Nigeria is seeking to expand its renewable energy options and increase its renewable energy footprint in the West African sub-region. To achieve this, a few things have been put in place. Governor Nasir El Rufai recently launched a privately owned indigenous solar power assembly plant. The assembly plant will also have a renewable energy academy. In Ogun state, another privately owned organization, Asteven Group, has also opened its door for green impartation business.
These renewable energy academies would train Nigerians to become vendors, developers, installers, technicians and service providers to renewable energy technologies. The chairman of Asteven Group, Dr Sunny Akpoyibo, said it would help expand Nigeria’s renewable footprint.
Coincidentally, the Nigerian customs began to enforce tariff on solar panels. This means importing of solar panels are now more expensive. This singular act can and will spur young entrepreneurs and graduates of these solar power and renewable energy academies to rise to the task with indigenous solar products.
Federal Government to Invest More Money in the Power Sector
The Federal Government is set to invest ₦72bn in the procurement and installation of power equipment for 2000MW generation. Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Mr Babatunde Raji Fashola stated this while speaking on his paper “Power Sector State of Play, Next Steps and Policy Directions”. He said the government was making this investment due to being 40% shareholder in DisCos.
He also stated that the government was making effort to bridge the metering gap and was set to invest ₦37bn to the Meter Asset Providers (MAP) scheme under regulations by Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC). This would help acquire meter entrepreneurs to help supply meters on behalf of DisCos.
In terms of policy and facilitating, the Federal Government has through the CBN, made ₦213bn to the power sector at a concessionary interest rate below market rate to GenCos and DisCos.
Electricity Customers Laud FG’s Directives on Estimated Bills
Some electricity consumers in Lagos, yesterday, lauded the Federal Government’s directive that DisCos should provide meters rather than give estimated bills to consumers. They spoke with News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) and said the directive would reduce the exploitation and bring sanity to the power sector.
Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Mr Babatunde Raji Fashola gave the directive following a number of complaints coming from consumers on meters as well as estimated billing and mass disconnection. Commenting on the issue of estimated bills, Chief Ade-Owas Owabumuwa, the president of Amuwo Odofin Landlords and residents association, said that DisCos were using estimated billing to exploit innocent consumers.
NNPC Partners Oando, Others to Improve Nigeria’s Electricity
In seeking to improve electricity generation in Nigeria, the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) recently partnered with some of the country’s major oil exploration companies. NNPC and these companies, which include Oando PLC, Shell Petroleum Development Company, Nigerian Agip Oil Company, etc.; will work together on the “Seven Critical Gas Development Projects”.
The critical gas project is worth about $3.7bn and will guarantee an estimated 3.4bn cubic feet of natural gas per day. The partnership will also contribute to the development of some oil fields, including 4.3 trillion cubic feet Assa North/Ohaji South Field, the 6.4 Tcf Unitised Gas fields, and the 7 Tcf Oil Mining Lease 26, 30 and 42. They all belong to the petroleum development company.