April 25, 2024
Investments

Minister decries under-utilisation of FG’s investments in power


The Minister of Power, Adebayo Adelabu, has lamented that despite the huge investment of the Federal Government in the power sector, the sector has remained underutilised.

Adelabu, who spoke after inspecting the Benin Electricity Generation Company power plant in Ihovbo under the Niger Delta Power Holding Company on Saturday assured that his ministry would push for the removal of all hindrances that had prevented the power plant from operating maximally, and put it at disadvantage against plants owned by the private sector.

The minister said that the government had invested so much money in the energy sector, adding that it was lamentable that Nigerians were still battling with issues of light.

“I have gone around this installation, and I am quite impressed with what we have here. Contrary to general belief, Nigeria has invested so much in power-generating plants and these plants are state-of-the-art plants; they are well maintained; they are in very good condition and they are in a condition that can give us the kind of power generation that we need in this country, except that there are a lot of capacity distortions.

“I will take them one after the other. I got to the Ihovbo plants, which belong to the federal government under the Niger Delta Power Holding Company. It is a plant with four gas plants, in very good condition, with a capacity of about 125 megawatts each, which is a total of 500 megawatts.

“They are well-maintained plants and the running hours of each of these, are all below 30,000, which means that, effectively, they have not been run more than three years even though they have been installed almost eight or 10 years ago. They are still like new turbines but surprisingly, there is only one turbine that is operational today, generating about 100 megawatts of power as against the installed capacity of 500.

“That is just 20 per cent capacity utilisation which is a gross lack of optimisation of our investment as a country. If we have put in so much into establishing these power plants, it should be able to give us the kind of power that we require”, Adelabu said.

The minister assured Nigerians that all the problems bedevilling the sector would soon be a thing of the past.



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