As the power sector under the watch of Babatunde Raji Fashola continues to decay, the Federal Government has resorted to building a National Solar Programme that seeks to provide energy to about 20,000 rural households.
The government made this known via its official Twitter handle on Thursday, noting that the scheme will launched in the Federal Capital Territory next week.
“Our National Solar Programme will be launched next week, in the FCT. In the first phase it will provide energy to 20,000 rural households,” the tweet read.
Our National Solar Prog. will be launched next week, in the FCT. It will provide energy to 20,000 rural households pic.twitter.com/i6VaGkH1SE
—Govt of Nigeria (@AsoRock) January”>https://twitter.com/AsoRock/status/824613723482587136″>January 26, 2017
Recall that the Minister of Power, Babatunde Fashola, while briefing State House correspondents after the Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting in Abuja on Wednesday, stated that the epileptic electricity supply currently experienced across the country may not likely improve in the coming weeks.
According to him, gas suppliers are yet to receive their outstanding balance, while some pipelines were out of operation.
He said: “Gas suppliers haven’t been fully paid, you have back and forth between DisCos and GenCos so those are the issues. Apart from the sabotage that we have had from the Western axis of the Niger Delta, so the Escravos Lagos pipeline is not operational, the Forcados export terminal too has been out of operation.
“So, if you can’t produce oil, you cant take the gas. The gas is the fuel that the power plants need. You have seen what we have been doing in increasing the capacity in firing transmission but if we don’t have fuel to fire the plants, that is the reason.
“What then happens on the grid is that once it goes below 3,000 MW, it becomes unstable. It is like in your house when you have surges and your circuit breakers trip to protect the system. So once it falls below a certain threshold you then have those trip offs. There are in a sense almost necessity to protect the entire system, so what then happens is startups, we do black starts from various power plants.
“While we were trying to start last week we had a fire in Afam and that affected the control room and these are normal engineering accidents that can happen, the mechanical parts can break down, we also had another fire in Kainji. We have tried to repair them over the last weekend while negotiations with the gas companies are ongoing.
“I have been meeting with the gas suppliers, trying to see how we can pay off some of these debts whilst fix other problems. As I continue to say, it is not technical but financial, vandalism of pipelines is not technical, people are destroying, they are hungry. Until we resolve these behavorial issues, people collect money, are they remitting everything in a manner that is fair, even if it is not enough, some people hold up their own share and they ask themselves why should we continue to supply if we can’t get paid because there are bankers and financiers”