Minister of Power Advocates $10bn Annually For 10 Years To Revamp  Power Sector

Enoch Oyedibu

The Minister of Power, Adebayo Adelabu, has said  the country would need  a substantial investment of $10 billion annually over the next 10 years  to address the longstanding challenges plaguing the  power sector. 

Speaking during a one-day investigative hearing in Abuja, Adelabu highlighted that sustained financial commitment is essential to overhaul the ailing infrastructure and ensure reliable electricity supply nationwide.

At the heart of the discussion was the allocation of N2.9 trillion towards achieving comprehensive sector subsidy.

 Adelabu stressed  the urgent necessity of addressing liquidity issues within the sector, citing the significant backlog of subsidies owed to Generating Companies (GenCos) and Gas Companies, which have hindered the sector’s progress.

The Minister’s remarks come amidst mounting concerns raised by Senators regarding recent decisions, including the increase in electricity tariffs for certain customer bands.

 Led by Senator Enyinnaya Abaribe, the Senate Committee on Power delved into various issues, including subsidy payments, outstanding debts, metering challenges, and the overall state of the sector.

Adelabu reiterated the government’s commitment to implementing sustainable reforms and attracting private investment to bolster the sector’s viability. 

He emphasized the importance of commercial pricing to attract investors and lenders, essential for the sector’s revitalization.

Highlighting ongoing efforts to enhance power generation, Adelabu mentioned investments in hydroelectric projects, including the construction of the Zungeru and Kashimbila Hydroelectric power plants. Additionally, plans for 26 small hydropower dams across the country aim to bolster electricity production.

Addressing concerns about metering, officials from the Central Bank of Nigeria outlined efforts to close the metering gap through financial interventions. 

However, challenges persist, with many customers still facing estimated billing due to inadequate metering infrastructure.

While the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) expressed support for the Minister’s proposals, other stakeholders, including the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria, raised objections, citing inadequate consultation and discriminatory tariff increases.

In response to Senators’ inquiries and criticisms, Adelabu acknowledged the need for a broader consultation and stressed  the government’s commitment to addressing the concerns of Nigerians.

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