Watching President Goodluck Jonathan as he delivered his address at the unveiling of the power sector roadmap at Eko Hotel, Lagos in 2011, the less discerning may be tempted to believe that the Federal Government has finally got the magic formula to resolve the seemingly intractable power sector crisis in Nigeria.
Standing before industry captains, senior government officials, investment bankers and international investors , the President caught the image of someone deeply aware of the urgency required to tackle the power sector and is ready to do the needful. Jonathan knew that his administration cannot afford to fail the nation in addressing the severe electricity challenge. And for a sector that has gulped about N400 billion without commensurate returns on investment, the government knew it has to go the extra mile to ensure that it meets its 10, 000 mw target by 2015.
The President ended his address at that august event with a confident quip that “we have the will; the roadmap shows the way.” But about one year after his assurance, many doubt whether he really had the will to bring the light to his dark country in the first place. Obviously, it would take more than a roadmap to ensure adequate power supply in Nigeria and achieving this is not expected to be easy.
The National Integrated Power Projects is one of the largest power projects in the world; projected to supply Nigeria with 4273.5MW with post NIPP generation of 8706MW to ensure they are able to cope with demand surges, with a view to improving efficiency and quality interconnectivity of grids more rapidly than before. There are over ten power stations in Nigeria and around one 110 transmissions lines and substations, complete with telecommunications system. The NIPP has plans to develop 290 distribution projects and 12 gas pipelines and metering stations projects to complement the first phase of the NIPP massive uptake infrastructure. Among other things, the threats to the projects are recurring gas shortages to power the plants and non-remittance of monies, including $235 million by some states and local councils, to the NIPP to execute contracts. Additionally, the poor pricing of gas and the lack of gas
purchase agreements between…