Dele Momodu Engages Naeto C on Power


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Naeto C lives in a glass house but feels comfortable throwing stones around. Can he please tell me what his mum who was former Minister of Aviation in PDP during Obasanjo's regime - Mrs. Kema Chikwe achieved or what problem she has tackled as ambassador of Nigeria to Ireland? It is easy for the silver spoon artist to talk of increasing tariffs in the power sector considering the status of his family but we cannot afford to increase tariffs on power for the average man on the street without showing them we can properly manage the current mega watts we have. And yes we the average Nigerians that can't afford more than "I-better-pass-my-neighbour-size-generator" will rather have for a start, a properly planned zonal allocation of the electricity supply we currently have such that we know in advance when we will have light in our homes or offices and plan ahead rather than sometimes wait for weeks to have electricity. Naeto C got his BSc in yankee and Msc in Scotland. I bet if he had to study under the heat of Nigerian universities he would appreciate the zoning of electricity better. Cos I know the benefits I got studying in yankee compared to what folks have in Naija. But I can easily understand why rich kids like Naeto C will have a problem with that. Where in Abuja or Lagos does Naeto C live? I wish Naeto C can leave his villa and come to Ajegunle for a month where the light is always low current even when they decide to bring it and neighbours in face me I face you ROTATE small generators that can't even keep water cold not to talk of warming food in the microwave. Is Naeto C too young to be a commissioner for power in Imo State with all his connections? Let him use his brilliant ideas on electricity generation there so we can see that talk isn't as cheap as 10 over 10! " - Bamikole Omishore


Naeto C: According to Dele Momodu, "We can "zone" lighting so that a particular zone knows exactly when they will have electricity and people can plan." Are you kidding me? Is that what its called "zone lighting" or "demand-side management"? And please how is this suppose to happen when we can't even evacuate enough gas to supply the power station? Didn't I hear "we need to talk about supply before we talk about demand"?

Dele Momodu: The National electricity grid presently consists of nine generating stations (3 hydro and 6 thermal) with a total installed generating capacity of 5906 MW. According to the National Electric Power Policy, although the installed capacity of the existing power stations is 5906MW, the maximum load ever recorded was 2,470MW. The reason for this is clear. The transmission lines are radial and are overloaded. The switchgears are obsolete while power transformers have not been maintained for a long time. So in dealing with the power issue, we must first rehabilitate existing infrastructure like critical transmission and distribution lines and their associated sub stations to provide a maximum of 5400MW generating capacity. This is the focus of my first year in office as president as well as the proper management of what we currently generate. The truth is in Nigeria today, there are locations, especially where the elites are resident where power is more regular than in the other areas. Why is that? In most Nigerian homes today, when power goes off, nobody knows exactly when it will be restored. We must be able to do a time "zoning" of electricity in our villages, towns and cities so that a particular zone knows exactly what time of the day they will have electricity and the people can plan. Of course this is not all there is is to fixing the power problem. It is a first phase response. Thereafter, in my second year as president, we will focus on alternative sources of power generation from gas, coal, wind, solar and biomass. The bitter truth some Nigerians do not want to hear is that we can't just get constant electricity overnight! The issue of power can be fixed but we have to start somewhere. We have to start with the proper management of what we currently generate. Other countries in West Africa did it successfully in the first phase of managing their power crisis.

Naeto C: Tariffs have to be increased to attract foreign investment to aid in building our ailing power sector. Everybody needs to pay their electricity bills not shift blame. How much is government owing PHCN? Why didn't I hear anything about privatization to attract real money into the sector? Why would anyone want to start business in an unprofitable environment?

Dele Momodu:
My brother, the electricity generation in Nigeria cannot be left solely to the private sector. The private sector can play a huge role in power distribution but our biggest challenge at the moment is generation. In Brazil for instance where they generate 96,000 mega watts of power, 10 percent of the power generation is left to the private sector while the government handles the rest in a very decentralised system of power generation, distribution and marketing. The private sector handles 64 percent of power distribution. We will welcome private investment in the power sector but we must begin with the proper management of what we already have. We are not opposed in anyway to privatising the power sector but must avoid the expensive mess of NITEL. We must make the sector attractive to investors in the first instance.

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