This Day (Lagos)

14 October 2012

Nigeria: Taskforce On Power Unfolds Transmission Agenda This Week

Barely one month after the reconstitution of the Presidential Task force on Power, there are indications that the Federal Government is set to raise the level of power transmission significantly through a special transmission agenda to be unfolded this week.

The Task Force on Power, Mr. Reynolds Dagogo-Jack, in an exclusive interview with THISDAY saturday, said the special transmission agenda will outline a set of comprehensive plans already mapped out by the taskforce to fully maximise the potentials in power sector.

Explaining the degree of progress made so far in the past few weeks by the Presidential Taskforce on Power, Dagogo-Jack said one of the achievements is the readiness of the task force to unfold strategic plans to boost power transmission in the country. Nigerians, according to him, will get to know the plans being put in place when the transmission agenda is made public this week.

The agenda, according to him, is aimed at taking concrete steps to remove all obstacles to improved power transmission in the country.

He recalled that one of the issues that usually came up whenever the problem of poor power transmission was discussed in the past had been that of insufficient gas supply.

"When the former Petroleum Minister was around, gas was our number one problem but we all know that inside our corridor in the country, we have gas, which were swept under the carpet," he said.

The chairman said what the incumbent minister did was to set up a gas committee to look into the issue.

"I was a member of the gas committee and we discovered we have more gas in this country to push our power transmission from the present 4,300 megawatts to 5,600 megawatts.

"What this means is that about 1,300 megawatt of electricity is stranded somewhere," he said, adding that this and some other problems in transmission have been exposed by his task force.

According to him, although there are many power plants in the country, not all of them are in order. Studies carried out by the taskforce, according to the chairman, for instance, showed that some transformers were old, faulty or overloaded and that in order to bring them back to life, they need to be supported by other transformers.

The special transmission agenda is therefore expected to provide insight into how some of the problems will be surmounted so that power transmission could go up in the country.

Speaking on the achievements made so far, Dagogo-Jack said: "We have recorded more achievements in terms of divestment with generating companies (GENCOs) sold and Distribution Companies (DISCOs) going next Tuesday.

"We've maintained grid stability with near zero system collapse; the new tariff regime is getting fully integrated. We have protected the 4000mw+ peak generation etc.

"We're making significant progress in advancing the NIPP projects to completion. I will unfold a special transmission reinforcement agenda next week.

The journey is not without challenges but the challenges are not insurmountable," he said.

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