by Rachel Ogbu
The Minister of Power, Chinedu Nebo has suggested that Nigerians will definitely wait a very long time to enjoy uninterrupted and steady power supply. And some of the problems are quite… worrisome,
For one, Nebo said Nigeria needs nothing less that N335 billion to have a new super national grid. Just a few weeks ago, he had said that N77 billion was required to bridge the metering gap in the country.
In a meeting with the Senator Philip Aduda-led committee on Power earlier this week, Nebo painted a rather gloomy picture of the power situation saying there was shortage of engineers in the electricity sector. He said the sector would need 8,000 engineers to be functional but not one engineer had been recruited in the last 16 years.
According to reports, the Ughelli Power Plant in Delta state, which was formerly generating 400 megawatts of power has now dropped to just 120 megawatts. “What is being done presently is mere patching,” he said.
“There is the need to beef up the entire system. Something should be done. In the whole of the South East, as represented by Enugu, not about 50 able-bodied men can climb the poles,” he said.
It seemed from his presentation, the sector was closer to shutting down than anything else but Nebo said despite the revelations, the sector was actually experiencing its best time.
He said there had been an improvement in power generation in the country as the sector was barely spawning 2,000 megawatts before President Goodluck Jonathan came into government.