Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Babatunde Raji Fashola, has said the improved budgetary provisions, would boost government’s effort to build more critical infrastructure to transport gas to the power plant to add 2,000mw to the national grid within the next 12-15 months.
He said apart from availability of gas infrastructure, other issues like environmental concerns and appropriate pricing for gas have had negative impact on it.
The Minister said that the recent review of gas price from $1.30 per unit to $3.30, which is still below the $4.00 international market price will help bridge the availability gap.
According to him, “today’s reality is that available power is slightly larger than the capacity which it can support, else we will experience persistent system collapse. “So government through the Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN) has identified a total of 142 critical projects, of which 45 are at 50 per cent and above level of completion with another 22 projects due to be completed within a year.
“With budgetary provision, government intends to aggressively pursue completion of these projects to increase the carrying capacity from the Generation Companies (Gencos) to the Distribution Companies (Discos), from which transmission carrying capacity must be expanded well ahead of the generating capacity that will take care of future expansion in power generation.”
On tariff, Fashola said the issue is a complex one because it relates more to citizens’ attitude, while government has set the tariff regime through Multi-Year Tariff Order (MYTO). Government’s intentions of attracting investors to the fledgling market which underscores privatisation exercises was with clear intention of making pricing of product attractive to investors.
Tariff, he said, is the price of producing power, which covers generation, gas purchases, transportation, transformers, staff costs all disaggregated and charged per kilo watt/hour to make the business of power profitable. He appealed to Nigerians for better understanding on this contentious matter, pointing out that if well handled, will assist government maintain its credibility with investors.
Fashola said like the per-second billing in the telecoms sector, power market will grow and stabilise, hence Nigerians will take power access for granted, urging citizens not to oppose the implementation of the tariff order when it comes on stream.