Minister of Power, Chief Adebayo Adelabu, As experts task FG on power to drive agro-economy at Ibadan Jericho summit

The Minister for Power, Chief Adelabu, addressing pressmen at the Ibadan Jericho Business Summit, said federal government, strategies to effectively address recurring challenges in the power sector are still on course, saying arrangements have been concretized to explore a bottom-up workable plan capable of giving Nigerians and the economic I industry regular and affordable supply of electricity.

According to the minister past governments have tried to solve the hydra-headed monster in the power sector, but ineffectual measures and plans have rendered their policies useless.

The minister, who spoke on the sideline of the 1st Annual Socio-Economic Summit organized by Jericho Business Club (JBC), at Ibadan Civic Centre, contended that “President Bola Tinubu’s agenda to provide 24-hour electricity for Nigerians are still on course and intact. Our people have suffered so much in terms of energy poverty.”

This is just as experts tasked with the Federal Government on the need to permanently solve the challenges inhibiting the power sector at the summit 

Adelabu stated: “Our mandate is to ensure that we do what we are supposed to do for steady and effective electricity supply. The problems with the power sector are numerous. The Generating Sector (GENCOS) has its own problems, the Electricity Distribution Companies (DISCOs) have their own challenges and the consumers are also facing problems, I mean the households.

“What we have done is to identify these challenges and map out strategies for enduring and workable solutions. For example, with the customers, we have a huge metre gap because a lot of households and businesses have no metre. Without metre, you cannot bill, sustain and collect revenues. We are trying to reduce the metre gap to ensure that every household or business has a metre.

“We are also working on stronger and effective legislation to ensure that all theft and vandalisation of power assets by anybody becomes a thing of the past. When you destroy the transmission lines and power cables, you will quickly face the wrath of laws. We want to fast track trials of power thieves and vandals to urgently serve as deterrent to others criminals.

“We should be conscious of the fact that if we destroy or vandalise power assets, we are not hurting the government, but hurting ourselves. That is one of the reasons why we don’t have regular supply of electricity. 

“Our electricity distribution companies have to sit up. DISCOs must invest in improving the infrastructures for distribution. That is what they signed at the point of privatisation. They must work on improving infrastructures of distribution.

“We as government are doing our best to revive the national grid, expand, strengthen and stabilise our power generation capacity so that we will not be experiencing incessant collapse of the national grid. Beyond all these, we are also trying to adopt renewable energy to make sure that we have alternative sources of power. 

“The Federal Government is exploring solar system in the northern part of the country where we have a very good sun, capable of aiding power generation and small hydro plants from our dams in the South West and Middle Belt. We are also going to utilise coastal cities such as Lagos, Warri, Calabar, Yenagoa, Benin and others.

We are exploring the use of wind mills to ensure that we generate power. This will compliment the hydro power plants we have in Kanji, Jebba, Shiroro and Zungeru today. It will also boost those gas power thermal plants in the Niger Delta area. In no time, energy poverty will be a thing of the past. Every household and business will have unfettered access to regular and affordable power supply. That is the mandate we have.

Earlier in her presentation, an agro allied expert, Mrs Oluyemisi Iranloye, charged the Federal Government to redouble its policies and implementation of programmes, which will encourage small holders farmers in the agricultural value chain and key into technologies that can effectively drive the economy.

Iranloye, who is the founder and CEO of Paltry International Limited, Oyo State, maintained that power generation is critical to the socioeconomic growth of the agricultural and manufacturing sectors as catalyst for employment generation and Nigeria’s emancipation from the shackles of poverty.

In his remark, the president of Jericho Business Club (JBC), Chief Remi Babalola, said the “topic for this year’s summit titled: “Driving Agricultural Transformation in Oyo State Through Value Chain Integration for Sustainable Development”, underscored the strides made by Oyo State government in the agriculture sector. “

Credit:Mr Oluwole

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