$2bn electricity grid maintenance creates 45,000 jobs – Minister


The minister disclosed this on Tuesday in Abuja at the 11th edition of the President Muhammadu Buhari (PMB) Scorecard Series (2015-2023), organised to showcase the achievements of the Buhari Administration.

The Minister of Power, Abubakar Aliyu, says the ongoing US$ 2 billion electricity grid maintenance, expansion and rehabilitation programme across the country are estimated to create 45,000 direct and indirect jobs.

In a presentation at the event, hosted by the Ministry of Information and Culture, Aliyu said the projects being financed by the multilateral agencies (World Bank, AFD, AfDB, JICA) were at various level of completion.

He said in delivering the projects, the federal government leveraged the support of the various State Governors to resolve Right of Way (ROW) issues.

He gave example of the ROW issue recently resolved in Kumbotso – Dan Agundi in Kano which, according to him, lingered for more than 10 years.

“We are grateful to the National Economic Council (NEC), chaired by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, that has been supportive towards addressing ROW issues which have significantly slowed down the implementation of transmission projects,” he said.

The minister said they had repositioned the Siemens Presidential Power Initiative (PPI) which after a slow start, had begun to take delivery of critical equipment.

“You may recall that accelerated orders were placed for 10 Power Transformers and 10 Mobile Substations, with a delivery schedule beginning Sept. 2022.

“So far, six of the 10 Power Transformers have already arrived the shores of Nigeria and we have started installation in various locations while the remaining four are expected in Dec. 2022 and Jan 2023.

“The Mobile Substations are expected from Jan 2023 through to April 2023,” he said

According to the minister, a review of the Nigerian Electricity Supply Industry had shown a much healthier industry than the government inherited from prior administrations.

He said the Buhari Administration had executed the most successful metering programme post privatization with one million meters rolled out in the first phase of the National Mass Metering Programme.

“The Central Bank of Nigeria and the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission were fundamental in designing and implementing this programme.

“We are perfecting plans for an additional six million meters under the second and third phases of the programme that will commence in the first and second quarters of 2023 respectively.

“The first phase generated 10,000 jobs in installation and assembly and we anticipate over 20,000 additional jobs would be generated in the second phase.

“Both phases have sustainable financing structures. We are also establishing a Meter Service Fund that will allow for continuous metering in the NESI as a legacy of the Buhari Administration,” he said.

The minister assured that the Administration would bequeath to Nigerians 4,000MW of additional generating capacity by first quarter of 2023 to bring total generating capacity to 22,000MW.