By Nefishetu Yakubu
Sapele (Delta), Oct. 14, 2020 The House of Representatives Committee on Power has promised to address the challenges facing the Ogorode power Generation Company Ltd., Sapele, Delta.
The committee made the promise on Wednesday when Rep. Mogaji Aliyu, the Chairman of the committee, led other members of the committee to the power plant.
He told newsmen in Sapele that the visit was to identify the challenges facing the power plant and ensure uninterrupted power supply.
“This is one of the Nigerian National Integrated Power Project (NIPP) in Nigeria and I am highly impressed with what I saw, we have heard of their challenges, certainly something will be done.
“We have gone to almost four power plants now, like this one has more than 500 megawatt- capacity, we have seen the Azura, we have seen the other ones they will give you more than 2,000 megawatt-capacity put together.
“Every day we are below 3,000 megawatt-capacity, so we are here to find out whether it is the Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN) or whether it is the Distribution Companies of Nigeria (Discos) that have refused to take power.
“Already, this plant now is shut down, I do not understand why it should be shut down we; have called the system operator and we have discussed.
“If TCN has obsolete infrastructure that has to be revamped. Even Discos are refusing to take power because of what they call load rejection, government has given them good tariff now, and they must invest.
“We will look at all the efficiencies and inefficiencies and l assure Nigerians that in no distant time, these challenges would be resolved and things would be done differently,’’ he said.
Aliyu noted that President Muhammadu Buhari has already directed that about three million pre-paid meters be provided for electricity consumers in Nigeria.
“My own argument is that I want the Discos to be in charge not the ministry. I will ensure that the Benin Disco do the needful on the issue of metering.
“The National Assembly has declared estimated bill as illegal. So if I want to cause trouble now, I will tell Nigerians not to pay for estimated bills,’’ Aliyu said.
The Managing Director of the Niger Delta Power Holding, Mr Chiedu Ugbo, received the lawmakers in the plant, noting that the plant has four gas turbines installed at 504 megawatt- capacity.
Ugbo also disclosed that the plant “has more than 504 megawatt of power lying idle, adding that evacuation was a major challenge in the plant.
“The power station is functioning very well but unfortunately we have frequent starts and stops as a result of dispatch instructions from National Control Centre (NCC), Osogbo.
“So, we only generate when they ask us to generate. They are in charge if the whole network transmission system reliability.
“We have 504 megawatts lying idle here and by so doing, we are losing revenue because as you can see the I staff are idle waiting when they will call up for generation.
“These gas turbines are made to run non-stop unless when they are out for maintenance or they have unplanned outage and unplanned repairs that we have to do’’.
According to him, the Presidential Power Initiative with the Semen project will clean up the network for the distribution and we can start generating the idle power, so it is a very good initiative.