The Federal Executive Council (FEC) Wednesday approved a new framework to expand the 33KVA and 11KVA electricity transmission lines in the country.
The new measure is to ensure distribution to consumers of additional 2,000 megawatts of generated energy that is currently lying unused at power stations, said Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola, at the end of the meeting.
The Federal Government says about 7,000 megawatts of electricity is being generated but the existing national grid cannot transmit and distribute more than 5,000mw.
He explained that the investment arrangement for which the Federal Government would contribute 40 per cent while the Distribution Companies (DISCOs) would provide the 60 per cent balance of the cost, but he however, did not disclose the cost.
According to him: “While the federal government has 40% shareholding, the DISCOs have 60% and will be compelled to make additional investments which they were supposed to have made.
“The process will involve international investment for the procurement of the equipment, lines and all of the accessories to build those networks and there will be more under international procurement standards.
“The Federal Government will put its own 40 percent and ask the DISCOs to put their own 60 percent and other parties who are interested will have the opportunity to improve on the investments.
“We are expecting many more power plants to be completed this year which will add almost 1,600MW to the grid. We can’t continue to accumulate power that doesn’t get to the people, so this framework is to start the process.”
Fashola further explained that “Government is now saying we can’t sit down idle doing nothing, let’s start something, a framework for investment. We will advertise for international tenders for people who make the equipment. We need transformers, conductors, switch gears, circuit breakers, etc, and with international competitive pricing.
“Once those prices are agreed, then we will call the private sector owners of the DISCOs, present our own 40 percent and ask for their own. As soon as the pricing is complete, we intend to persuade government to start making its investment. What we have done as a Ministry is a formulation of policy to government to say this is the next thing we must do and government has approved that policy.”