Why incoming administration should address challenges in power sector – Ezeafulukwe

Christopher Ezeafulukwe, managing director and chief executive officer, Transcorp Power Limited, has said that the next administration in the country should make conscious and disciplined investment efforts in addressing challenges in the power sector.

According to him, the country needs at least 20,000 megawatts of electricity to drive her industrial, economic and social activities round the clock and end epileptic power supply in the country.

He said it was distressing for a country of over 200 million people to be driving its economic and social activities with a meagre 5,000mw of electricity.

He spoke while addressing journalists at the company’s plant in Ughelli after a guarded study tour of facilities in the plant by a delegation from the Army War College of Nigeria.

The tour was part of their environmental study tour with the theme ‘Protection of Critical National Assets and Infrastructure for National Defence.’

He said that deliberate and significant improvement in generation, transmission and distribution of electricity was invaluable towards finding lasting solution to the headache of inadequate power supply in the country.

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He bemoaned the heavy cost implications of servicing turbines as such services are not available within the country vis-a-vis sourcing overseas components of the required items in hard currency.

Ezeafulukwe said, “For instance, to carry out routine inspection of the turbines, you need to fly them out which is a huge foreign expenditure which exposes us to logistic challenges.”

He decried the nation’s overdependence on technical services from abroad, noting that the situation on ground was bound to increasingly expose gas plants in the country to the vagaries of logistics changes.

“This is because we queue to wait for some clearance before being allowed to do our jobs, which to a large extent affected our tournaround. That is, if you have a turbine that would have come back in six months, it then takes some eight to 10 months.

“This also denied us running the turbine from generating power that you would have put on the national grid to support the nation’s economy.”

The Transcorp Power CEO however, urged the Federal Government to work on incentives for investors in the power sector by identifying gas fields for accelerated development.

The MD rated the company high on provision of various corporate social responsibility programmes spanning quality education, vocational training and empowerment as well as provision of health and other social facilities particularly for several host communities in Ughelli North and Ughelli South local government areas.

Brigadier-General U.M. Alkali, the deputy commandant/director of Studies at the War College, had in his address disclosed that study tour was of strategic importance towards identifiying and understanding ways and means of safeguarding various critical infrastructure in the country, stressing the importance to national economic growth.

He assured that the outcome of the detailed study tour would help in fashioning policies and programmes that would translate into ensuring seamless operational activities of critical assets like Trancsorp Energy.

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