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Power Minister Decries Underutilisation Of Federal Govt’s Investment In Power Sector

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Minister of Power, Mr. Adebayo Adelabu, yesterday said despite the huge investment by the federal government in the power sector, the sector had remained underutilised.

Adelabu who spoke after he inspected the Benin Electricity Generation Company power plant in Ihovbo, under the Niger Delta Power Holding Company (NDPHC), assured that his ministry would push for the removal of all hindrances that had prevented the power plant from operating maximally, and put it at disadvantage against plants owned by the private sector.

The minister said the government had invested much money in the  energy sector, adding that it was lamentable that Nigerians were still battling with issues of electricity.

“I have gone round this installation and I am quite impressed with what we have here. Contrary to general belief, Nigeria has invested so much in power generating plants and these plants are the state of the arts plants, they are well maintained; they are in a very good condition and they are in a condition that can give us the kind of power generation that we need in this country, except that there are a lot of capacity distortions.

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“I will take them one after the other. I got to the Ihovbo plants which belongs to the federal government under the Niger Delta Power Holding Company. 

It is a plant with four gas plants, in a very good condition, with a capacity of about 125 megawatts each which is a total of 500 megawatts. 

“They are well maintained plants and the running hours of each of these, they are all below 30,000, which means that, effectively, they have not been run more than three years even though they have been installed almost eight or 10 years ago. They are as brand as a new turbines but surprisingly, is only one turbine that is operational today, generating about a 100 megawatts of power as against the installed capacity of 500. 

“That is just 20 percent capacity utilisation and which is a gross lack of optimisation of our investment as a country if we have put in so much into establishing these power plants, it should be able to give us the kind of power that we require,” Adelabu said.

The minister assured Nigerians that all the problems bedeviling the sector would soon be a thing of the past.

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“Like I have mentioned in the number of my past interviews, that the militating fact is actually the shortage in gas supply which we are actually working on and the good news I will like mention here is that succour is close to us. Relief is close to these power plants as the federal government with the Federal Ministry of Finance, the Federal Ministry of Budget and Economic Planning and the Federal Ministry of Power; we have met with the president and he has mandated us to go and work out how we are going to defray the outstanding debts being owed,” he said.

 



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