• Saturday, May 25, 2024
businessday logo

BusinessDay

Nigeria’s power woes need political will, funding- Adelabu

Bayo Adelabu, the minister of power, has acknowledged the persistent challenges facing Nigeria’s electricity supply, emphasising during a late-night interview on Channels TV on Monday that resolving these issues demands both time and political determination.

Contrary to unrealistic promises of immediate, uninterrupted power, Adelabu advocated for a pragmatic approach, stating the complexities involved in achieving substantial improvements within a short timeframe.

“If anybody tells you that you’ll have 24/7 uninterrupted light in the next six months or one year, it’s a lie because it’s not practical even if you throw all the money in the world at it,” he said.

While expressing confidence in his understanding of the sector’s intricacies, he realistically commits to facilitating gradual and consistent enhancements in electricity provision.

Addressing scepticism surrounding his appointment, Adelabu, drawing on his background as a seasoned banker, asserts that the fundamental hurdles plaguing the power sector extend beyond mere technical complexities.

He identifies key issues such as liquidity challenges, operational inefficiencies, and structural deficiencies as primary obstacles, emphasising his proactive efforts to formulate tailored solutions for each segment of the industry value chain.

In charting a path forward, Adelabu emphasises the imperative for substantial investment to foster sustainable development and generate lasting impacts within the power sector.

He said: “We need consistent funding for us to get to where we’re going. If there’s no such funding, there’ll be very little we’ll achieve when it comes to transmission.

“To build a power substation now costs millions of dollars. To install 100km of 330 or 132 KV line costs hundreds of millions of dollars. So, it’s not little money that’s required to have stable electricity, it’s a lot of investment over time.”

By prioritising pragmatic strategies over unattainable promises, the minister expressed his commitment to effecting tangible improvements in electricity supply while acknowledging the intricate nature of the challenges at hand.

Meanwhile, in an advertorial released yesterday by the Abuja Electricity Distribution Company, the Ministry of Power is owing the DisCo N78 million for power supplied.

The DisCo gave a 10-day notice to the the Ministry of Power, and 85 other government Ministry Departments and Agencies to pay up the N47.1 billion electricity debt they owe or risk disconnection.

The advertorial by the company said the notice was issued after the MDAs failed to pay up their outstanding balance for December.