120 million Nigerians lack access to electricity, says Minister




The Minister of State for Power, Zainab Kuchi, has disclosed that about 120 million Nigerians do not have access to electricity.

She said only about 40 million Nigerians are enjoying power supply.

She spoke to State House correspondents at the end of the Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting presided over by President Goodluck Jonathan at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.

The Power and Niger Delta Ministries gave their 2012 scorecards on the occasion.

At the briefing were the Minister of Power, Prof. Chinedu Nebo, Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Elder Godsday Orubebe, Minister of State Niger Delta Affairs, Darius Dickson Ishaku and Information Minister, Labaran Maku.

According to her, privatisation in the sector would be concluded next month and the Federal Government would focus on commercialisation of the power sector to meet the demands of Nigerians.

She said: “Privatisation is at its conclusion stage. What we need to focus on is the commercialisation of the power sector, considering where we are and the fact that we are giving power to only 40 million Nigerians. There are 160 million Nigerians and we are only giving power to 40 million of them.

“What it means is that there are about 120 million Nigerians without electricity.

“We are looking forward to the energy mix. What we are looking at are ways that will bring in many options. The only way we can power Nigeria, as we have agreed, is to look forward to the Independent Power Projects (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 water sells on the streets, power can sell better because everybody wants power every time.”

The minister went on: “So if we come together by way of synergy and we are able

to build consortiums and the IPPs come in to address the issue of power need, it will not only be government

looking for funds to do this, there is the energy mix we want to come up with. There is solar, wind and hydros.

“These things are available in form of access to Nigerians. We need to deliver power to Nigerians and the only way to do this is by serious commercialisation.”

Stressing that power business is more lucrative than the oil business, she said: “There is even more money in power than in petroleum. All you need is a power plant and you will make money. The government has tried. We have all sorts of encouragement. We could go into coal, renewable energy. So we need clusters of the windmill.”

On the performance of the sector in 2012, she said: “We had our scorecard spread out and we got some congratulatory notes from members of the council. But worthy of note is what we intend to do this year. We want to move the power sector to another level.”

 

 

 

 

 







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