The nation’s number two citizen, Professor Yemi Osinbajo, while delivering a lecture titled: ‘Nigeria Rising: The Path To Prosperity’ at the 50th convocation ceremony of University of Lagos (UNILAG), on Monday said, the next level, is to ensure completion of the major infrastructure projects. Although he acknowledged funding as the major drawback to achieving this goal, the execution of such projects especially those in the power sector would serve as a boost to the much talked – about economic diversification. Good enough, the government is not resting on its oars as to finding alternatives. As the vice president further explained step being taken to overcome this challenge.
“We have established an infrastructure fund known as the ‘Presidential Infrastructure Development Fund. If we stick to our agenda, in the next two years, we will see the most significant improvements in our power sector in history,” he said, thus, emphasizing the government’s commitment to developing infrastructure in the sector. Although the sector is said to be loaded with huge challenges such as increasing demand–supply gap, crumbling electricity transmission and distribution infrastructure, high cost of delivered electricity, the absence of sufficient generation capacity remains critical and seem uppermost. Hence move by government and the private sector partners to harness and expand generation capacity is a welcome development.
Interestingly, the focus is now how to blend various means of power generation to create a perfect mix that would provide the much needed electricity. The mix include hydro power generation plants, wind turbines, solar power projects, gas turbines and even a blend of gas and diesel as alternative fuels to power plant. Recently, the federal ministry of power, works and housing (FMOPWH) embarked on a routine assessment duty which involves monitoring the executions of ongoing projects in the sector. The visit offered the team which include journalists, first hand insight to government’s sincerity in the pursuit of the incremental power initiative.
It also showed government’s thinking in terms of harnessing the multiple platforms available for power generation. For instance, while Niger State blessed with rivers strategically positioned for hydro power generation, Kastina State is hosting a windmill power generating farm, while Kaduna State is home to first of its kind double power, gas cum diesel power turbines to generate power. Addressing the visiting team at the 700 megawatts Zungeru Hydro Power Project site, the project manager, Engr. Babatunde Adewumi, explained that the dam project was conceived to exploit and harness the potential arising from the Kaduna River.