Chairman of the Presidential Task Force on Power, Engr. Beks Dagogo-Jack, has put the current power generation level in the country at 4500 megawatts even as he acknowledged a significant improvement in duration and reliability of power supply.
The chairman, who reeled out the statistics in an interview with THISDAY yesterday, said the figure was based on reports coming in from key urban centres across the country as at Friday.
Dagogo-Jack, who expressed happiness over the development , said, " Our commitment as a team from the Presidential Action Committee on Power which the President chairs, the Ministry of Power, the Presidential Task Force on Power which I chair and indeed all the chief executives of the electricity supply agencies in the country is to deliver President Jonathan's promise to Nigerians that they will witness significant improvement from this December and beyond. I can assure you that all hands are on deck.
"I am glad that we are delivering this promise". This is more so because this 4500mw milestone has eluded us for years and at some point it was even becoming acceptable by the industry operators that we could never achieve this level." Yesterday (Friday) we proved the fear mongers wrong."
Asked how this has happened, the chairman explained that "the original target which underpinned Mr. President's promise of significant improvement in December is indeed 5300mw ; however this target had specific underlying short term transmission and distribution reinforcement projects which must be completed in time to achieve that target."
According to him, "Unfortunately, quite a bunch of those projects couldn't come in as scheduled," adding "To still achieve a peak of 4500mw in spite of this handicap is a testimony to the commitment of the power team."
He stated further: "The other key contributors are improved commitment in dedicated gas supply, better coordination in system operations. Going forward we are putting in place other measures including growing a sizeable spinning reserve and enforcing strict system loading protocol at the distribution level to better manage our frequency and prevent turbulence. These measures added to the planned reinforcement projects will give us higher power profile soon.
"Now Nigerians can be rest assured that the Power Task Force is closely marking the full delivery of those delayed grid reinforcement projects and I can see 5300mw on our grid before the end of the next quarter."
Prompted to give a projection for 2013, Dagogo-Jack said "I assure you that the power reform is on course. Please note that President Jonathan's key promise to Nigerians was comprehensive power reform, not merely improvement in power supply.
"This was deliberate because the President knew very well that only a successful reform can unlock the sector, attract the required huge new investments in power development which will in turn auto-accelerate electricity production to match demand with supply in a privatised, customer-focused and properly regulated Nigeria Electricity Supply Industry comparable to any market in the world."