Minister of Works, Power and Housing, Mr Babatunde Fashola, on Saturday spoke about vandalism and the effects of the Niger-Delta insurgencies on the power industry. He said that 3,000 MW has been lost to Niger-Delta insurgencies. This loss, according to him, has left about 180 million Nigerians with power output of 3,500 MW.
“If we can get back the 3,000 we are losing in the Niger Delta, in addition to the 4,000 we are targeting, that will make it close to 7, 000 megawatts.
“That is why are calling our brothers who are angry with us to sheathe their swords and allow production to go on,” the minister said at a news conference in Awka, Anambra state.
The minister, however, reassured Nigerians, revealing that Gurara and Kaduna Power Stations projects would soon commence transmission into the National Grid. He said efforts were being made to ensure that the national power output was increased to 7,000 megawatts from the present 3,500 megawatts.
According to him, we are completing our transmission lines and commencing new ones.
“Gurara and Kaduna transmission lines will come up this year while Kashinbura Station will come up much later.
“We are also working on solar initiative as alternative to complement our efforts in hydro.
Fashola also said that the Federal Government was embarking on a power audit to ensure that the issue of metering was properly addressed.
“We are addressing metering issues with Discos; we know the experience with the estimated billing, and we are doing power audit to ensure that people pay according to the categories of tariff they fall in,” he said.
In his response, Gov. Willie Obiano thanked the Federal Government for its renewed attention to infrastructural deficiency in the South-East and Anambra in particular.
Obiano expressed hope that the benefits of the minister’s visit would manifest in no distant time.
The minister also visited Onitsha where he inspected ongoing work at the second River Niger Bridge.