The Deputy Chairman of the Senate Committee on Power, Senator Chris Ngige, has said that the power plants built by the government of Gen. Olusegun Obasanjo, between 1999 to 2003, were wasteful ventures.
Ngige said this on Friday at the Nnamdi Azikwe University, Awka, where he delivered a talk on Power Supply in Nigeria; during the First Judiciary Day of the Student Union Government of UNIZIK.
He said the cost of securing and laying pipe to carry gas to the power projects at Papalanto, Oloronsogo, Geregu, Omotoso and other places, was enough to build more of such power plants and fund transmission and distribution projects.
Ngige said that simple economics teaches that industries should be sited near places where there is abundant raw materials, and not for political considerations.
He said it was more economical for the plants to be located in regions that had abundant gas to fire them.
He said Nigeria’s power sector was still gripped in a circle and something drastic should be done to get the country out of it.
But he said Nigerians must also imbibe the culture of saving power, so that they can save cost and have more power, which will be available for them to use.
He regretted that the improved power generation in the country could not get to the people because the transmission network in the country was inadequate to carry it to the final consumers.
“We have put some power generating companies on hold because if we put them all on, there will be a system collapse in transmission lines, which are very old,” he said.
He, however, regretted that the contract management and supervision of the power projects had been very poor.
“But we (in the National Assembly) have stepped up our oversight in the sector. We have appropriated significant money in the 2013 Budget to the transmission company so that the more than 2,500 mega-watts of electricity trapped in the power generating companies can be transmitted to the people for use,” he said.