incremental Power stage of our roadmap, and megawatts are useful to demarcate milestones by showing that we started at a base of 2,069 MW in May 2015 which has increased to 6,911 MW in September 2017.
“As recently as September 2017 we recovered and restored 100 MW to the grid from the Afam power station IV which had been out of commission since January 2015 due to a burnt transformer.”
Addressing to a topic of the summit, Fashola said, “Most of the power, until recently has been from gas-fired turbines, and this is where I will proceed to address the outlook for Nigeria and opportunities for Renewable Energy at a low cost and low carbon world; as requested by Africa Today.
“Let me be clear and unequivocally saying upfront that our commitment as a Nation and Government to pursue renewable and low carbon energy at low cost is clear, firm and unshaken. But this is not all. It is a commitment driven by necessity, contract and policy.”
Also on what is being done to address energy challenges in the country, the Minister said, “Our response, of course, has been to diversify our energy sources and optimize other assets for power production by producing an Energy Mix that targets a 30% component of renewable energy out of the Gross energy we produce by 2030
“We have also matched our intent with actions such as signing 14 solar Power Purchase Agreement (PPAs) with 14 Developers with the potential to deliver over 1,000 MW of solar power.
“We have resolved problems that stalled work at the Zungeru 700 MW hydropower plant with a new completion date of 2019 and we have also now awarded the 3050 MW Mambilla hydropower plant after over 40 years of its initial conception.
“In addition, we are in advanced stages of procurement for 6 small hydro dams for private sector operation. What remains, therefore, is the faithful implementation of these projects to bring on stream their stock of renewable solar and Hydro Power.”
Six thousand nine hundred and eleven megawatts of electricity is the highest that Nigeria has ever generated.