The Minister of Works, Power and Housing, Mr. Babatunde Fashola during a courtesy visit to the Editorial Board of The Guardian, has argued that the failure of the 2006 census has left the country with less than credible data for effective socio-economic planning while also adding that Nigeria’s grid capacity is currently at 7,200Mw, The Guardian reports.
Lack of accurate population figures for Nigeria, as admitted by the minister means that government planning could go off-track and undermine genuine efforts at budget implementation and social welfare schemes. Government agencies and private sector operators have continued to guess population numbers — ranging from 160 million to 180 million. “It is even difficult to know the amount of power Nigeria uses because we do not really know how many we are,” Fashola remarked.
On Nigeria’s transmission infrastructure, Fashola explained that government has completed some grid projects in Alagbon, Okada, Benin and Sokoto to bring the total carrying capacity of the grid to 7,200 megawatts. “So, it can’t be correct to argue that the grid can only carry 5,000 megawatts. Our grid expansion projects are in Kaduna, Kano and Oshogbo. It is an underutilised capacity yet someone is paying for it. Grid capacity is also a function of simulation and requires consultation with anybody using it. 7,200 mega watts is now the grid capacity. At worst it is 6,500. So, it is no longer 5,000.”