February 19, 2014

Nigeria: Federal Government to Connect 75% Households to National Grid by 2020

The Federal Government of Nigeria on Monday projected that 75 percent of the population and households would have been connected to the national grid by 2020.

Minister of Power, Prof. Chinedu Nebo who spoke at the 7th Annual Nigerian Association for Energy Economics (NAEE) in Abuja, said: "We are getting these things ready. Government is investing a huge amount of resources to make sure that most communities in Nigeria that are not connected to the national grid eventually get connected to the national grid. That is going to happen. By the grace of God, it will not be long. By 2020, 75% of all Nigerians population and all households will be connected to the national grid."

Nebo noted that from the recent vandalization of the nation's gas pipeline, the Federal Government had learnt not to depend of one source of energy.

He said the Federal Government had in its energy policy decided to go beyond a monolithic energy source to the development of an energy mix to complement gas.

The minister recalled that the Federal Government had flagged-off the  700 mega watts  Hydroelectric Project in  Zungeru, Niger State and that very soon, the government would commence the development of the Mambilla Hydro Power project in addition to the adoption of renewable energy from wind, solar,  biomass and biofuel.

Nebo explained that Nigeria is yet to utilize coal to generate power because there no proven adequate quantity in the country. He submitted that the Federal Government is working on a bankable feasibility study for coal to power.

According to him, for Nigeria to venture into coal to power as source of energy, there must be a proof of adequate quantity that would last for 25 to 30 years.

"But we don't have the finite quantity of coal deposit in Nigeria. If you are going to use it- a coal sill, only a particular deposit to generate power to be quantitative enough and to be feasible  enough to fire a power plant. We need enough coal for 25 to 30years. So we are working on bankable feasibility study to ensure that we don't just rush into coal power plant without making sure of adequate supply," he said.

On the possibility of connecting 75 per cent of Nigerians to the national grid by 2020, the minister said, "What the government of President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan has already put in place is dynamic with infrastructural development that is not only conceived but also being implemented in extensive grid transmission and will soon make a national grid will make that possible.

"By the grace of God, we will be able to achieve that and for those that are not connected to the national grid. We are making efforts to make sure that they have power upgrade that is sufficient for them to regard themselves also as first class Nigerians."

Nebo explained that the Federal Government was developing a robust renewable energy policy  not only based on one arm of government because it wants to make it a holistic one and also integrate energy efficiency and conservation in the policy.

"We are going to segregate between pure renewable energy policy, energy efficiency, conservation policy. So we are working now to make sure that very soon, that will be made something for all Nigerians and that is why we are trying to make sure that we get all the stakeholders involved in the realization of this policy so that nobody will say they were not consulted," he said.

President, NAEE Professor Adeola Adenikinju said the objectives of the association are to provide a forum for the exchange of ideas, advancement and professional experiences in energy economics.

He noted that the association is to promote the development and education of energy professionals and forester an improved understanding of energy economics and energy related issues by all interested parties.

He said the association was established in December 2006 at the Nigerian  National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) Tower with about 20 people in attendance and "Since then the membership of NAEE has grown to about 200. It is the only affiliate of the IAEE in Africa. This is also the 7th Annual Conference of the Association. We have had an annual conference regularly since we started in 2008."

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