The Minister of Power; Works and Housing, Raji Fashola, has opened up on the poor electricity in the country.
He stated this at the weekend during a chat with the media in Abuja.
According to Fashola, although the country has expended what may appear sizeable, the money so far spent was inadequate to address the current challenges.
He also noted that in spite of the already installed 12,000MW power capacity, the country is only enjoying about 6,000MW because of sabotage resulting from broken gas pipelines, poor planning of gas supply and evacuation.
The Minister said: “When I hear that we have spent a lot of money on the power sector, I say that we haven’t spent enough money and that is why we are still talking about the need for investments to come in. Yes, what we have spent may look sizeable but it doesn’t provide enough power for our consumption as a nation.
“But I must say that what some people have said about federal government spending on the power sector is not accurate – maybe because we think in our native language and speak in English.
“People say ‘Oh, we spend money but there is nothing to show for it.’ There is something to show for it. The plants are there.
“The total installed capacity that the nation can look forward to today is 12,000MW. That is what we bought with our money – that is the installed capacity.
“However, the plants are not producing 12,000MW of power because either pipelines are broken, or gas supply was not properly planned or because evacuation was not properly planned. Those are the challenges that we have responsibility now to deal with.
“What we haven’t gotten is the optimum efficiency that these power plants can deliver.”
Fashola further blamed the ignorance of Nigerians about the economics of power as being responsible the huge electricity bills owed by many households and government formations.
“I think that we have perhaps not fully understood the economics of power as a nation. That is why you probably see that even Ministries, Departments, and Agencies of government formations owe power bills. They don’t owe telephone bills. That speaks about the importance that we ascribe to them,” he added.