FG assures of improved solar-powered electricity

The Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola, yesterday assured of affordable and improved electricity supply through solar energy.

The minister said this in Benin City, Edo State at the opening of 7th stakeholders meeting of the power sector.
He asked the people to be patient as government tries to improve the sector.

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Fashola said, “In the last few weeks, some progress have been made in terms of signing of major solar initiatives, with the support of President Muhammadu Buhari and his vice, Yemi Osinbajo.”

He said not less than 12 solar developers and promoters have arrived to give their commitments to a more competitive price regime.

According to him, “Before now it was difficult and impracticable to have a solar tariff at 17 cents per kilowatt power, but the cheering news as a result of further interactions, innovations on the side of the developers, private sector and government, is that the new tariff of 11.75 cents has been reached.

“This amounts to about N23 per kilowatt in terms of a major need for incremental power which will be of benefit to the entire value chain,” he said.

The minister added that, “The Azura power project is on course and therefore, the expectation that we will get more power remains positive.”

But the Managing Director, Benin Distribution Company (BEDC), Mrs Funke Osibodu decried the continuous blowing up of gas and oil pipelines by the Niger Delta Avengers.

She said the act is capable of plunging the nation into darkness if urgent steps are not taken.

She expressed delight at the improved power, being experienced currently in some areas, which she said was due to the high hydro power generation from increased water levels.

Represented by the head of BEDC in the state, Fidelis Obishai, she said the company has distributed 315,000 pre-paid meters across the four states under its jurisdiction.

He listed the states as Edo, Delta, Ondo and Ekiti states, stating it inherited 888,000 customers when it took over from PHCN, but after weeding out the ghost customers, the company now has 745,000 customers across the four states.

Mrs Osibodu reiterated that the company would soon add 100,000 meters to the existing ones in the four states.
She however said there were over 2,000 meters already paid for by subscribes which are yet to be collected.



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