Inadequate financial investment and poor consumer appreciation of the challenges in the power sector have been adduced as reasons for the poor electricity supply in the country.
Babatunde Raji Fashola, minister of power, works and housing stated this at the weekend during a media chat in Abuja.
Fashola said that, though the country’s expenditure on power may appear sizeable, the money so far spent was inadequate to address the current challenges.
He equally noted that in spite of the already installed 12,000MW power capacity, the country is only enjoying about 6,000MW because of sabotage resulting from broken gas pipelines, poor planning of gas supply and evacuation as well as outright refusal to pay for power by consumers.
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“When I hear that we have spent a lot of money on the power sector, I say that we haven’t spent enough money and that is why we are still talking about the need for investments to come in. Yes, what we have spent may look sizeable but it doesn’t provide enough power for our consumption as a nation,” he said.
The minister also blamed the ignorance of Nigerians about the economics of power as being responsible the huge electricity bills owed by many households and government formations.
“The total installed capacity that the nation can look forward to today is 12,000MW. That is what we bought with our money – that is the installed capacity.
“However, the plants are not producing 12,000MW of power because either pipelines are broken, or gas supply was not properly planned or because evacuation was not properly planned. Those are the challenges that we have responsibility now to deal with.
“What we haven’t gotten is the optimum efficiency that these power plants can deliver,” he pointed out.
Apart from the above, power market watchers who spoke to businessamlive list the part privatization of the sector, with government still holding onto 40% on behalf of Nigerians may have impeded investment from the current buyers of the power assets.
They also claimed the non-privatisation of the gas sector and the transmission value chain is a challenge for government to look into.
By Business a.m. live staff