A total of N73bn is required for investment in the power sector in order to effectively unlock and distribute the unutilised 2,000 megawatts of electricity being generated by power producers across the country.

According to the latest minutes of the 23rd monthly meeting of the Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola, with operators of the power sector, the N73bn investment would enable power distribution companies to adequately distribute the 2,000MW to customers.

According to the Federal Ministry of Power, Works and Housing, Nigeria currently has a power generation capacity of about 7,000MW, but less than 5,000MW is being distributed by the electricity distribution companies.

Fashola had at several meetings called on manufacturers and other large-scale users of electricity to come forward with locations where they required more power in order to enable the government to channel some of the 2,000MW to them.

The 12-page minutes obtained by our correspondent from the FMPWH in Abuja on Friday also stated that out of the N73bn investment, N57.9bn was needed for the procurement of equipment while N15.2bn would be used for logistics.

A director from the power arm of the FMPWH informed the meeting that a draft memo on the framework for implementing investments at the 33/11/0.415kV voltage levels of the Discos to unlock the unutilised 2,000MW in the grid had been forwarded to Fashola for consideration.

“She noted that of the N73bn investment required, about N57.9bn was needed to procure equipment while N15.2bn would serve as cost of transportation and logistics,” the document stated.

It also stated, “He (Fashola) appealed to manufacturers to provide information on locations where they require more power as the ministry was working on a policy to expand the distribution networks of the Discos to distribute the 2,000MW of unutilised power in the grid.”

Fashola, who chaired the meeting, however, stated that there was improvement in power generation capability from 3,000MW in May 2015 to 7,000MW in 2017.

He said the sector recorded improvement in transmission capacity from 5,000MW in May 2015 to 6,900MW in 2017, adding that the industry had seen improvement in peak distribution from 2,690MW in 2015 to about 5,222MW on December 18, 2017.

On payments to the power sector for services rendered during the period under review, the document stated that the Market Operator’s report showed that Yola Disco made 100 per cent payment, while Eko Disco made 80 per cent payment.

The MO stated that operators who failed to comply with the settlement calendar would be penalised.

Reacting to this, Fashola stated that the issue of non-remittance to the MO was entirely contractual and regulatory and should be taken up by the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission.

On debts owed power distributors by the Ministries, Departments and Agencies of government, the minister stated that the lasting solution was for each Disco to embark on a verification of the debts in collaboration with the state governments and ensure that they jointly signed off the result obtained to commit them to the exercise.

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