By Emmanuel Addeh
The federal government has assured that the recent move to map the entire electricity sector network will be a game changer for the industry as it will reduce the opaqueness of the operations in the entire power sector value chain.
Acting Director, Renewables and Rural Power Access, Ministry of Power, Mr. Farouk Yusuf Yabo, who spoke on the sidelines of the inauguration of the project in collaboration with the European Union and the German government, noted that when fully automated, it would help resolve several of the lingering issues surrounding accountability in the sector.
Yabo added that if successful, the programme would be a benchmark, not just for the region, but the entire continent on real-time activities in the entire electricity network in the country.
“The digitalisation of the power sector means transparency, accountability, better coordination and improved power supply to Nigerians
“The federal government has already set for itself a vision 30:30:30 which is a vision to have 30,000 megawatts by 3030 and then 30 per cent of that will come from renewable energy.
“Government will achieve that objective using a two-pronged approach, mainly by connecting the grid to various areas in the country as well as providing electricity through off-grid solution.
“What this data base hopes to achieve is to define exactly what the extent of electrification is by identifying entire clusters across the country. We have mapped 22 states, 3,000 settlements, towns and villages and we have been able to identify over 2.6 million homes and we have been able to map over 50,000 kilometres of medium voltage lines,” he explained.
He noted that this was the first time a programme such as this is being carried in the history of electricity supply in Nigeria, stressing that it will also aid in the decision as to which form of energy should be deployed in a particular community.
“This means pole by pole, we have been able to count the networks and distribution levels which is being done for the first time in the history of this country. The whole idea is to move on to a situation where it becomes so transparent for the customer and regulator.
“This will tell us which community is actually connected and which one is getting power at what number of hours. What we are seeing is really a game changer and we are reinventing the power sector.
“In the coming months and weeks you will see the difference and we have the support from the distribution companies and other agencies, the REA and NERC and so on. This will become a benchmark for setting standards across the West Africa sub-region,” he noted.
Yabo stated that the government has identified on a geo-spatial level, all the communities and has mapped all the grids and will now be able to say which community is actually connected and which one is wired, relative to the grid.