2 May 2012

Nigeria: Erratic Power Supply - FG Appeals to Citizens

Lagos — The Federal Government has expressed regrets over the current erratic power supply in the country and appealed to Nigerians to be patient.

Lagos and most parts of the country are currently locked in darkness in most hours of the day forcing many to use alternative power supply.

Authority blamed the development on inadequate gas supply, seasonal hydrowater shortages, inadequate human capacity and insufficient system synergy.

Power Minister Professor Barth Nnaji who spoke at a press conference in Lagos on Monday said the stage is now set for positive change in the power sector.

He said: "We want to use this press forum to appeal to all Nigerians with all sense of responsibility and sincerity to bear with us and hereby on behalf of the entire sector give a solid assurance that the stage is set for a change and we shall all begin to see better days and unending years of stable power supply.

"I know this will immediate arouse some skepticism in view of your previous experiences but I wish to say unequivocally that this statement has a political will and support behind it in the person of President Goodluck Jonathan."

The minister said as a short term measure put in place to redeem his promise, there will be moderately improved power supply and a renewed distribution model in the next two months.

He explained that the model will allow distribution companies in their various areas of distribution to promote planned distribution and have citizens informed.

According to him, over the next seven months, some new power generating plants, transmission lines and more developed distribution pattern would have been completed.

He said the reconstituted Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission will provide the implementation of a tariff review on June 1, 2012 which will be accompanied with a metering system.

"It will interest Nigerians to know that whereas there is a tariff of N7 per kilowatt being paid now by the urban poor and rural dwellers, the new tariff rate will allow this class to pay at N4 per kilowatt," he said.

He said three ratings will be involved in the payment for power supply, adding that the new tariff which has been approved by President Jonathan has a great consideration for the poor.

Reeling out government's medium term for power sector, the minister said between next year and 2015, there would be increased power generation and transmission lines.

He said between 2015 and 2020, there will be increased diversification into renewable energy sources.

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