In the two year scorecard published by the Federal Government recently, there are claims the government has increased power generation to 7,000 megawatts. Interestingly, the citizens, even the usually critical civil society have not interrogated that claim. But the veracity of it all is not really difficult to come by. Are Nigerians enjoying improved power supply?
To convince any doubting Thomas on its claim, the government should have given clear statistics of how the magic was achieved and through which power plants. In recent months, I have joined the Senate Committee on Power, Steel Development and Metallurgy on oversight functions at the major power plants across the country. We have seen the extent of work on the inherited Power Projects and with the extent of work on the Power Plants at Kaduna, Afam, and Zungeru, you will wonder where the additional megawatts came from.
Be that as it may, on Monday last week, the Senate Joint Committee comprising Committee on Gas Resources, Power, Steel Development and Metallurgy played host to stakeholders in the Power sector. Revelations from the investigative hearing tagged “urgent need to save the 215 MW Kaduna Power Plant,” were shocking and heart rendering. The only conclusion you derive from that sitting is simple-“How Power Ministry under develops Nigeria.”
At the investigative hearing, the joint sitting was told that the dual fired LPFO/Gas 215 MW Kaduna Power Plant had its initial location in Kaduna Metropolis. It was moved to the current location at Kudeda also in Kaduna to ensure it was situated on the 614km Ajaokuta-Abuja-Kaduna-Kano gas pipeline for easy access to gas. That made sense. But Nigerians at the Senate investigative hearing left the room in shame. Senators claimed they were moved to tears as a foreigner, chairman of GreenVille LPG, Eddy Van Den Broeke, exposed the outright unpatriotic acts by officials of the Ministry of Power in the handling of the project.
Den Broeke told the sitting that following the Memorandum of Understanding entered into between the ministry and his company, a gas power plant was set up in Port Harcourt, while the company procured some 250 trucks for constant delivery of gas to Kaduna pending the completion of the gas pipeline. Part of the MOU signed with that company would also have yielded Nigeria storage tanks for gas at no cost.