Lack of electricity has always been a major problem in Nigeria for decades now. Different Presidents have tried their quota to improve power supply, yet the situation does not seem to get any better. However, on Monday, President Muhammadu Buhari made a statement saying his administration has set a target to deliver 10,000 megawatts of electricity generation in the next three years. He made this public in an address speech during the National Economic Council retreat held at the State House, Abuja. He said before 2016 runs out, the administration would add 2000 megawatts to the national grid.
“Nigerians’ favorite talking point and butt of jokes is the power situation in our country. But, ladies and gentlemen, it is no longer a laughing matter. We must and by the grace of God we will put things right. In the three years left for this administration we have given ourselves the target of ten thousand megawatts distributable power. In 2016 alone, we intend to add two thousand megawatts to the national grid.”
Mr. Buhari said the power sector had been privatized but admitted that it is yet to show any improvement in the quality of service. According to him, the common public complaints are constant power cuts destroying economic activity and affecting quality of life; high electricity bills despite power cuts; low supply of gas to power plants due to vandalization by terrorists; and obsolete power distribution equipment such as transformers.
Other complaints, he stated, are power fluctuations, which damage manufacturing equipment and household appliances; and low voltage which cannot run industrial machinery. The federal government had two weeks ago apologised to Nigerians for the hardship and inconveniences power outage had caused them. A statement by the Minister of Information, Lai Mohammed, said efforts were being made to rectify the situation and ensure a gradual improvement in the power situation.
Three weeks ago, the APC-led government apologized for the current situation of power supply in the country, which had dropped to a meagre 2,800 megawatts, the lowest in nearly a year. A few days later, the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission, announced that it had reached a new peak of 4,387 MW. It said the recovery followed the successful repair work on the damaged gas supply facility discovered earlier in the week.
Recall that in September last year, Vice President, Yemi Osinbajo, the federal government planned to distribute 6,000 megawatts of electricity in the country by the first quarter of 2016. He promised on behalf of APC to expand electricity generation and distribution to 40,000 MW between four and eight years. Meanwhile, the first year would be over in a couple of weeks, but the automatic “wave-the-wand” change is yet to be seen.
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