Wednesday, November 7, 2018 8:57 am
The Federal Government says it will increase power generation by 2,000 megawatts from the current 7,000mw to 9,000 megawatts by the end of 2018.
The Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, made this known when he appeared on a News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) Forum in Abuja on Tuesday.
According to the Mohammed, the government will also embark on 90 power transmission projects nationwide in furtherance of raising the country’s power generation capacity.
“By the end of this year, we are going to have an extra 2,000 megawatts of power to add to the 7,000 that is being generated.
“So we can say that when we came in 2015, two arms of power had been privatised – generation and distribution – living only transmission.
“Power generated by all the 13 or so Generating Companies was 4,000 megawatts; power distributed by all the DisCos (Distribution Companies) was 2,690; the transmission rate capacity was 5,000 megawatts.
“Three and a half years later, that is today, we generate 7,000 megawatts, (up) from 4,000 megawatts, which means on the average, we will be adding 1,000 megawatts every year.
“This didn’t come by accident; it came because we were determined to ensure that we improve power generation, which made it possible for our transmission to go from 4,000 to 7,000 megawatts.’’
Mohammed said that the government also embarked on what it calls a Transmission Expansion and Rehabilitation Programme, which made it possible for the (rate of) transmission to go from 4,000 to 7,000.
“So we can say that when it comes to power no government has done what we have done in three and half years,’’ he said.
The Minister also revealed that the Federal Government has earmarked 1.3 billion dollars to fund five critical projects across the country.
Mohammed said the projects would be funded under the Presidential Infrastructure Fund (PIF) to be managed by the Nigerian Sovereign Investment Authority.
The minister said that PIF with seed fund of 1.3 billion dollars would be used to ensure that the five critical projects that had hitherto suffered funding would be adequately funded.
He said the projects were. the Lagos-Ibadan Express Way, Abuja-Kano Road, the East-West Road, the Mambila Power Project and the Second Niger Bridge.
The minister said, “as we speak today, the fund for early works on the Mambila project is assured and for the other four projects, we are sure of meeting up with their completion deadlines’’.
He said the current administration had only borrowed N10 billion to fund infrastructure in the country.
“When we came into power in 2015, the total debt profile of the country was 53 billion dollar, we have only borrowed 10 billion dollar extra.
“When compared with between 2010 and 2015, the previous administration had a higher debt profile.
“In 2010, Nigeria was only owing N35 billion but by 2015, the debt profile had risen to N53 billion.
“This means that in five years, the previous administration borrowed N28 billion, while in three and half years we borrowed N10 billion,” he said.
The minister also said the funds borrowed by the administration were spent on developing the nation’s infrastructure unlike the previous administration that could not account for it.