The Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Mr Babatunde Fashola, has commissioned a 60MVAR capacitor bank at the Apo 132/33KV transmission substation in Abuja to improve electricity supply for about 7,000 households.
The voltage improvement project at Apo, with another 25MVAR to be commissioned in Keffi, Nasarawa State by June 2018, is worth $12.4 million (about N4.457 billion). It was initiated by the Japanese International Cooperation Agency (JICA) in 2016 to assist the Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN) improve power supply across Abuja, FCT, Nasarawa and Benue states.
Fashola, shortly before the commissioning, said the administration is concerned with the quality of electricity being supplied, adding that, “It is one thing to have power and it is another for the quality of the power to be good. And today, we have come to address that.”
The minister said to improve customer services, more projects will be commissioned by TCN and the Niger Delta Power Holding Company (NDPHC). He said, “Some of the examples of improving services will be the roll out of projects that will help bring more people access to power.
“Our population has grown over the last 20 years without commensurate expansion in the services and that is partly why there is load shedding and low voltage,” Fashola explained.
The Managing Director of TCN, Mr Usman Gur Mohammed, said the installation of the two capacitor banks was executed through a grant from JICA which is also supporting the rehabilitation of the Lagos-Ogun transmission line that could boost transmission by 1,000 megawatts (MW).
“We are asking partners that are willing to help us not to give us only loans but to also give us grants like this,” Mohammed said.”
The Chief Representative of JICA Nigeria Office, Katsutoshi Komori, said, “This project will stabilise the power supply in the regions served by those substations and is expected to provide stable power supply to 7,000 households.”
Komori noted that while the Apo capacitor bank has been tested and certified before the commissioning, that of Keffi will be completed and handed over by June 2018.
The Ambassador of Japan to Nigeria, Mr Sadanobu Kusaoke, lauded the government for the improvement in power supply in the last two years attributing the feat to investors’ confidence, the ease-of-doing business and the Economic Recovery and Growth Plan (ERGP) policies.