Wednesday, June 22, 2022 2:33 pm
Since President Buhari’s interview with Bloomberg was published in many Nigerian media yesterday, it has been generating a lot of interest and debates. The most talked-about, because of the fuel scarcity currently being experienced, has been the fuel subsidy removal which Buhari vowed not to touch with a two-kilometre pole.
However, electricity is another issue which is critical but overshadowed by the long queues at petrol stations. Buhari, in the interview, revealed that his government would decentralise the power system.
He added that Nigeria needs more input and that the legislative framework has been a drag. “The landmark PIA will bolster input, raise capital, and bring transparency to the system.
On-grid modernization, there are hundreds of ongoing projects and initiatives attracting funding from investors. Take my Presidential Power Initiative (PPI), a government-to-government initiative between the Governments of Nigeria and Germany, with Siemens AG, to upgrade the electricity grid with a $2 billion investment.
Once signed into law the constitutional amendment bill – recently voted through parliament – will allow state governments to generate and transmit their electricity, further facilitating investor participation in our market and enabling states and local businesses to transmit excess supply to the grid.
We are also decentralizing the national grid through renewable-driven mini-grids. The $550 million Nigeria Electrification Project has deployed more than 20,000 Standalone Solar Systems (SHS), as well as Solar Hybrid mini-grids in over 250 locations.
On the controversial issue of fuel subsidy removal, the President submitted that most western countries are today implementing fuel subsidies. “Why would we remove ours now? What is sauce for the goose is sauce for the gander!
“What our western allies are learning the hard way is what looks good on paper and the human consequences are two different things. My government set in motion plans to remove the subsidy late last year. After further consultation with stakeholders, and as events unfolded this year, such a move became increasingly untenable. Boosting internal production for refined products shall also help. Capacity is due to step up markedly later this year and next, as private players and modular refineries (Dangote Refinery, BUA Group Refinery, Waltersmith Refinery) come on board.