13 January 2010 – When President Umaru Yar’Ardua came to power as Nigeria’s leader in 2007, he promised the country that by 2010, Nigeria would be generating 10 000MW before the end of 2010.
At the start of the new year, Nigeria’s Minister of Power, Hon. Lanre Babalola is committed to the idea that his ministry has delivered on the promise of providing 6 000MW of electricity by the end of 2009. This, however, conflicts with a speech given by the country’s Vice President, Goodluck Jonathan who spoke about the "government’s less than expected performance in the area of improved electricity."
According to sector officials, power supply is currently fluctuating between 3600 and 3700MW, a far cry from the 6,000mw by 2009 target set by President Umaru Musa Yar’Adua on assumption of office.
The Yar’Adua-led executive had in the proposed 2010 Budget allocated N30million for the maintenance of generators, N52million for fueling of the generators and N100million for the Uninterrupted Power Supply (UPS) that would support 24-hour operation of the generators in the Aso Rock Villa.
The Government, in line with this said that it has no regret whatsoever over the N182 million proposed in the 2010 budget for the purchase and maintenance of generators in the Presidential Villa otherwise known as Aso Rock.
So it is not clear whether the 10 000MW will be reached by then close of 2010 when the targeted 6 000MW for the close of 2009 has not been reached.
As a result of the challenges and delays, there is also the expected reshuffling of officials.
One factor at the heart of the electricity supply issue is gas supply. The Ministry of Power has now partnered with the Ministry of Petroleum Resources, the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) and the IOCs to get gas to power the plants.