The Federal Executive Council (FEC) of Nigeria, on Wednesday 13th April 2022, graciously approved N1.4 billion for purchase of additional equipment by the Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN).
The gesture by the government was reportedly part of efforts to improve power supply across the shores of the country.
The approval came less than one week after the country experienced the fifth grid collapse just within three months.
The Minister of Power, Abubakar Aliyu made the disclosure while addressing State House correspondents at the end of the meeting presided over by President Muhammadu Buhari.
He said, “I presented two memos from the Ministry of Power for the Transmission Company of Nigeria.”
According to him, the first one was a variation of the sum of a contract for 132/33 KV substation at Kafanchan, Kaduna State, with a KV line base extension at Jos substation, in Plateau State. This, based on the minister’s report, was in the sum of N132.7 million.
The second approval he got was for the supply of handling equipment and operational vehicles for the TCN at the cost of N1.3 billion.
“The second memo was for the supply of handling equipment, haulage and operational vehicles for the TCN at N1, 338, 159, 080. 88. They are heavy lifting equipment that the TCN requires for doing its work in the store and on the field, while changing equipment and moving transformers and the council graciously approved it.” he stated.
In a related development, the FEC equally ordered the Nigerian Bulk Electricity Trading (NBET) to begin negotiations with Nigerian Agip Oil Company (NAOC) to establish the new Okpai 11 power plant on the grid.
It’s noteworthy the government had entered an agreement with the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) Gas and Power Investment Company Limited (NGPIC); a subsidiary of the NNPC on the Okoloma gas processing plant to restore the full capacity of the 650MW Alom VI combined cycle power plant.
The government said the recurring collapse happened as a result of vandalism, poor management system and gas supply issues.
Nigerian society is indeed really confusing. The government wouldn’t hesitate to approve any requested fund without taking the most paramount measure, needed by the affected system, seriously.
Overtime, countless funds had been reportedly approved and consequently released by the governments at all levels across the federation, yet in the long run, none was accounted for. This could be observed in all facets of the Nigeria’s economic state.
The power sector alone, has consumed trillions of naira, in a purported move of fixing the country’s lingered electricity quagmire. These released funds weren’t apparently expended on the projects they were meant for, or were rather siphoned into private purses.
As the above report read, Nigerians were informed that the equipment collapse was as a result of vandalism, gas supply issues and poor management. One might want to know the actual measure taken by the government to eradicate any form of vandalism witnessed in the power sector.
Talking about poor management, which has been a seemingly acceptable practice in Nigeria, what approach was deployed by the government to ensure it becomes a thing of the past? Lack of maintenance is one of the main reasons the public sector is not working in any part of Nigeria, hence should have been handled by the government seriously prior to approving the needed funds to purchase another set of equipment.
Funnily enough, gas supply was mentioned as part of the power supply quagmire in a country that’s reckoned to be one of the greatest producers of natural gas across the globe. Doesn’t it sound ridiculous?
If the paramount barriers aren’t addressed headlong, the approved funds will still end up being misused or looted, as has been the case in the country. This signifies that the country’s problems are self-inflicted.
In a nutshell, what Nigeria’s power sector truly requires is total overhaul.