Enhancing Economic Development Through Water Supply In Zamfara State, By Adamu Mustapha

From time immemorial, philosophers and scientists have linked development to the presence of safe and clean drinking water. In fact, the availability of and access to potable water is one of the strongest indicators for development in any society. It is therefore not surprising that 37 percent of the 884 million people in the world who lack access to safe water supplies live in Sub-Saharan Africa. As water is linked to development, so is it linked to poverty and almost 2 in 3 people who need safe drinking water survive on less than $2 a day.

Not only are people living without access to clean water burdened with poverty and underdevelopment, their health and education are also adversely affected. Worldwide nearly 1 out of every 5 deaths under the age of 5 is due to a water-related disease and in developing countries, as much as 80% of illnesses are linked to poor water and sanitation conditions. Half of the world’s hospital beds are filled with people suffering from a water-related disease, leading to more than 840,000 deaths each year.
With these searing statistics in mind, it becomes almost impossible to not view what Dr Abdul’aziz Yari Abubakar has achieved in improving access to potable water in Zamfara State over the last five years as a revolution. Most state governments in Nigeria pay close to zero attention to provision of potable water. It is one of those issues politicians rarely campaign with or give any promises about. Whatever is done in that sector is hardly regarded as an achievement. But Governor Yari Abubakar has spent a great deal of time and resources over the last five years bringing lasting solution and succour to Zamfara State.

 

When his administration assumed office in 2011, Yari Abubakar wasted no time in giving the strongest possible hint that water provision would be of the highest priority to his government. The Governor kicked off efforts in the regard by ensuring the speedy completion of the N636million Kaura-Namoda water treatment plant in order to ease the persistent problem of water scarcity in Kaura-Namoda Local Government. He personally inspected the project, which was inherited from the previous administration but was curiously omitted from the handing over notes.
One year into office, the administration of Yari Abubakar awarded a N6.7 billion contract for the construction of a water treatment plant at Talata Mafara. The project at its completion was expected to provide five million gallons of treated water to Talata Mafara, Maradun, Bakura and Maru Local Government Areas (LGAs) of the state. The true test of Yari Abubakar’s leadership ethos came when while he was away, the Deputy Governor of Zamfara State, Ibrahim Wakkala, in acting capacity inspected this monumental project and ordered the demolition of part of the water treatment plant over non-adherence to contract specifications. The engineering consultants handling the projects had raised observations over the contractor’s violation of contract agreement, and the Deputy Governor, being well grounded in the administration’s vision said the government would not compromise quality and standard in any job awarded in line with its principle of transparency and accountability.
In 2013, Yari Abubakar continued with his vision of executing at least one major water project each year to improve access to clean and safe drinking water in Zamfara State. The dredging of the Gusau water barrage and the provision of two underground fresh water plants and reservoirs to complement the barrage in an effort to ensure consistent water supply in the state capital were classified as priority projects. Two years in, the Yari Abubakar administration had spent N7 billion to improve water supply in all parts of the state with the rehabilitation and expansion of Kaura Namoda and Talata Mafara water works as achievements.
Seeing the dedication and commitment of the Zamfara State government under the leadership of Dr Yari Abubakar to the provision of adequate water supply, international organizations in 2015 partnered with the government to achieve even more. The governor signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the United Nations International Children Education Fund (UNICEF) in conjunction with the Department For International Development (DFID) in effort to enhance the provision of water and sanitation in the state. He also immediately approved the release of N85 million counterpart funding for the projects to be executed under the MoU. Birnin Magaji, Tsafe and Gusau were selected as piloting local government areas to immediately benefit from the projects, before expanding to all the other local government areas.
So far in 2016, N111 million has been committed by the government, through the Ministry of Water Resources, to tackle water shortage usually experienced during dry season by residents in Gusau, Zamfara State capital and its environs. The expansion of water pipelines from Koramar Wanke and Yarkusa reservoir directly to the water board is almost completed. Similar projects are executed in all the 14 local councils of the state before 2019 to ensure that the acute water shortage being experienced by the communities is addressed.

 

Travelling through Zamfara State there is a recurring theme, from one local government to the other, giant water supply plants powered by solar energy. From Kasuwar Daji, to Gora in Maradu local government, to Rini in Bagura local government, these water schemes have gone a long way in improving the economic development of the communities where they are sited. And there is perhaps no greater form of economic empowerment, albeit indirectly, for the women in these communities. Almost two-thirds of households rely on women to get the family’s water when there is no water source in the home and in many developing countries, millions of women spend several hours a day collecting water from distant, often polluted sources. The United Nations estimates that Sub-Saharan Africa alone loses 40 billion hours per year collecting water; the same as an entire year’s labour in all of France.
For Yari Abubakar, no policy decision or investment is in isolation, and there is a nexus, driven by innovation and thoughtfulness, between education and water supply in Zamfara. As government embarked on wide rehabilitation of old structures and construction of new ones in schools across the state, they were also equipped with their own solar-powered water supply schemes. The ingenuity behind this is fully appreciate when you learn that more than half of all primary schools in developing countries don’t have adequate water facilities and 443 million school days are as a result.
According to the World Health Organization, for every $1 invested in water and sanitation, there is an economic return of between $3 and $34. Haven committed N26 billion over the last five years to the establishment of an efficient system of production and distribution of clean and safe drinking water, Yari Abubakar has undoubtedly set Zamfara State on the path of economic prosperity while alleviating the sufferings of the people.

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Power Supply: Fashola Blames Pipeline Vandalism, Says Work On Lagos-Ibadan Expressway Resumes Next Week

The Minister of Works, Power and Housing, Mr Babatunde Fashola, has attributed the poor electricity supply across Nigeria to attacks on oil installations in the Niger Delta region by militants.

The Minister said this on Thursday at a forum organised by members of a civil society organisation in Abuja, Nigeria’s capital.

Mr Fashola argued that one year was a short time for government to deliver on all its campaign promises, while giving an account of his term in office.

According to him, out of the 26 power plants built to generate electricity across the country, 23 depend on gas, lamenting that the activities of vandals in the southern region had made it impossible to power those plants.

However, some members of the civil society groups in the audience expressed displeasure with the Minister’s reason for the present condition of electricity supply in the country.

On the Lagos-Ibadan expressway, the minister said work on the project will resume next week.

The former governor of Lagos State said even though the Muhammadu Buhari-led administration had yet to release funds to the contractors, they were willing to return to site because they trusted the integrity of the new government.

Fashola stated, “In 2014, we spent N45bn on roads for the whole country and we spent N18bn on roads in 2015. Now, the fallout of meetings with our contractors generally is that they have not been paid for three years but budgets were made for the last three years.

“We have been having meetings with some contractors on the basis of our credibility, our collective integrity, saying to them go back to site.

“Our contractors will go back to site on Monday next week; they have told me they will return to the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway.

“They have not been paid but that is what change means, that this government is credible and believable. If we say we will pay, we will pay. And this is what you will see in places like Iheala and a few other places where we are intervening but what is important now is that we have met with all our contractors and identified contracts that have survived the budget, we have approved those contracts for funding and in the next few days to weeks, the disbursement will start for many of the roads.”

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NDPHC Invests N3.3bn On Power Supply In Sokoto

The Niger Delta Power Holding Company (NDPHC) said it has invested in equipment worth N3.3bn to boot power infrastructure in Sokoto state.

The project, executed under the Federal Government’s Integrated Power Projects (IPP) scheme, achieved substantial success because of the tremendous commitment shown by the state government to it’s success, a General Manager in the firm, Alhaji Muhammad Bunza, has said.

“The N3.3 billion expenditure has resulted in the construction of three power substations in three locations in different parts of the state. The locations are Gagi and Farfaru in Sokoto metropolis and Tambuwal LGA in the southern part of the state,” he added.

Speaking when he conducted Governor Aminu Waziri Tambuwal round the facilities, Bunza said each substation has the capacity to carry 500kva transformer which will in turn sustain 25 transformers that will serve approximately 200 households.

He said the three projects are expected to come on stream in the next three months, and will increase power supply in the state.

While thanking Tambuwal for his concern and determination to see to the completion of the projects on time, Bunza said the NDPHC will continue with it’s mandate to ensure Nigeria becomes self-sufficient in power generation, and distribution.

In his remarks, the Governor said the significance of the projects towards increase in power output in the state cannot be overemphasized.

“It becomes very important to build such substations because the usage of power has increased in Sokoto in recent years. We are appealing to the Federal Government to also consider building more stations in Illela, Kilgori, Moore, Kalambaina and other districts in Eastern and Southern parts of the state,” he added.

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Power Supply Drops By 900MW After Militant Attacks

The twin attacks, last week, on Chevron’s oil and gas facilities in the Escravos area of Delta State has resulted in a drop in power generation from about 3,600 megawatts (MW) to 2,500MW, translating to a loss of 900MW.

The attacks, which also led to a slump in the country’s crude oil production to a 20-year low, disrupted Chevron’s gas supply to the domestic market, having stopped the delivery of natural gas to the Escravos Gas Plant (EGP), which processes gas for power generation and other end users.

It was gathered that this has wiped off a substantial part of an estimated two billion cubic feet of gas supplied daily to the domestic market for power generation and industrial uses.

Chevron confirmed that the first attack of last Wednesday night on its valve platform, affected the Okan offshore production platform, thus leading to the shutdown of the facility.

On Thursday night, a pipeline transporting crude oil to Warri and Kaduna refineries and a 16-inch gas line, owned by the Nigerian Gas Company (NGC), the gas transporting arm of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), were blown up.

A Chevron source said yesterday that the attacks had hampered the company’s ability to evacuate gas from oil fields into the Escravos Gas Plant for processing.

“Gas from all the oil fields in the entire Escravos area is sent to the gas plant for processing. The plant currently process between 420 million standard cubic feet per day (mmscf/d) of gas and 590mmscf/d. The attacks have disrupted the evacuation of gas into the facility.

“As it is now, domestic gas from Delta State can only come from Utorogu, Ughelli, and Sapele plants for power generation. The ones at Utorogu and Ughelli belong to Shell,” he explained.

Chevron’s Escravos Gas Plant provides gas feedstock to power plants across the country through the Escravos-Lagos pipeline.

The Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Mr. Babatunde Fashola, also said yesterday that power generation had dropped to 2,500MW due to the attacks on the Chevron facilities.

According to him, power generation had averaged 3,600MW before the Wednesday and Thursday attacks.

The drop to 3,600MW from about 5,000MW was blamed on the attack on the Forcados terminal pipeline last February. Repairs to that pipeline will be concluded next month, Fashola said.

He decried the spate of attacks on oil installations and their impact on the domestic economy.

“Which country has instances of vandalism on its oil installations like Nigeria? This is economic sabotage, but we will have to evolve a new strategy to deal with this problem. We shall attack it head on,” he said.

However, daily operational reports obtained from the Nigerian electricity system operator showed that generation as at 6 am yesterday was 2,474.10MW, down from the peak generation of 2,968.9MW recorded on Saturday.

The lowest generation on Saturday, according to the operational report, was 2,160.3MW.

The attacks have also pushed Nigeria’s crude oil production to the lowest in 20 years, as Chevron also shut down about 90,000 barrels a day of output following the impact on a joint-venture offshore platform that serves as a gathering point for production from several fields.

Even before that strike on Wednesday night, Nigerian oil production had fallen below 1.7 million barrels a day for the first time since 1994, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

The Minister of State for Petroleum, Dr. Ibe Kachikwu, had confirmed that Nigeria would be producing 2.3 million barrels per day, up from 2.18 million bpd, but for the February attack on the Forcados pipeline.

Nigeria’s crude oil production had peaked at 2.6 million bpd in January 2013 before it was plagued by renewed militancy, oil theft and vandalism.

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Osinbajo Visits Site Of Forcados Pipeline Vandalism, Explains How It Is Affecting Power Supply

Concerned about both the loss of gas supply to power plants in the country and significant loss of potential revenue arising from the damaged Forcados Export Terminal, Vice President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, SAN, has called for an expedited repair of the strategic terminal operated by Shell, and the activation of an alternative process to ameliorate the gas supply deficit.

Speaking over the weekend when he visited the Forcados Terminal in Delta State, Prof. Osinbajo accompanied by Governor Ifeanyi Okowa, said President Muhammadu Buhari is concerned about the damage done to the terminal in February and asked him to visit and assess the situation which has been responsible for the recent drop in electricity supply in the country.

The president is equally concerned that the gas projects under the disposal of Shell meant to beef up domestic supply of gas in the country needs to be speedily completed.

Osinbajo who met on Friday with top officials of Shell that runs the terminal and senior NNPC officials after they flew over the location of the terminal told the officials “what is going on here affects the Nigerian people and the economy,” referring to the loss of gas supply to power plants and the loss of potential foreign exchange earning arising from the inability to produce over 250,000 barrels of oil per day, due to the damage done to the terminal.

“The damage done to Forcados affects our oil earnings but also as important is the power aspect. It (Forcados)-is a major source of gas, about 40% of our gas supply is affected leading to the problem of power supply in the country,” the Vice President said to Shell officials led by Country Chairperson, Mr. Osagie Okunbor and NNPC officials led by Mr. Bello Rabiu, the Chief Operating Officer for Upstream.

Prof. Osinbajo said at a point few months ago power supply in the country had peaked at an unprecedented 5000MV, but now has dropped significantly including instances of system collapses, showing that this is “a real problem.”

According to him, “I came here on the instruction of the President who is concerned about the damage done to Forcados. I came here to see for myself and underscore the great implication for the nation’s economy. Many people don’t even know that power supply is hampered by what is going on here.”

While expressing gladness at the seriousness of purpose he observed from the plans drawn up by Shell and NNPC, the Vice President asked Shell to do “whatever else can be done and do it as expeditiously as possible,” to repair the damaged terminal.

A repair plan presented to the Vice President during the visit by Shell indicated that the repair work which is in three phases is about concluding its first phase with expectation that the repair would be concluded in May-next month. Meanwhile, NNPC also presented an interim alternative plan to supply gas to the plants including trucking condensate.

He expressed the concern of the federal government that IOCs that seat on 80% of gas deposits in the country have not been as forthcoming regarding gas supply to the domestic market.

“Even if it is as a matter of public service,” Prof Osinbajo encouraged the IOCs to do a lot more for domestic gas supply considering the gas supply problems in the country, stressing that “we are clearly suffering in terms of domestic supply.”

For instance, he cited the need for Shell to speedily complete the Bonga and Forcados/Yokri gas projects in order to assuage the plight of the Nigerian people. According to him, “the president is particularly concerned about this outstanding gas projects.”

The Bonga Gas Diversion project would provide 120mmscf/d when completed by the second quarter of this year, while the Forcados/Yokri gas project would provide 80mmscf/d at completion expected at the same timeline. There is also the Assa North/Ohaji South project which can also provide 500mmscf/d.

Experts say currently, gas production into domestic network in the country has fallen to 601mmscf/d from usual 1.1bcf/d. The implication is that the country is now loosing about half a billion cf/d, which roughly accounts for about 2000MW of electricity.

Speaking after a chopper flight over the terminal and a briefing session on efforts to repair the damage by top Shell and NNPC officials, the Vice President later told reporters that “the damage done to Forcados terminal is the  chief reason for the poor power supply that has affected the country recently.”

Prof. Osinbajo, also disclosed that pipeline vandalism which damaged the Forcados Terminal has led to low supply of gas, meaning most of the power plants are not functioning to maximum capacity.

“We went to Forcados to see for ourselves the sabotage done to our pipelines. The damage done has led to low supply of gas and most of the power plants are not functioning to maximum capacity'” the VP stated.

Addressing journalists after inspection of the extent of damage caused by vandalism at the Forcados in Brutu local Government Area of Delta State, Vice President Osinbajo was however optimistic, saying “We have seen the alternative steps that the NNPC is taking in order to ameloriate the damage that has been done and the problem associated with getting gas from that terminal to all of our plants.”

He disclosed further that “there are efforts being made by the federal and state governments as well as communities to tackle current vandalism challenges”, adding that government is also looking beyond the present situation into what can be done in the future.

One of the future steps the Buhari’s administration could take to forestall the perpetration of vandalism, according to Prof. Osinbajo, is to establish “a permanent pipeline security force.” He said such a force if formed “would be armed with sophisticated weapons to ensure we contain the vandalism, and overhaul security.” He said a permanent pipeline security force is an option to look at.

Also commenting on the issue, the Delta State Governor, Ifeanyi Akowa, who accompanied the Vice President all through the visit lamented that “the Forcados terminal is important to Delta state and the nation. That is where SPDC evacuates its products, and other land operations including Seplat evacuating products from there for sale. Now, all the production on land by SPDC is shortened.”

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Nigeria Air Force Intercepts Boko Haram Fuel Supply Route

The Nigerian Air Force (NAF) through its intensified and persistent efforts in the ongoing fight against Boko Haram Terrorists (BHT) has intercepted over 4,000 drums and jerry cans of petroleum products and other smuggled items.

The items, suspected to be supplies meant for BHT, were confiscated from the smugglers in Pepe, Dashin-Hausa, Belel Bilachi, and Konkul villages located along the Nigeria-Cameroon Borders on Tuesday, 28 July 2015.

The NAF was able to achieve the recent feat through its air patrol activities, covering both land and water, along the Nigeria-Cameroon boarders.

The NAF has continued to identify and destroy BHT camps and resupplies by employing surveillance and combat aircraft.

Intelligence gathered revealed that these efforts have greatly strained the supply efforts of the BHT, NAF Director of Public Relations, Air Commodore Dele Alonge stated.

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Two FM Radio Stations Announces Shut Down Of Operations Over Power Supply Problem, Shortage Of Diesel

Two sister radio stations, The Beat FM and Classic FM announced on Saturday that they would be going off air for the day by 8.30pm due to the shortage of diesel to power their generators.

In messages shared on their social media accounts, the stations said they have to ration what they have.

The statement shared on the handles of the two stations reads as follows:

“We will be shutting down at 8.30pm today due to diesel shortage. We have to ration. We will be back on tomorrow. We will keep you updated.”

Nigeria’s power generation and distribution has continued to take a nose dive, despite the billions of dollars expended.

Only yesterday, the Ministry of Power said that the power generation has fallen to an all time low of 1,327 megawatts.

It had dropped from a recent peak of 4,500MW on April 3, to 2,800 as of March 30.

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No End In Sight On Epileptic Power Supply, Fuel Scarcity – FG

The federal government has blamed the current poor power supply in addition to the activities of vandals and the on-going strike by labour unions in the oil and gas sector.? It said as at 12.00 noon Friday, local time, UTOROGU, CHEVRON ORE DO, OB EN gas plants have all been shut down while UGHELI and CNL ESCRAVOS are all isolated already.

It also said the eastern axis Shell Gas, ALAKIRI has also been shut down, leading to the several power plants being stranded and shut down.

It warned that power supply which had started picking up steadily since the beginning of the week, following repairs of various vandalized portions of the ELP Line and the Trans-Forcados Gas Pipelines has fallen to all-time-unprecedented low of 1,327m as at 1.00 p.m. today, adding “This situation could get worse if the strike action continues”.

The Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Power, Ambassador Godknows Igali, said this to State House correspondents after joining the Minister of Power, Chinedu Nebo, to brief Vice President Namadi Sambo on current power problem in the country.

Igali who said ?prior to the current constraints the nation has been encountering, the government had generated between 4,800 megawatts at the beginning of the year with a potential to get up to 6,000 megawatts based on the available gas and hydros.

He said, “It has become necessary to update our citizens on the current power situation in the country. Prior to the current constraints we have been encountering we have generated between 4,800 megawatts at the beginning of the year with a potential to get up to 6,000 megawatts based on the available gas and hydros.

“Besides, pipeline vandalization which has continued to have very negative impact on the power supply situation in the country, the on-going strike by labour unions in the oil and gas sector has added additional toll. The current strike by both senior and junior staff unions of the NNPC, (NUPENG and PENGASSIN) has led to further reduction of the amount of gas available to most of our power plants especially in the western axis.

“As at 12.00 noon Friday, 22nd May, 2015, UTOROGU, CHEVRON ORE DO, OB EN gas plants are all shut down while UGHELI and CNL ESCRAVOS are all isolated already. On the eastern axis Shell Gas, ALAKIRI has also been shut down. This has led to the several power plants being stranded and shut down. This includes EGBIN, OLORUNSHOGO I & 11, OMOTOSHO 1& 11, GEREGU I & 11, IHONVOR and SAPELE (NIPP) on the western axis and ALAOJI on the eastern end.

“The overall effect is that power supply which had started picking up steadily since the beginning of the week, following repairs of various vandalized portions of the ELP Line and the Trans-Forcados Gas Pipelines has fallen to all-time-unprecedented low of 1,327m was at 1.00 p.m. on Friday, 22nd May, 2015. This situation could get worse if the strike action continues.

“The Federal Ministry of Power hopes, that the on-going discussion between the Federal Ministry of Petroleum Resources, the Nigerian Petroleum Corporation and, the Labour Unions, will end amicably and soonest to spare the country from such a major disruption of essential service. Indeed it is hoped the Labour Unions would help restore supply of gas to the power plants even while negotiation are on-going”, he said.

Meanwhile, following a resolution of the Senate on Thursday, Committees on Petroleum Resources (Upstream and Downstream) yesterday summoned Coordinating Minister for the Economy and Finance Minister, Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala and her Petroleum Ministry counterpart, Diezani Alison-Madueke over the lingering fuel scarcity in the country.

Also invited by the joint committee Group Managing Director of NNPC, Managing Director PPMC, Director DPR, PPPRA MOMAN (Major Oil Marketers Association of Nigeria) IPMAN (Independent Marketers Association of Nigeria and NARTO (National Association of Road Transport Owners). Joint chairmen of the committees, Senators Paulker Emmanuel and Magnus Abe signed the invitation to all the stakeholders in the oil industry.

A part of the invitation reads: “On Thursday, May 21, Senator Abdul Ningi drew the attention of the Senate to the lingering fuel scarcity in the country and the untold hardship on the generality of Nigerians. He urged Senate to look into the matter with a view to finding the causes and lasting solution to the problem.

“In view of this, the Senate directed its Committees on Downstream Petroleum sector and Petroleum Resources (Upstream) to investigate the matter and report back on Tuesday, May 26.

“The Joint Committee on Downstream Petroleum sector and Petroleum Resource Upstream is therefore inviting the Honourable Minister of Petroleum Resources, Group Managing Director of NNPC, Managing Director PPMC, Director DPR, PPPRA MOMAN (Major Oil Marketers Association of Nigeria) IPMAN (Independent Marketers Association of Nigeria and NARTO (National Association of Road Transport Owners) to a meeting on Monday May 25, at the National Assembly Complex, Abuja.” The committee’s report, it was gathered, is expected to be submitted to the Senate for deliberation at Tuesday plenary.

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What The Buhari/Osinbajo Govt Should Do To Improve Power Supply By Muyiwa Boris Abiodun

Now that the APC has won the March 28 Presidential elections, one of the Major concerns is how the new government will deliver affordable uninterrupted Power to Nigerians.

Recall that the then Minister of Power under the Obasanjo government, the late Bola Ige, promised Nigerians that the challenges over power supply would become history within six months of his assumption of duty. At the end of the day, he could not deliver on his promise.

Former President Obasanjo, in a recent reaction, blamed Ige for ‘his’ failed promises and  exonerated himself from the decision to solve the problem in the power industry in six months; Obasanjo eventually also found the power deficit difficult to overcome in his eight years in office.

Ige’s Promise was however naïve at best.

According to Obasanjo, “If you will remember, when I came back in 1999, my first Minister of Power was late Bola Ige. I won’t say Bola didn’t know what he was doing and he said publicly that he would fix the power problems in six months.

“After one year, Bola with his capacity couldn’t fathom what was wrong with power. It was riddled with corruption. Then we had no money, people have forgotten that in 1999/2000, the price of crude oil was $9 per barrel.” he said.

Obasanjo further expressed his disappointment in the late President Yar’Adua because, according to him, he failed to understand what to do at the right time.

In the reports presented before the House of Representatives in 2009, it was later established that Obasanjo had expended $3.08 billion on Power Generation.

So why didn’t Power generation improve? Well, actually it did.

Senator Ngige, in November 2012 at the Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka, was quoted as saying all the Power Plants Obasanjo built were located based on Political calculations and they were not close to transmission lines or Gas lines.

This has been shown not to be true, details as follows:

1)  The Papalanto and Omotosho plants were located less than five kilometres to the existing Escravos – Lagos Gas Pipeline making the cost of connecting them to gas about $4m each.

2)  The Geregu plant was located less than eight kilometres from the existing Pipeline that takes gas to the Ajaokuta Steel plant.

3)  The AfamV Plant was located within the existing Afam Power Plant and therefore did not need any special pipe laying.

4)  The distance of all the four power plants from existing major transmission lines is less than two kilometres making the cost of connection to the National Grid infinitesimal.

5)  The turnkey costs of all the four power plants were less than $500 per megawatt which was verified by the Due Process Office to be globally very competitive. The benchmark price used for the NIPP projects which came up later was more than $1000 per megawatt.

6)  All the four plants were completed within 24 months from contractors’ mobilisation, making them the fastest of deliveries in the history of Nigeria. AfamV was commissioned within 12 months!

7)  A concessionary funding programme was negotiated with the Chinese Exim Bank for the Papalanto and Omotosho power plants through which Nigerian government paid only 35 per cent of their cost for the plants to be delivered. The balance of 65 per cent was supposed to be paid over a seven year period at six per cent interest rate and two years moratorium. The idea was that after paying 35 per cent and the plant was completed within two years, the income from generated power would be used to pay up the balance of 65 per cent without recourse to the Nigerian treasury!. Sounds like a plan doesn’t it?

 

The truth is that Power generation improved significantly under The Obasanjo government, between June 2000 and December 2002, our electricity generation capacity increased from 1425 to 4300 megawatts. Both the transmission and distribution subsections were strengthened such that peak load (delivered) for the first time in the history of Nigeria surpassed the 2400 megawatts maximum in 2002. The establishment of the Papalanto (335MW), Omotosho (335MW), Geregu (410MW), Afam V (276MW), Enron IPP(280MW) andKwale IPP (450MW) were added during the same period with the view of increasing the 4300MW generation capacity to about 6000MW. That was also the period when the Power Sector Reform Bill was crafted and submitted to the National Assembly to pave way for a more efficient deregulated power sector which we now have today.

The major reason why Nigeria has not achieved the 6,000mw goal is vandalism of gas pipelines. In this regard, the Buhari/Osinbajo government will have to tackle this gas pipeline vandalism problem head on.

There is no other way on the Long term.

 

Technically, Nigeria doesn’t have a Power Generation Problem per se; it has a gas distribution problem.

 

In this regard, the Lagos government and many private estates in Lagos have been able to identify the problem and switch to off grid captive power generation powered by Compressed Natural Gas /Diesel, enabling them enjoy 24hrs Electricity.

The Buhari/Osinbajo government will in the short term need to replicate this in industrial clusters, thereby freeing up more capacity for the grid. To do this, the power sector laws need to be relaxed as presently, only the licensed distribution companies are allowed to trade in power, Presently, such off grid power generating plants can only be used by the generating entity.

 

Once this is achieved, focus must be shift to improving the capacity of the grid. Presently the National grid can only transmit about 7200mw while analysts have said Nigeria needs at least 40,000mw to achieve stable electricity.

 

Muyiwa Abiodun is a Board Member of Energy savers Nigeria, he is a Utility engineer who has designed and built over 40mw of off grid Power.

Muyiwa Boris Abiodun.

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