Repositioning power sector for effective service delivery in top gear – Minister

The Minister of Power, Mr Sale Mamman, says the Federal Government has begun repositioning the power sector towards a holistic realignment for effective delivery of electricity to Nigerians.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Mamman said this during a virtual meeting with the African Development Bank (AfDB) in Abuja on Thursday.

The meeting, which updated the bank with the progress recorded in the power sector, also discussed ways for further engagement to develop an enabling platform for better service delivery.

The minister said that the power sector was in the process of undergoing long term structural market reforms.

Already, he said the sector has gone through the first phase of privatisation, in the hope of unlocking investments and improving service delivery.

This, he added, was the case when this administration took the leadership of the country as well as when he took the oath of office, late last year.

“Unfortunately, the first phase privatisation has not delivered the benefits envisaged as the sector is struggling with a number of challenges namely,’’ Mamman said.

According to him, the challenges include market inefficiency, infrastructure misalignment, coordination of issues and contract ineffectiveness.

“This led to the articulation of my roadmap that specified five key areas of focus in order to take corrective steps and reposition the sector on a path of sustained growth.’’

According to him, this is why the government’s efforts have largely focused on three critical issues as we believed resolving them will undoubtedly offset the challenges in the sector.

Speaking on the Siemens Power Project, the minister told the bank that the Federal Government was in the process of implementing the Nigerian Power Sector Roadmap.

He said that the Siemens project was a high-level presidential intervention that seeks to address the key challenge of infrastructure misalignment within the value chain of the power sector.

He said that the deal aimed to systematically increase end to end capacity of the bulk power system, from generation to last-mile delivery.

“Additionally, we are very much committed and have commenced the implementation of the Transmission Rehabilitation and Expansion Programme (TREP) funded by your esteem bank.

“Our objective under the programme is to make the network more robust, flexible and meet redundancy criteria.

“The TREP is divided into two stages; TREP 1 and TREP 2.

“Under TREP 1, we are already working on the construction of 330kv Double Circuit lines in various locations.

“We hope to expend $210 million on the phase.

“$200 million is earmark for phase 2.

“However, this is yet to be negotiated with the AfDB,’’ he said.

He said that under phase 2, the government intended to undertake the expansion of transmission networks in the North-East geopolitical zone, which has the worst transmission infrastructures and development index in Nigeria.

Also speaking at the meeting, AfDB Nigeria country representative, Mr Ebrima Faal commended the minister for the reorganisation of the power sector, describing the move as highly encouraging.

Faal said the bank “is poised to provide more strategic engagement to address the deficit in the power sector’’. (NAN)