Power sector reform: $6.15bn grant will improve electricity supply — minister


By Constance Imasuen
Abuja, Aug. 25, 2020 The Minister of Power, Mr Sale Mamman says the 6.15 billion dollars (about N2.373 trillion) recently secured by the Federal Government for the power sector will improve electricity supply in the country.

Mamman said this in a statement issued by Mr Aaron Artimas, his Special Adviser on Media and Communications in Abuja on Tuesday.

The minister who assumed office on Aug. 21, 2019 was speaking on the occasion to mark his one year in office.

Mamman said that he was grateful to the President who had continued to discover and inject new talents into the country’s leadership.

According to him, to date, 6.150 billion dollars have been secured for infrastructural development and earmarked for critical projects.

Giving a breakdown of the fund, the minister said
3.2 billion dollars was secured from Siemens, and 1.6 billion dollars from donor agencies for the Transmission Rehabilitation and Expansion Programme (TREP).

The minister said 1.7 billion dollars was secured from the World Bank, African Development Bank (AfDB), and the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA).

Giving further breakdown of the fund, he said that 550 million dollars was earmarked for the Nigerian Electricity Project (NEP), a rural electrification project being funded by the World Bank and AfDB.

Mamman said with the fund, the ministry has begun implementing critical infrastructure to transform generation, transmission, and distribution of 25,000 Mega Watts (MW) of electricity by 2025.

“The Siemens project will raise power to 7, 000MW in the first phase which just began, focusing on quick wins for both Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN ) and the Electricity Distribution Companies (DisCos).

“The expected projects under the Siemens deal include 105 substations rehabilitation, 70 new substations, manufacturing and installation of 35 power transformers and installation of 3,765 distribution transformers.

“There will also be over 5,000 kilometres of transmission lines to be constructed.

According to Mamman, under his supervision, TCN is also implementing the 1.6 billion dollars Rehabilitation and Expansion Programme (TREP) with funding from development partners like World Bank, AfDB, and JICA.

He listed the key projects impacted by the fund to include Alaoji-Onitsha and Kaduna-Kano power line among others.

According to him, work is ongoing to complete the Zungeru Hydroelectric Power Plant worth 1.2 billion dollars aimed at generating 700MW.

Mamman said that the Zungeru project had attained 73 per cent completion presently.

“The 3050MW Mambilla hydropower project is expected to increase the national grid by 30 per cent. It is worth 5.7 billion dollars with 85 per cent funding. With 4.85 billion dollars from China while the Federal Government is providing 850 million dollars funding.

“The main construction works include four large dams: Nya, Sumsum, Nghu, and API Weir in Taraba state.”

Mamman said that the government had also finished the 40MW Kashimbilla hydropower plant in Taraba.

“We are currently working on the development and expansion of transmission lines to evacuate power from the project site to areas of distribution.

“There is also the 40MW Dadin Kowa hydropower plant in Gombe State, while overhauling the 240MW Afam Power Plant.”

According to the minister, the Federal Government is working to increase energy access for an estimated 80 million Nigerians that are without electricity access through the Rural Electrification Agency (REA),

He said that the ministry was also mapping out unserved clusters to provide a digital database of the distribution grid system.

“We have secured 550 million dollars from the World Bank and AfDB for off-grid electrification being used to power universities and rural areas.

“With the mini grid regulation, access to electricity is improving through REA. “As at 2019, we had four million off-grid connections.

“We aim to add another five million in the next 18 to 24 months under the recently approved Economic Sustainability Programme,” he said.

The mnister noted that efforts were ongoing to close the gap between generation capacity and distribution as a means of reducing losses with individual capacity.

He said that the sector was already contending with a huge loss of more than N254 billion from unutilised power.

“Just on August 18, TCN achieved an unprecedented peak distribution of 5,420MW of power to the DisCos, being the third of such milestones.

“This is coming even as the ministry has attained a 24 hour transmission period as against the previous eight to 10 hours per day.” he said.