Drama Unfolds As Power Minister Faces Power Outage During N344 Billion Budget Defense In National Assembly

In a surprising turn of events at the National Assembly, the Minister of Power, Chief Adebayo Adelabu, found himself in the midst of a mild drama as the power went off during his presentation defending the N344 billion budget for the Ministry of Power and its agencies.

The incident occurred during a joint committee session where lawmakers, both from the House of Representatives and the Senate, had gathered to scrutinize the proposed budget allocation.

Just as Minister Adelabu was articulating the reasons behind the substantial budget request, the room plunged into darkness.

The Chairman of the Senate Committee on Power, Eyinnaya Abaribe, seized the moment to express concern, stating that the power outage seemed symbolically implicative of the challenges facing the power sector.

Amidst the unexpected blackout, Senator Francis Adenigba Fadahunsi, one of the most senior members in the 10th Assembly, took the opportunity to question the minister about when Nigeria could expect stable power supply.

Following the restoration of power in Senate hearing room 221, Minister Adelabu assured the assembly that the Zungeru power plant would commence operations later in the month, with an anticipated generation of 300 megawatts. 

He emphasized that the N344 billion allocated in the 2024 budget was intended for all agencies under the Ministry of Power.

“Nigeria must be taken out of energy poverty,” declared Adelabu, noting that despite the generation of 14,000 megawatts, the transmission capacity remained at 8,000 due to deficient distribution infrastructure.

The minister revealed a stark reality, stating that approximately 40 percent of the generated power is lost during transportation, attributing it to weak infrastructure.

“In Nigeria, we lose up to 40 percent of the power we generate because of poor infrastructures,” he said.

Addressing the absence of the Mambilla power project in the 2024 budget, Adelabu explained that it is under international arbitration, making it inaccessible for budgetary inclusion.

To achieve stable power supply, Adelabu underscored the need for substantial investment in power transport infrastructure.

He highlighted the importance of metering households and emphasized the role of states in power distribution, advocating for community involvement in monitoring Distribution Companies (Discos).

Minister Adelabu expressed confidence that the allocated budget would address the persistent issues in the power sector, paving the way for a more reliable and robust electricity supply in Nigeria.

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