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Federal Govt To Establish Solar Plants In 25 States

The federal government has expressed commitment to partner with the state governments in facilitating the shift towards their increased participation in the electricity market as envisioned by the Electricity Act, 2023 so as to tackle the issues associated with power supply in the country.

Vice President Kashim Shettima stated this at the power sector stakeholders interactive dialogue/workshop organised by the House Committee on Power, held in Abuja on Tuesday.

Shettima said this will require an open channel of communication to adequately plan the transition, and respond to issues as they emerge and willingness to leverage all the knowledge that has been accumulated over the last decade of operating the current market structure, and to learn from the mistakes and successes therefrom.

Represented by his special adviser  on Power, Sadiq, the Vice President also said the new structure in the power sector must prioritise providing an enabling environment at the state and wholesale market levels, and allow the private sector to lead the way across the value chain.

He said there is a lot to be excited about with the new Electricity Act, which has the core elements of resolving the structural issues that have hindered investments in the

sector, from liquidity challenges, to the inadequate legal framework.

“The Electricity Act 2023 that was passed by the National Assembly and signed into law by President Bola Ahmed Tinubu seeks to overhaul the structure of the Nigeria Electricity Supply Industry.

“It proposes a structure that promotes more competition and greater scope for tailoring power solutions to local needs, while transitioning to a market structure that would attract much needed investments and promote environmental sustainability.

“The wholesale structural shift that the Electricity Act 2023 (as amended) and the associated constitutional amendment usher in, means we need to double down on ensuring an orderly transition to the new national electricity market framework,” Shettima added.

Also speaking, the minister of Power, Adebayo Adelabu announced the proposed establishment of three gigawatts of solar energy sources across the 25 states in the north and south west parts of the country.

Adelabu said this is a novel approach that will go a long way to solve the power problems and encouraged state governments to invest in power generation in their states.

The minister identified some major challenges confronting power supply in the country as inadequate generation capacity, supply constraints, inadequate transmission infrastructure, regulatory and policy constraints, inadequate financing and low investment due to lack of liquidity.

“These have resulted in an energy deficit that has stifled growth, it has hindered industrialisation and diminished the quality of lives of millions of Nigerians compared to their counterparts in the West World. The present administration of His Excellency, President Bola Tinubu in his renewed Hope Agenda is determined to address issues in the power sector and enhance the quality of life for all Nigerians.

“In his wisdom, he assented to the Electricity Act of 2023 which has regularised Nigerian electricity generation, transmission and distribution.

“We have investment proposals for  establishment of three gigawatts solar energy sources across 25 states in the north and south-west. We are also encouraging state governments to invest in power generation in their states,” he added.

While declaring the event open, Speaker of the House, Hon. Abbas Tajudeen announced plans to propose a law that would make it mandatory for the relevant Federal Government bodies to consult the National Assembly and other stakeholders before fixing Electricity tariff.

Abbas stressed the need to address the problems bedevilling the power sector and electricity value chain in Nigeria, adding that the House’s commitment to transforming the sector into a model of efficiency and sustainability is unwavering.

He said despite the challenges, together as stakeholders, a reformed power sector that drives national growth and enhances the quality of life for all Nigerians is achievable.

“Accordingly, I will sponsor a bill to provide administrative procedures that entrench proper consultation and legislative review of process for tariff setting in Nigeria’s electricity and other public services.

“Having this consultation now appears to be an afterthought and goes contrary to the Electricity Act, 2024, which mandates consultation with all relevant stakeholders in determining just and fair tariffs,” he stated.

SOURCE: LEADERSHIP

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