The Power Sector Recovery Programme was unfolded at the Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting presided over by President Muhammadu Buhari in the Presidential Villa in Abuja.
The Minister for Power, works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola who briefed the house at the end of the FEC meeting unveiled the plan, outlining the issues of the power sector the programme will be addressing. He said the recovery plan will help simplify and reduce cash deficit which has accumulated as a result of reduction in tariffs by the administration before.
“Some of the highlights of the programme are how to simplify and reduce the cash deficits that have accumulated as a result of previous unilateral reduction of tariff by the last administration during the run-off to the elections; and how to make the Discos viable, accountable, responsive to customers, ensure stability of the grid and expansion of the grid, and transparency and communication within the sector.
“The programme also processes for Ministries, Departments and Agencies debts and how to improve sector governance and the quality of personnel on the board of the Discos.
“It addresses access to renewable energy, especially in rural areas, using mini-grids and standalone solutions and how we are going to carry out the solutions that have been developed for 37 federal universities and seven tertiary hospitals.”
He explained that the approval was also made for power projects relating to the extension and management of Katsina Wind Energy Farm project. He said the new recovery power sector plan was meant to enhance the performance of the distribution companies (DISCOS).
According to him, the Katsina wind energy project was awarded to an expatriate in 2010 and was meant to be concluded in 2013 but the project was stalled by the kidnap of the expatriate whom he said left the country after his rescue and never returned. However, he said the project had newly been revived.
“It also focuses on how to solve the Niger Delta problem and also how to ensure there is a stable and predictable foreign exchange policy for the sector so that it is somewhat protected from sudden head winds of the volatility of the foreign exchange market so that the operators can plan and deliver.
“It also addresses the issue of vandalism at consumer and production levels of pipelines, among others. This will help bring confidence to the market and stimulate the appetite that currently exists globally for Nigeria’s power sector.
“We see a lot of people who want to invest, but some of them are tied to what other international financial institutions do and the institutions are also waiting to see us commit to these things.”
The FEC also at the meeting, approved contracts for the construction of 13 roads and replacement of bridges across states of the federation and the Federal Capital Territory worth N85bn. The beneficial states include; Taraba, Adamawa, Sokoto, Zamfara, Bauchi, Plateau, Osun, Kwara, Kano, Oyo, Enugu and Kaduna states.