FG to Approve New National Electricity Policy by September

* Adelabu decries 10 power plants operating below 10% capacity

*Ekpo: Investment in CNG, LNG infrastructure critical for Nigeria’s energy security 

Emmanuel Addeh in Abuja and Peter Uzoho in Lagos

The federal government would in September this year approve the new National Electricity Policy and Strategic Implementation Plan (NEPSIP) which is currently at the final stage of its documentation for onward presentation to the Federal Executive Council (FEC).
Minister of Power, Adebayo Adelabu, disclosed this yesterday, in Lagos, at the BusinessDay energy conference, with the theme, ‘Powering Nigeria’s Energy Future: Addressing Infrastructural Challenges for Sustainable Energy Development.’

This was just as the Minister of State Petroleum Resources (Gas), Ekperikpe Ekpo, yesterday said investment in Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) and Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) facilities was pivotal to Nigeria’s energy security.
Speaking further, Adelabu also lamented that 10 power plants in Nigeria were operating below 10 per cent capacity, attributing it to the infrastructural challenges in the sector.

To ensure the alignment and enhancement of the power sector’s policy and regulatory framework, the minister said that the government has commenced the development of a comprehensive framework for the nation’s electricity sector to support innovation, research, and development in the sector and chart a sustainable path forward in Nigeria’s electricity industry.

“The government believes that a supportive policy and regulatory environment are essential for sustainable energy development and the government is committed to creating policies that encourage investment, foster innovation, and ensure fair competition in the energy sector,” he stated.
According to him, the electricity sector in the country has undergone significant reforms, transitioning from a state-owned, vertically integrated system to a predominantly privately owned unbundled network.

However, Adelabu noted that the challenges persist, including aging infrastructure and insufficient investment in renewable energy, outdated power plants, inadequate transmission and distribution networks, and frequent power outages.
He expressed surprise at the underutilisation of the facilities, which he said have the potential to generate significantly more electricity.
Adelabu, identified two key factors limiting power generation including low gas supply and unpaid debts, explaining that gas shortages prevent plants from running at full capacity, while unpaid debts owed to generation companies create liquidity issues.
According to him, the federal government was committed to both enhancing current generating assets and investing in new power plants in a move to address the country’s generation capacity.

“Our focus is on harnessing the rich diversity of our natural resources, from hydro to solar and beyond. Recently, generation capacity to the grid has been expanded with the addition of a 700MW newly commissioned Zungeru hydropower plant.
“We have also secured Presidential approval to defray legacy debts to gas companies to allow efficient gas supply to the power sector going forward and a payment mechanism to address Generation Companies debts to ensure necessary maintenance is resolved and evacuation capacity optimisation.
 “With this effort, we aim to not only increase our generation capacity but also improve the efficiency and reliability of our power supply,” Adelabu explained.
He added that the government had set an ambitious target to generate about 30,000 megawatts of electricity by 2030 with renewable energy contributing 30 per cent to Nigeria’s energy mix.

The minister further said the insufficient power generation in Nigeria was also due to outdated power plants, underinvestment in new generation infrastructure, and over-reliance on fossil fuels such as gas/steam and diesel.

On the issue of metering, Adelabu said the government has put in place the required framework to enable an injection of 1.5 million meters into the power sector through the World Bank Distribution Support Recovery Programme.

He added, “The Presidential Metering Initiative will ensure an additional two million meters will be procured annually for five years. This will ensure accurate billing, reducing revenue loss and improving cash flow for a more liquid power sector.

“We are beginning to see some progress from the outcome of the government’s initiative in the last one year. However, we will not relent until we have a resilient and efficient electricity sector that meets the needs of all Nigerians.”

Meanwhile, Ekpo, yesterday said investment in CNG and LNG facilities was pivotal to Nigeria’s energy security.

The minister therefore solicited the partnership of private sector investors in the development of the critical infrastructure in the country, according to a statement by his spokesman, Louis Ibah said.

Ekpo stated this at the inauguration of the 3.1 mmscfd CNG and groundbreaking of 5.2mmscfd LNG facilities undertaken by Tetracore Energy Group in Ogun State.

The gas minister commended the management of Tetracore Energy Group for commiting funds into CNG and LNG projects, saying their investment were “very important steps in enhancing Nigeria’s energy security.”

According to Ekpo, the development of CNG and LNG facilities were critical components of Nigeria’s strategy to diversify energy sources, promote cleaner fuels, and ensure energy security for our people.

“Natural gas is a pivotal element in the global transition towards more sustainable energy systems, providing a cleaner alternative to traditional fossil fuels, while supporting the integration of renewable energy sources.

“The use of CNG in transportation will reduce our reliance on imported fuels and lower greenhouse gas emissions, aligning with our commitments to the Paris Agreement and our national climate goals.

“These projects will drive economic growth, create jobs, and improve the quality of life for our citizens,” he added.

Ekpo restated President Bola Tinubu’s commitment to the creation of an enabling environment that encourages investment in the gas sector.

This, he said, includes implementing favourable policies, providing incentives for infrastructure development, and ensuring regulatory frameworks that promote efficiency, and sustainability.

He expressed the optimism that Tetracore Energy Group’s projects would serve as a catalyst for further investments in the gas industry, fostering innovation and enhancing the country’s energy infrastructure.

“It is through such initiatives that we can achieve our shared vision of a prosperous energy future for Nigeria,” he said.

Related Articles