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FG Expresses Concern Over Incessant Attacks On Power Assets

The federal government has expressed worry over the frequent destruction of electricity assets nationwide, stressing that it was in the process of making a new law to tackle the menace.
Speaking at the inauguration of a 300KWp Solar PV pilot project in Kainji, Niger State, the Minister of Power, Mr Adebayo Adelabu, reiterated that the destruction of some power towers around the country had been reported to the National Security Adviser (NSA) in order to strengthen security around the power infrastructure.

A statement in Abuja by the Special Adviser, Strategic Communication and Media Relations to the Minister, Bolaji Tunji, stressed that Adelabu again emphasised the need for Nigerians and the different communities where the facilities are located to protect them.
“It is of no use to expend so much energy in providing power facilities if the delivery channel is weak, that is why the ministry is concentrating on improvement of the transmission and distribution capacity.

“But what is the essence of government and private companies expending resources on these power facilities while some elements within the society will deliberately move to destroy the facilities which are national assets.
“What we witnessed towards the end of 2023 was disheartening. Some of the power towers were brought down with loss of lives, in some cases, this is quite unfortunate. We should take it as a personal and collective responsibility to protect the infrastructure,” he added.

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He stressed that plans were also underway to wield the big stick on power theft through adequate legislation in order to serve as deterrence to others.
While commissioning the project, Adelabu said the it will primarily increase power generation capacity, lower electricity costs while also fostering enhanced collaboration between the main concessionaire, Mainstream Energy Solution and its Chinese partner, HEDC in the renewable energy field.
The minister stated that the power project comes with 675KWh Battery Energy Storage System (BESS), which is an integral part of the extension of 1G3 and 1G4 under the rehabilitation of the 1G9 in Kainji HPP project.

He said efforts were progressing in achieving President Bola Tinubu’s turnaround agenda on supply of reliable and quality power, noting that the power ministry’s objective ws to meet power demand.
He stated that this will be done by ensuring improved distribution and transmission infrastructure to minimize technical and commercial losses, closing the metering gap and resolving the liquidity, power theft and vandalism challenges.

“Presently, we have about 12 million electricity users, but only about 5 million are metered. As we are all aware, the president set up the Presidential Mass Metering Initiative of which I am the chairman. We are working assiduously on this initiative to bridge the metering gap,” he said.
Adelabu gave government’s assurance to continue to provide enabling environment for the private sector to leverage on opportunities inherent in government policies, incentives and regulations for sustainable power supply for economic development.

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He said that government had also come up with relevant policies and programmes in order to provide direction in ensuring power availability to the people.
Speaking earlier, the Managing Director of Mainstream Energy Solution, Lamu Audu, said the project was in line with the national renewable energy and energy efficiency policy of the federal government which sets out the blueprint to increasing the country’s renewable energy development by 2030.

He said the pilot project was the beginning of mainstream’s integration of variable renewable energy into its core business.
Audu added that plans were at an advanced stage to build a 450MWp and 150MWp Solar PV at Kainji and Jebba hydro power plants and called on government to continue to provide the enabling environment that would attract more funding from private investors.

Source:  Thisday

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