Nigeria’s Federal Executive Council (FEC) on Wednesday approved $8.29 million and N3 billion for the execution of various electricity projects in the country.
It also said it was ready to commence the distribution of four million free electricity pre-paid meters in the second phase of the free metre programme.
Minister of Power, Mr. Mamman Saleh, told journalists at the end of the FEC meeting, presided over by President Muhammadu Buhari at the State House, Abuja, that the projects were for the procurement of equipment as well as designs and manufactures.
The fund also covers the upgrading of the nation’s electricity facility and improvement of power supply nationwide.
According to him, the Ministry of Power presented six memoranda to the council, all of which were approved.
The aggregate of all the figures, in both naira and dollar denominations, is a total of N6,156,168,822, when the dollar component is converted through the official exchange rate of N380 to $1.
Saleh said: “The Federal Executive Council today approved six memos under the Ministry of Power. The first one is the award of a contract for design, manufacturing and supply of critical spare parts for Crompton Greaves 330 kV, 132 kV and 33 kV circuit breakers to Messrs. Legen Engineering Nigeria Limited in the sum of N298,339,887.04.
“The second one is the award of the contract for the procurement of 50 sets of 400 AH battery banks, 30 to 50 volts and 30 number of 110-volt battery charges for the substation used by the TCN in favour of Messrs. DTS Transformers Electric Industry Limited at the sum of N644,805,953.10.
“The third award of the contract is for the procurement of 50 cents also of 132 kV isolators for the TCN in favour of Messrs. Leading Diagonal Engineering Nigeria Limited in the sum of $840,650 plus N53,900,000 within the delivery period of six months.
“The fourth one is the award of the contract for the design, manufacturing and the supply of three 60/66 MVA 132kV power transformers with accessories and 15 number of 500 kV transformers, 33/0.415kV earthing transformers for the TCN in favour of Messrs. Zhenjiang Transformers Company Limited, in the sum of N1,296,953,044.55 with a delivery period of 12 months.
“The fifth one is the award of the contract for the design, supply and installation of Optical Wire (OPGW) and Universal Optical Transportation Network System (OTN) for some critical transmission lines in favour of Messrs. Xinjiang Power and Transportation Company Limited in the sum of $6,800,743.51, plus N668,843,634.74, with a delivery period of 12 months.
“The last one is the upward review of the contraction for the design, manufacture, supply, installation and commissioning of 1X 100MVA, 132/33kV power transformers at Ogba Transmission Substation, Lagos, in favour of Messrs. Power Control and Appliances Limited, in the sum of $648,038.31, plus N48,342,524.18, with the delivery period of six months.
“All these procurements are geared towards upgrades of the transmission system, to the national grid, so that we can have sufficient power supply to the nation”.
The minister added that the federal government will soon begin the second phase of the free distribution of four million pre-paid electricity meters to Nigerians.
According to him, the federal government is almost through with the distribution of one million free pre-free paid meters to Nigerians.
“We have almost finished with phase zero, we are now going into phase one of the distribution of the meters, that is the remaining four million the central bank promised to augment with.
“The first set is one million, we are about to finish with that, but you know, it is not the target, one million is very negligible compared to the demand of Nigerians,” he said.
Asked if there was any improvement in power generation, Saleh said: “We are improving, it (power generation) has improved, you can see, I don’t have to tell you.
“We are moving from 3,000 megawatts, today we are generating up to 5,000 megawatts or over that, so it is a great improvement.”
The minister stated that government was making sure that power supply was stable and also working towards upgrading the supply “from say 4000 megawatts to 5,000 to 6,000 to 7,000 megawatts and so on.
“So, the more we replace some obsolete and outdated equipment, the more we improve the supply of electricity.”
Asked if he agreed with the report that over 70 per cent of Nigerians who have electricity supply have less than 12 hours a day, he said: “It all depends. You know we have graded the supply based on the metering.
“Unless the meters are sufficient, we will not know which and where to push 24 hours supplies because there are some people who are ready for 24 hours and there are those who are not ready for 24 hours supply of light.”
It would be recalled that a recent World Bank report has it that Nigeria is the World’s least electrified country, a position Nigeria has disputed.