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Tinubu pledges to boost electricity supply

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By Usman Oladimeji

Nigeria will keep working to increase its national energy supply.

President Bola Ahmed Tinubu has stated that his administration is prepared to address all issues hindering a stable electricity supply in the country. Speaking at the groundbreaking ceremony for the new 350 MW Gwagwalada Independent Thermal Power Plant (Phase 1), the president tasked the NNPC and its partners to complete the monumental project within the slated three years of completion, emphasizing that, “three years must be three years.” This comes at a time when widespread power outages and inadequate distribution networks, among other issues, have created severe shortages in Nigeria’s electricity supply industry (NESI).

Regardless, he claimed that his government is prepared to tackle any hurdle in the power value chain that may dramatically increase generation and also increase national peak growth and sustainability well beyond the current minimal 5,300MW catering for over 200 million Nigerians. He said immediate enhancement of the stability and quantum of energy supply will improve national economic development, which is the most paramount. This is to be accomplished by maximizing all potential energy sources to increase electricity output beyond the current installed capacity of 12,000 megawatts and fortify transmission infrastructures.

Securing a reliable electricity supply must be prioritized.

He pointed out that fostering a productive and industrialized economy that creates many jobs necessitates consistent access to electricity. To harness the country’s full human and natural resources, securing a reliable electricity supply must be prioritized over all other economic concerns. According to the president, the nation is taking a major step forward with the monumental project, as it marks the beginning of the administration’s concerted efforts to firmly establish a robust and fortified energy foundation for uninterrupted power supply, which will in turn enhance the economy and speed up industrial growth.

The Gwagwalada 350MW (Phase 1) project is part of an incremental 3,600MW cumulative power project that is based on market-driven designs along the Abuja, Kaduna and Kano (AKK) gas pipeline corridors. This would further cement the project’s economic feasibility and generate multiple foreign direct investment (FD) for the country. This administration will grab onto the worldwide declaration of gas as a ‘transition fuel,’ and the Petroleum Industry Act (PIA), to expand investments in the oil and gas sector, the president said, promising to develop the country’s gas reserves.

Development of auto-gas will long-term economic growth.

This move will allow the country to completely utilize its over 200 trillion cubic feet of proven gas reserves, which is likely to significantly increase domestic gas utilization. The development of liquified/compressed natural gas (auto-gas), improved power generation and other gas-based sectors will help Nigeria achieve long-term economic growth and provide employment for a large number of people. According to him, Nigeria will keep working hard to increase its national energy supply through the use of renewable sources like solar, hydro, wind, thermal, and biofuels (for both on-grid and off-grid power systems).

Moreover, he applauded NNPC Ltd, General Electric, and CMEC for their business partnership efforts and further tasked NNPC with ensuring the project is completed on time and under budget. Another great example, according to President Tinubu, is the recent strategic partnership between NNPC Ltd and NIPCO Gas Limited in establishing Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) stations all over the country. This historic partnership will increase Nigeria’s CNG infrastructure, increase access to CNG, and hasten the country’s transition to cleaner, cheaper alternative fuel for buses, cars, and tricycle across the country.

NNPC affirms to keep implementing power projects.

According to the president, this NNPC-NIPCO partnership will result in the construction of 35 state-of-the-art CNG stations across the country, including three Mother stations. At full operation the station can service 200,000 automobiles each day. Mele Kyari, Group Chief Executive Officer of NNPC Ltd, affirms to the president that the organization will keep implementing power projects to improve energy security, adding that several such projects were already completed. Among these, he lists the 50 MW Maiduguri Power Plant, and the 900 MW Kaduna Power Plant and the 1,300 MW Kano Power Plant.

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