Nigeria’s Vice President Yemi Osinbajo yesterday decried the lack of capacity of electricity distribution companies (DisCos) to distribute available grid power to consumers despite the federal government’s efforts at improving power generation in the country.
Osinbajo stated this at the commissioning of a new 2x60MVA 132/33KV substation and associated transmission lines in Abeokuta, Ogun State capital, constructed by the Niger Delta Power Holding Company (NDPHC) under the Nigerian Integrated Power Project (NIPP).
The vice president lamented that the distribution capacity of the 11 DisCos in the country was as low as 4,000MW, leaving an excess of over 4,000MW of unused electricity wasting away.
“Today, we have about 13,427MW of installed capacity and an available capacity of about 8,332MW. The national grid has the capacity to transmit about 7,000M, an increase from less than about 5,000MW in 2015. But distribution capacity in the 11 DisCos is significantly low, hovering at around 4,000MW on average with a peak of about 5,400MW. So despite the availability of about 8,000MW of generation and about 7,000MW of transmission capacity, lack of DisCo infrastructure to absorb and deliver grid power to end users has largely restricted generation to an average of about 4,000MW,” he said.
Osinbajo stressed the urgent need for recapitalisation of DisCos to enable them to build more infrastructure facilities to accommodate the excess power generated for distribution.
He, however, reiterated government’s commitment to ensure adequate power supply to all parts of the country, stressing: “Power supply is the lifeblood of any economy and we are committed to ensuring that power supply is adequate everywhere.
The vice president who conceded that much still needs to be done for the government to meet the power needs of the nation said the inauguration of the transmission substation in Ogun State was part of the federal government’s efforts to improve the supply and quality of power reaching the homes and businesses of consumers.
While commending the federal government for investing in the energy sector to boost power supply, Ogun State Governor Dapo Abiodun said the project being commissioned would improve electricity supply to Abeokuta, Ota and other parts of the state. He said the project would be a boost to his administration’s agenda of creating an enduring economic development and individual prosperity for the people.
Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer, NDPHC, Chiedu Ugbo, said the government’s intervention was necessitated by the fact that the existing power facilities could no longer cater to the growing demand for electricity in the locations. He, however, expressed concern that the DisCos’ low capacity for power distribution could turn substations like the one commissioned into stranded assets.