Nigeria Continues To Improve Electricity
Mohammed Wakil, the minister of state for power, has stated that the federal government has upgraded Nigeria’s electricity transmission capacity by an additional 40 per cent growth ratio within the last couple of years.
In a recent statement the minister announced that transmission capacity of the power sector has improved by 40 per cent in line with generation capacity, which has also increased owing to a massive injection of funds into the sector by the federal government.
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At a meeting where a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Global Business Resources USA was signed for the generation of 50MW of electricity, minister Wakil explained that, with the construction of new transmission lines and substations across the country, the capacity of the country to transmit its generated electricity has been upgraded by an additional 40 per cent.
He said: “I am happy to say that power sector has improved tremendously compared with what President Goodluck Jonathan inherited when he assumed office. Records of where we were in generation, transmission and distribution in the electricity value chain have confirmed that the sector is placed on a strong footing for growth and service delivery”.
During the earliest period of the government’s reform of the sector, frequent collapses of the transmission network and subsequent power blackouts were recorded as a result of such weakness in the system, prompting the government to embark on a huge funding outlay for its upgrade.
Funding has come in the form of grants, loans and investments from international and regional finance agencies.
Loans such as the World Bank’s $700 million, the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA)'s $200 million, the African Development Bank (AfDB)'s $370 million, $1.65 million proceeds from the sale of the National Integrated Power Project (NIPP), EXIM China’s $500 million, and contractor-financed turnkey projects worth $1 billion, all making up the funding outlay at TCN’s disposal.
In a related development, Nigeria’s attempts to diversify her energy sources is gradually beginning to attract attention from different quarters with the recent disclosure that an indigenous firm, Torrent Energy Limited, has concluded plans to build a 30 megawatt waste-to-energy plant to augment the country's electricity generation.
While reports have put Nigeria’s immediate electricity requirement at 40,000MW for it to achieve a near regular power supply to domestic and industrial users in the country, the country currently generates a meagre 4500MW on average, to distribute to the approximately 50 per cent of her population that has access to grid electricity.
Torrent Energy Limited, in their presentations to the Ministry of Power in Abuja for a proposed waste-to-energy plant, stated that the planned 30MW, though not huge, could contribute immensely to boosting the country’s efforts.
According to the Managing Director of Torrent Energy, Okey Chidume, and its Executive Director, Tudor Mikko, the waste-to-energy technology will use extant waste generated in abundance in the country to generate electricity for local consumption.
They said that an adequate power supply was necessary for economic development, and as such the waste-to-power plant has been planned to be a state-of-the-art concept for the generation of electricity from waste, allowing efficient power generation, efficient waste disposal, and a low environmental impact.
Okey Chidume said: “Nigeria is facing rapid growth in energy demand, persistently high-energy prices, and a challenge to reduce carbon dioxide emissions from power generation. Despite current efforts, access to electricity still remains low and there is still inability to produce enough electricity to meet demands. In Nigeria, millions of tons of waste are generated on daily basis, with an estimated ratio of approximately 0.8 kilograms per person per day, and rising.Out of the total solid waste generated, 30 to 45 per cent is collected, while over 94 per cent is disposed unscientifically.”
He said that the company intends to latch on to that opportunity to generate and distribute municipal electricity to Nigerians.