There is now respite for the people of the South East on electricity power supply following the commissioning by the Nigerian Vice, President Yemi Osinbajo of the 240MW, AFAM 3 Fast Power Project in Port Harcourt, Rivers State, South East Nigeria.
Osinbajo who represented President Muhammadu Buhari at the official commissioning, said that with increased investments and improvements in the electricity value chain, Nigeria could become one of the best power markets in the world.
In a statement by his spokesman, Mr Laolu Akande, Osinbajo said, “We have all the ingredients to create one of the best power markets in the world. I am also confident it will happen within our lifetimes.
“The challenge before us now is for the industry to leverage the improved commercial environment that has been created to sustainably supply electricity and improve service to all citizens. This administration has made significant strides in this direction.”
Referencing the efforts of the administration in the sector, the Vice President said, “The complete story is that in the past few years we have seen more new money coming into the power value chain.
“These transactions include, Quest PLC that became core investor in Yola disco in 2020 with the transaction worth N19 billion. Last month the National Council on Privatization, NCP, approved the 30-year concession on Zungeru Hydro Power Plant at $70 million a year. And overall, the story of the Nigerian electricity supply industry is also getting better.”
Continuing, the VP disclosed that “since 2020, the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission has executed all of its bi-annual review processes without fail,” recalling that this was a marked difference from the past.
For instance, he said, “In 2019 subsidies reached a peak of N584 billion in an environment that was very burdensome on the Nigerian Government’s fiscal position.”
But he added that the “introduction of the Service Based Tariff, the Payment Discipline initiative for the sector (through NERC and CBN) and the introduction of the National Mass Metering programme have led to a doubling of market collections in the Nigerian Electricity Supply Industry from N40 billion per month in 2020 to a record of N80 billion per month in the 1st quarter of 2023”.
He also stated that in 2021 and 2022 “five underperforming DISCOs were brought into a restructuring program that has led to a N10billion per month reduction in shortfalls. If this trajectory continues, the Nigerian Electricity Supply Industry will attain self-sufficiency by the end of 2023.”