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Power sector roadmap needs recalibration — expert

An expert on power, Mr Kola Balogun, says Nigeria’s power sector roadmap needs to be recalibrated to overcome the challenges bedeviling the industry.

Balogun, Chairman, Momas Electricity Meter Manufacturing Company (MEMMCOL), said this on Wednesday in Lagos.

He said President Muhammadu Buhari had recently expressed dissatisfaction with the sector’s performance almost nine years after it was privatised.

According to him, it is sad to note that Nigeria’s power generation capacity is still below 5,000MW considering the importance of stable electricity supply to socio-economic development of any country.

“I think there is the need for us to review the entire power sector journey. The entire roadmap that set up the privatisation needs to be recalibrated.

“In doing that, we have to take it in phases. There must be a renewed perception, a renewed strategy to ensure that we create a synergy that will make us to have a good reference point.

“The office of the Minister of Power needs to call for a stakeholders meeting to see how to define a new roadmap and strategy that would make the promise of having 24 hour power supply manifested in the country.”

He noted that part of the strategy should be to tackle the challenges in phases instead of attempting to solve them instantly.

“The good reference point should start from metering. Let us choose one state, one local government that we can say that particular location is hundred per cent metered.

“That location will have a direct link to one of the generation companies and there is a transmission line connected to it and it is having 24/7 power.

“That is the new calibration. If we have that as a reference point, then we can be saying that we are moving forward and we have solved one out of one million.

“A situation where we want to solve one million problems at the same time will end up not solving the problem. The decay in infrastructure is so much that we cannot address it at the same time.

“We don’t have the finance to address the entire infrastructural deficit and as such we cannot address all the problems at the same time.

“Even the Siemens intervention that is coming should be channeled toward a segmented section so that we can see the effects immediately,’’ Balogun said.

He also called for the decentralisation of the national power grid to curb the frequency of system collapse.

According to Balogun, the grid system has failed us. Every time we have system collapse because of decayed infrastructure. We need a lot of replacement.

“We need substation enhancement. Distribution substations, injection substations, transmission substations and network expansion of the transmission substations.

“These are issues that have been there and have compounded the problems of the sector.

“We need to recalibrate our strategy in such a way that we will be isolating it one by one and solving the problem until we get it right.’’

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