*N3.7bn for Jigawa water project
By; SUNDAY ODE. Abuja
The Federal Executive Council (FEC) has approved a policy that will provide a framework of investments for the expansion of the national distribution network of electricity in the country.
Specifically, the policy will see to it that the about 2000MW of electricity said to be currently lying fallow is distributed to consumers.
Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Babatunde Fasola disclosed this Wednesday while briefing State House correspondents on the outcome of the weekly Federal Executive Council meeting presided over by President Muhammadu Buhari, at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.
According to the minister, out of the 7000MW being currently generated, only 5000MW could reach the consumers due to poor distribution capacity.
He said: “FEC today approved a memo providing a framework of investment at the 33KVA and 11KVA line in expanding the national distribution network, to deliver an extra 2000MW of electricity to consumers which is currently not getting to the grid, to get to the grid and then to consumers.
“Nigeria today has 2000MW of electricity that cannot reach consumers because of lack of distribution capacity
“Why this is not getting to the grid is that those networks are not sufficient to support more than 5,000MW, so investments has to come in.
“While the Federal Government has 40% shareholding, the DISCOs have 60% and will be compelled to make additional investments which they were supposed to have made. The process of which will involved international bidding for the procurement of the equipment, lines and all of the accessories to build those networks and there will be more under international procurement standards. The Federal Government will put its own 40% and ask the DISCOs to put their own 60% and other parties who are interested will have the opportunity to improve the investments.
“This is just to accelerate action to ensure that the 2000MW that is available now gets to the grid and gets to the people because power is coming. We are expecting many more power plants to be completed this year which will add almost 1,600MW to the grid.
“So we can’t continue to accumulate power that doesn’t get to the people, so this framework is to start the process.
Also at the briefing, the Minister of State for Aviation, Hadi Sirika said Council equally approved a memo to upgrade the flight safety laboratory used for accident investigation.
His words: “Council today approved a memo to upgrade our flight safety laboratory which is used for accident investigation purposes.
“The laboratory was first established in 2012 but it became obsolete for the reasons being that the laboratory used to use tape based flight recorders.
“Nigeria like other places recorded plane crashes like in the case of Dana where extreme temperatures damaged the recorders because they are tape based. So we are upgrading it to something that is more permanent and can stand high temperatures. These are international requirements. The amount is N656 million.”
Minister of Water Resources Suliaman Adamu, who was also at the briefing said council approved a memo for the rehabilitation of water supply scheme in Kazaure in Jigawa State at the cost of N3.78 billion to CGC Nigeria Limited.
” This project came about because of the Bwari irrigation project which was started in 1997 and was abandoned in 2000 and the work disrupted the facility that was supply the town with water and for 20 years the town has been without water. But very soon under our new programme of resuscitating irrigation project with a view to expanding irritable land available, that irrigation project is set to commence and it is important that this water project takes advantage of the return of this project,” he stated.