The Minister of Power, Prof. Chinedu Nebo, says electricity generation in the country will hit 6,000 megawatts before December.
Prof Nebo made this declaration in Nsukka on Saturday at the 15th Herbert Macaulay Memorial Lecture organised by the Faculty of Engineering, University of Nigeria Nsukka, titled “Revitalising an Effective Power System for Sustainable Development in Nigeria”.
Nebo said the present administration had invested much in the power sector having known that electricity was a catalyst to the realisation of vision 20:2020.
“This is one of the catalysts which can make the country to become one of the top 20 economics in the world.
“When Jonathan assumed office, the power generation was 2,250 megawatts, but today it is 4,000 and by December this year the country’s generation will hit 6,000.
“The transformation agenda of the present administration has helped to transform every sector of the economy, especially the power sector,” he said.
The minister said vandalism of gas pipelines, distribution, transmission and infrastructure of the sector were greatest threat facing the sector, and urged stakeholders to assist in eradicating these sabotage.
“Nigerian stakeholders and civil society should increase advocacy crusade against this major act of sabotage against the power sector.
“Realisation of the dream of the present administration in power sector will help to reduce unemployment as well as boost national economy development.
“Government plans to diversify the energy sector through the exploitation of renewable source of energy in solar, wind, coal and small hydropower,” he said.
Nebo said the present situation whereby 70 percent of our electricity is gas-based is not the best.
The minister said it was government’s intention to ensure that every citizen had access to electricity and that led to the launch of the Light Up Project for rural areas.
“This is to give the people who cannot be connected to national grid light via renewable energy.
“The pilot project of this started in January at Abuja and it is expected to be replicated in all states of the federation.
“Government is not happy that about 20 million households have no access to electricity now,” he said.
John Chukwu, Permanent secretary, Federal Capital Territory Administration, said the resolution of power crisis in Nigeria was necessary because no country could grow without steady power supply.
“We must create enabling environment that will ensure that investors in power sector are satisfied through effective and efficient regulation so as to achieve steady electricity.
“All Nigerians must support the Jonathan administration’s effort to achieve steady power supply for the country by safeguarding power infrastructures in their areas.
Prof. Benjamin Ozumba, Vice-Chancellor of UNN, commended the faculty for choosing Nebo as the guest lecturer.
Ozumba said no one could have been more qualified to speak on sustainability of power in the country.