13th February, 2018
Determined to distribute unused 2,000MW of electricity, the Federal Government on Tuesday met with the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN) to discuss workable ways to distribute the unused power.
The Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Mr Babatunde Fashola, made this known to newsmen during the meeting with MAN in Abuja.
He said that both parties would work out possibility of increasing not only access to power for business but also to improve the quantity and quality of power supply to the manufacturing sector.
He said the story of Nigeria’s manufacturing and production sector had been characterised by lack of infrastructure such as electricity.
The minister said the forum was to evolve measures on how to distribute the 2,000MW unused power in the National Grid.
“Our meeting is important because we gather not to talk about the problem, we gather to solve the problem.
“As I said at a different forum, we have a new problem; we have more power than we can distribute.
“In that context, we cannot continue to talk of lack of power; instead, we must talk about how to connect to the available and unsold power, and what it will cost to do so,’’ he said.
According to Fashola, Nigeria’s power generating companies are now able to produce 7,000 MW, while Transmission Company is able to transport all of the power generated.
He said the Distribution Companies (DISCOS) had also increased their load taking capacity to 5,0000MW.
He said however that “this leaves a gap of 2,000MW of what you manufacturers will call unsold inventory.”
The minister said the unused power offered the manufacturers a critical raw material to reduce cost of their production.
“What we gather to do today is to open the window for sales to the Eligible Customer – willing buyer and willing seller.
“There can be no better time to explore this option than when there is the supply of unsold power with the clear promise of more to come.
“The market must open to all willing buyers,” Fashola said.
Fashola said access to the 2,000MW for manufacturing and production would be the big bridge toward diversification of the economy.
He urged participants to be open, frank and most importantly be flexible in the negotiations.
The President of MAN, Dr Frank Jacobs said it was a great opportunity for MAN to key into the process of utilising the 2,000MW.
He said MAN was in need of electricity, adding that its members daily consumption was 14, 882MW of electricity, mostly self generated.
Jacobs said the eligible customer initiative would make it possible for members of MAN to get some of the unused power and convert it for their own use.
“We think that the 2,000MW will help to augment though it will not give us all that we need, but it will help us,’’ Jacobs said.
He expressed hope that the DISCOS would understand that the taking of the 2,000MW by the manufacturing sector was for the benefit of the country.
“The opposition, we expect may be from the DISCOS, but we are hoping that they will understand that what we are doing is for the interest of the country and the economy of Nigeria,’’ he said.