Fashola urges more investment in power distribution end

The Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola, has called for sustained investments in the distribution end of our power value chain in the country.

Fashola made the call on Thursday, in Abuja when Mr Sherif Ismail, Assistant to the President of Egypt on National and Strategic Projects with some top Egyptian officials paid him a courtesy visit.

The minister said that the generation of power had increased by approximately 1,000 mega watt yearly, adding that the big challenge facing power sector was its distribution end.

“So we need investments in the distribution end of our power value chain. We have a 10 year transmission power plan to increase transmission capacity to transmit energy through the distribution companies.

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“Across the country now, we have close to 90 transmission projects in different stages of completion on expansion of substation, expansion of existing capacities, conducting on existing, total reconstruction, among others .

In terms of provision of metre and transformers, he said that the government of Egypt would be given the opportunity to support the existing company partnering in metre provision.

“This is a time of high need of metre provision in the country, and metre supply has become an issue by which the Federal Government made a clear commitment to renewing and expanding the country’s infrastructure.

“A lot of government funding is committed to power, construction of bridges, roads, airports, seaports among others in order to create a globally competitive Nigerian economy,’’ the minister said.

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Fashola also acknowledged the long standing bilateral relationship between Nigeria and Egypt.

This, he said, has manifested in existence of diplomatic relationship and symbolised many points of interaction including the existence of Arab Contractors Company in Nigeria.

According to the minister, the company is presently handling some road projects in the country including Shagamu-Ikorodu road Lagos and also Owerri-Aba axis.

He further said that the ministry was running a pilot National Housing Programme (NHP) nationwide to test affordability and acceptability of the housing in Nigeria.

“After the pilot projects are tested and people accept them, then market will be opened for rapid mass production of houses,’’ he said.

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Earlier, Sherif had appealed for continuous cooperation between Nigeria and Egypt in some mega power, works and housing projects of the ministry.

Emphasising on the bilateral relationship between Nigeria and Egypt, he said if given more opportunity for cooperation and participation in projects, it would foster huge investment for the two countries. (NAN)