Nigeria’s Minister of Power, Prof Chinedu Nebo, on Thursday in the commercial city of Lagos, assured his compatriots that they would soon enjoy uninterrupted electricity supply, as the country’s power generation would increase from 4,000 to 10,000 megawatts by the end of next year.
“Everybody is asking that question of 24 hours uninterrupted power supply, it is not easy to answer it because Nigeria’s population has grown. The facilities in place were not designed for the huge population we have today,” the minister told journalists shortly after ringing the bell signifying end of trading for the day on the floor of the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE).
He said: ”Actually it is the administration of President Goodluck Jonathan that has started addressing the incredible dilapidation that the country power sector has experienced in the last few decades. It is this administration that has raised power generation from 2,500 to 4,000 megawatts, by the end of the year 6,000 mega watts plus will be achieved and by the end of 2015 over 10,000 megawatts will be attained.”
The minister blamed the current power outages on the vandalization of gas pipelines, stressing that efforts were under way to complete the repairs and normal power supply would be restored.
Nigeria last year embarked on the privatization of the state-owned power company, ending many years of monopoly. New generating, transmission and distribution companies were licensed to operate in the country.
Many Nigerians have thought that with the privatization, they will be enjoying uninterrupted power supply, but more than three months after selling the state power agency, power situation has not improved.
“We will soon get there, I cannot give you specific time. But I can assure you that before the end of this year many Nigerians will experience improved power supply,” he added.
He said plans were underway to reduce the 5 year timeline to the successor of the Power Holding Company of Nigeria( PHCN) to get listed on the Nigerian Stock Exchange, to 3 years, to allow Nigerians become co-owners.