THE Federal Government has blamed the current wave of poor power supply experienced in the Federal Capital Territory and other parts of the country on low water levels in hydropower dams. The Minister of Power, Abubakar Aliyu, disclosed this to State House correspondents during the weekly media briefing organised by the Presidential Communications Team at the State House Briefing Room, Abuja. Aliyu also revealed that the government was working to optimise gas supply to ensure stable power. According to him, the Federal Government is speeding up efforts on the proposed installation of 10 power transformers. This would be done in tandem with the setting up of 10 additional mobile substations to improve electric power supply nationwide. On the challenges facing these projects, he said the right of way issues had stalled several power projects despite available funds. He said, â€œWe are engaging with the state governors through the Nigerian Governors Forum to drive a holistic solution to these lingering issues. Some examples of critical projects held up by Right of Way are Benin to Osogbo, which Iâ€™ve mentioned 330KV line which is 250 kilometres; Ikot Ekpene to Ikot Abasi also 330KV line, 68 kilometres; and the Kano-Katsina 330KV line, 180 kilometre.â€ He, however, lamented the effects of the activities of meter racketeers on the national metering programme, saying the metering gaps were being bridged by the roll-out of one million meters. He said one million meters would cater for the first phase of the exercise while the Federal Government awaits the supply of four million more for phase two. The minister warned distribution companies who sell metres to Nigerians to retrace their steps as the meters are supposed to be free. Aliyu noted that, under the Buhari regime, the power sector had received increased attention. â€œThe enormity of the decay in the sector is what we are battling with to ensure we overcome challenges with electricity delivery in the country,â€ he said. Giving updates about the 700MW Zungeru Hydroelectric power station in Niger, he said although the project is 90 per cent complete, it was stalled due to rising insecurity in the Northwest, which led to workers not showing up on site. According to the Federal Government, the project would be the second-largest hydroelectric power station in the country; after 760MW, the Kainji hydroelectric project was due for commissioning in December 2021. Aliyu explained that the project site came under attack on January 4, 2022, leaving several security guards dead and two Chinese nationals kidnapped. He said construction has â€œslowed down at the site, while efforts are on to rescue the Chinese workers.â€ On FGâ€™s metering policy, the Minister maintained that the â€œmeters are provided free. We have said this time without numbers that these meters are free. They are not instruments for generating money; how can we be selling meters?â€ He also disclosed that FG had secured and was deploying $4bn in investments in the grid to boost power supply. He said, â€œIâ€™d like you also to take away that we deliver 8,000MW of electricity daily through a combination of Grid, Embedded and Industrial Captive supply of electricity (not 4,000MW as is frequently reported), much of this capacity added during the life of this administration. These are not my figures; this was an industry study conducted by KPMG recently.â€
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