BusinessDay

Reps ask FG to upgrade power infrastructure, seek alternative sources

The House of Representatives on Tuesday took steps to address the epileptic power supply in the country which has brought untold hardship on Nigerians.

It therefore urged the federal government to upgrade power transmission and distribution infrastructure and seek the best alternative sources of energy to ensure steady power supply across the country.

This is sequel to the adoption of a motion of urgent public importance moved by Mohammed Monguno, the chief whip of the House at plenary.

Moving the motion, Monguno emphasised that electricity is a crucial enabler for industrial development and social welfare, hence it is the backbone of development in any country.

He noted that Nigeria has 23 power generating plants connected to the National Grid and managed by Generating Companies (GENCOs), Independent Power Providers and the Niger Delta Holding Company.

The lawmaker stated that the country is endowed with oil, gas, hydro and solar resources and has the potential to generate 20,522 megawatts of electric power from the existing plants.

Read also: Nigerian Bottling Company powers 50% plant capacity through solar

Monguno expressed concern that despite been so endowed, the country can only be able to dispatch around 4000 megawatts which is insufficient for a country of over 185 million people.

He also expressed concern that for some weeks, many parts of the country including major cities like Abuja has been experiencing unsteady power supply.

Further concerned that the previous collapse of the power grid and more it has become a national embarrassment and increase in the electricity tariff has not brought about any improvement in power supply across the country

He said the House is: “Worried that epileptic power supply in Nigeria has brought untold hardship for the people due to consequent collapse of business and alot of activities.

“Also worried that lack of adequate supply has caused huge economic losses for the country as a whole.

“Cognisant that economic development can not be achieved without adequate power supply which is a major determinant in job and wealth creation.

“Also cognisant that to achieve constant power supply, the Federal Government needs to take a cue from other countries and seek other means of generating power such as solar.”

Deputy Minority Leader, Toby Okechukwu in his contribution, urged the State Houses of Assembly to expeditiously attend to the constitutional amendment bills that devolved power generation and transmission to States and asked President Muhamadu Buhari to quickly sign the legislations when transmitted to him to provide lasting solutions to epileptic power supply.

He said: “This parliamment and the National Assembly in the Constitution Review that we have done has also amended that section of the Constitution that makes it possible for the States to exercise some level of functions regarding electricity.

“Mine thinking is that if those bills have been forwarded they should be expeditiously attended to by the States and as well as signed by Mr. President so that in reality, the exercise of these functions, whether it is solar or transmission will actually be devolved to competent hands instead of leaving it to a behemoth that is not able to do its job.”

The House while adopting the motion,
mandated the Committee on Power to ensure compliance with the resolutions of the parliamment.

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