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I’m not satisfied with Kaduna’s 215-Megawatt station – Minister

The Minister of Power, Adelabu Adebayo, has expressed displeasure over the state of the 215-megawatt Kudenden power generation plant in Kaduna State promising its completion…

The Minister of Power, Adelabu Adebayo, has expressed displeasure over the state of the 215-megawatt Kudenden power generation plant in Kaduna State promising its completion soon.

The minister also read the riot act to the Management of the Kaduna Electricity Distribution Company (Kaduna Electric) for not being open to the public on the challenges the company and power distribution generally is facing, especially in its area of franchise.

He noted that the DisCo’s paying of nine per cent of their debts was unacceptable adding, “If the DisCos are paying 75 per cent to 80 per cent of their debts, I will go and sleep because the 10 to 20 per cent shortfalls could be handled.”

Speaking during a working visit to the plant, and Kaduna Electric, the minister stressed the need to improve the state of power generation and distribution in the country, especially in the northern corridor.

Adelabu expressed his displeasure over the state of the project, adding that the plant would be brought on stream.

“We were at TCN to meet with the executive management of the company and to receive the performance of the company and also discuss pertinent issues that we believe can improve the activities of the electricity company.

“One of the issues that we raised that constituted challenges to generation of electricity is power theft and vandalisation. This is a deliberate destruction of power assets especially transmission systems, high voltage cable and transformers which has become rampant across the country, especially up north which we believe has affected the stability of the country’s electricity distribution.

“We are collaborating with the office of the National Security Adviser (NSA), the Federal Ministry of Interior and all the other security agencies across the country to ensure that this is stopped. And I also call on all the governors across the country, especially up north to rise up to the occasion of the threat of security to our power assets so that we can deliver on our electoral mandate promised to the masses.”

At Kaduna Electric, he said, “You need to be more open and transparent to the public just like we do when we visit the doctor for treatment. In order to get the treatment correct, one must be open to the doctor and that is why we are discussing everything openly. Let us know the amount generated, the population served, the infrastructure we have, the availability capacity and meter gap we have because if you do not make all this open, there will be no sense of urgency, the National Assembly will not be concerned, the executive will not be concerned and even the end user will not exercise understanding.”

He noted that Nigerians have legitimate reasons to complain over power distribution and the only thing the generation companies can do is to improve service delivery.

“There must be funds first, I have said it several times that there is no way you will be owing a supplier for past services and ask him to continue supply without paying the outstanding debt, these are the bases of some of the policies we are looking at to ensure your business is sustainable.

“If the DisCos are paying 75 per cent to 80 per cent of their debts, I will go and sleep. The 10 to 20 percent shortfalls will be handled, but paying nine percent is not acceptable. No business flow can run like that, so we are trying to get to that level that you will be able to run business directly with the generating companies and the government will have very little role to play,” he added.

The contract for the power plant project was awarded in November, 2009 to General Electric and Rockson Engineering for a dual thermal plant, using Low Pour Fuel Oil (LPFO) and natural gas with a completion deadline of December 31, 2013. The deadline was later extended to 2017 where it reached 87 per cent completion. The project was designed to use eight installed turbine units to add to the power supply in the industrial area, revive textile industries and create jobs.

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