This was disclosed on Wednesday by the Minister of Power, Prof. Chinedu Nebo and the Minister of State, Power, Hajia Zainab Ibrahim Kuchi, after the Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting in Abuja.
They disclosed that out of the 160 million Nigerians that need power, only 40 million are enjoying it.
Hajia Kuchi called on all Nigerians to invest in the power sector to make it vibrant and enhance its ability to serve Nigerians.
“Privatisation is at its conclusion stage come July. What we need to focus on is the commercialisation of the power sector, considering where we are and the fact that we are only giving power to only 40 million. We have 160 million Nigerians now and we are only giving power to 40 million of that population.
“What it means is that there are about 120 million Nigerians that are without power and wish to buy power. We are looking forward into energy mix and looking at ways that will bring in so many other options and the only way we can power Nigeria is, if we agree, to look forward to IPPs. We keep on saying we shouldn’t allow imperialism, yes we want foreign direct investment but we also want Nigerians to take ownership. If power sells on the street, power can sell better because everybody wants power,” she said.
Nebo noted that the present administration has done well so far in the resuscitation of the rural electrification board, reactivation of the Mambilla and Zungeru hydro-electric projects, intensification of the privatisation process and the increase in the generation of power from 2,500 megawatts to over 4,000 megawatts.
He, however, regretted the decline in power supply in the past few months and described it as a nightmare.
“The decline in power is a nightmare,” he said.
According to him, the drop is as a result of natural and man-made problems such as: system collapse due to heavy storm during rainy season, lack of funding, fire disasters, vandalism and other problems.
“It is easy for collapse to occur, but it is difficult to bring it back. Signal goes down and the power station cannot continue to run their facilities, so they shut down. This is to protect the power plants.”
The minister said the persistent power outage in Abuja is attributed to the activities of vandals, who steal the property of the ministry.
“Funding is part of the nightmare we are encountering. Privatisation was envisaged to complete in 2012. The federal government didn’t expect to continue maintenance so companies do not have money to continue with upgrade of their existing facilities.