·Urges incoming administration to keep up the trajectory
By Wisdom Chukwu-Ohaegbule
Outgoing vice-president, Prof Yemi Osinbajo, has outlined the challenges in the power sector, saying it is for the industry to leverage the improved commercial environment that has been created to sustainably supply electricity and extend service to all citizens.
Prof Osinbjo made the revelation while commissioning the Afam 3 Fast Plant.
He said: “Our administration has tried in this direction. The administration has created four programmes for up-grid electrification and revamped the Rural Electrification Agency that it now has the capacity to provide renewable off-grid electricity line on cash basis.”
He said the administration has also completed concessioning of the Zungeru Electricity Power Plant that would add another 700mw of renewable energy to our energy mix.
“We believe we are on track to provide electricity to all Nigerians in the next decade as we look forward the next administration to scale up already existing programmes.
“Despite all this, we may not make progress if industrial and urban power supply that is anchored on large scale gas power plants such as the Afam 3 does not improve. Despite having one of the largest gas reserves in the world, security for the power sector has remained inconsistent and is hampering the form. In 2022, a gas supply stabilization fund at N40Bn was established by the National Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) to provide advance payment security to all gas supplies and electricity supply industry. Consistently gas suppliers in the sector had claimed that payments certainty was the greatest challenge to supply.”
Unfortunately, he said, the payment security has not led to improved supply certainty. “So, I encourage gas producers and gas suppliers to have a fundamental rethink about supply security and propound ways to ensure our gas supply can improve and meet the gap and grow in demand of the Nigeria electricity supply industry.”
He said some areas to further explore are non-associated gas and specific gas to supply the power industry on more liberalized rates. “Also, more joint electricity partnerships are needed between NERC and oil and gas regulatory agency to bring gas supply to the power sector.
“Every gas company supply to the power sector should have a requirement to have some form of contractual obligation with proper notice to non-performance. I also urge the NNPC Ltd to work constructively with the power companies to improve stability of supply from the Okolomo gas plant and its associated fields so we can have maximum of output of the 1.5mw of energy capacity in this Afam gas plant.”
The VP commended some players that made the journey possible. “Let me end with special commendation to the FG for starting and completing this project. I recall a number of years ago when GE spoke to us about the idea of bringing new state of the art gas units to place. “The whole idea was to replace the scrapped the Afam plant with this new technology. To some, it seemed fanciful due to negative investment atmosphere in the country, but the partnership with GE has now resulted to this project.
“The Rivers State government and the paramount ruler and the adjoining communities deserve huge commendation too.”