Nnaji calls for segmentation, privatisation of power transmission to competent coys

By Factnews on 30/06/2017

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Former Minister of Power, Prof. Barth Nnaji on Thursday called for the segmentation of power transmission lines to improve electricity supply and check national grid breakdown.

“When segmented, the lines should be privatised to renowned electricity transmission companies that have the competence to manage it and expend on it as agreed,’’ Nnaji said.

The former minister spoke while delivering a presentation at a public discourse; `The Big Ideas Podium’’. The public discourse, which was themed: “Electricity: Key Ingredient for Nigeria’s Economic Development and Unity’’, was orgainsed by African Heritage Institution (Afri-Heritage).

He said that with competent companies handling transmission and with a reasonable mandate and time-line, they would improve the capacity, which would then aid the vacation of more power as well as allow the power generating stations to work at full capacity.

Nnaji said that why the transmission company was not privatised initially was due to open access issue; where the government wanted the power generating companies to easily upload power to the national grid. He noted that for a country of about 190 million people to be generating and using an average of 4,500 megawatts of electricity was “very bad’’

According to him, the abysmal electricity production and transmission has continued to breed low productive capacity. “We need reliable electricity for economic growth. Electricity is all pervading in an economy. Reliable electricity leads to stability of the nation. Economic growth and stability lead to unity,’’ he said. On the generation of power, Nnaji, who is a professor of Robotic Engineering, said that the country needed clusters of Independent Power Project (IPP) as well as other clusters of investment in all aspects of the electricity sector.

 “Low electricity supply has retarded growth of the informal and small business sectors and made cost of energy to rise up to 40 per cent of total production alone. “Thus, weaken the international competitiveness of Made-in-Nigeria products,’’ he said. He enumerated some of the contemporary challenges facing electricity investors, which include non-permanent cost reflective tariff; issue of gas availability to turbines and transmission constraints.

Others he said include the value-chain of power misalignment; lack of the commercial knowledge of government functionaries to electricity issues and lack of will to enforce contracts, laws and policies in the sector. (Vanguard)



Posted on June, 30 2017

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