Why Nigeria is spending billions on power

Jul 08, 2010 02:00 AM

Minister of state for power, Nuhu Wya said the federal government was spending so much on the power sector because of the enormity of the rot in the sector which was occasioned by long period of neglect by past governments.
He said what was being pumped into the sector by the present government was nothing close to what was required to revamp the infrastructure and restore normal supply of electricity to the nation.

Responding to a question after the weekly federal executive council meeting, on why so much was being committed to the power sector, the minister justified the huge spending saying it was an investment that would cover for the heavy loss of the past.
He said, "The billions being spent are not near what is required to fix the sector because of the long period of neglect. The power sector has been abandoned for too long. Since I was in the secondary school the power facilities that were put in place still there. Previous governments neglected the sector thereby putting us wherewe are today, so what is being put in place is to make up for all that has not been done in the past".

His counterpart at the ministry of information and communication, Labaran Maku, also added his voice in defence by saying that the sector was deliberately made a government preserve, thereby foreclosing any private intervention as alternative in the sector.
Earlier, the Minister of Information and Communication, Prof. Dora Akunyili, had given a breakdown of new contracts awarded for the power sector, which were part of the memos discussed at the high level meeting. According to her, the minister of state for power presented a memorandum seeking approval for the award of contract for the construction of 2X60 MVA, 132/33 kV substation at Igangan and 132 kV switching station at Igbo-Ora.

She added that the project was one of the initiatives aimed at facilitating the wheeling of the anticipated increase in the nation's electricity generation capacity. When completed the project would strengthen and improve the transmission system reliability.
Council therefore considered and approved the ward of contract for the construction of 2X60 MVA, 132/33 kV substation at Igangan and 132 kV switching station at Igbo-Ora, in the sum of £ 7,3 mm plus N 885.6 mm. Completion period is 18months.

"The minister of power also presented another memo to council on the award of contracts for the provision of project management consultancy service in respect of the 215 MW Kaduna Power Plant Project and 10 MW Katsina Wind farm. This too was considered and approved," she said.
She added that the minister of education tabled a memo before council, seeking approval for the award of contract for the procurement and distribution of 2,544 science kits for selected public Junior Secondary Schools (JSS) nationwide by the Universal Basic Education Commission (UBEC).

Source / Leadership
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