Siemens Power Projects: Again FG shortchanges S/East

*Kaduna Disco has 23 projects, Kano 13, Ibadan 6, S/East 2

*S-East remains the worst in electricity supply, survey

By Ralph Christopher and Chijioke Attah, with Agency Reports

The Federal Government has again, short-changed the South-East zone in the allocation of projects, under the multi-billion dollar Siemens intervention programme in the power sector.

The power project, described as Nigeria Electrification Roadmap: Technical and Commercial Proposal, will be executed in partnership with Siemens AG of Germany, a globally acclaimed power systems equipment manufacturers.

“Nigeria’s power system is constrained by an imbalance between power generation and consumption,” the regulatory authorities declare in the Roadmap obtained by AbeyaNews.

The document stated that “while 13-GW of power generation capacity is available, only about 3.4-GW is reaching final consumers (households, commercial and industrial users) on the average, with a peak operating capacity of 5.2-GW achieved in 2018, as against 5.-GW in 2016”.

The Roadmap is structured in three phases, according to the document, “with phase 1 focusing on essential and ‘quick-win’ measures to increase the system’s end-to-end operational capacity to 7-GW.”

Phase 2 targets what was identified as “remaining network bottlenecks to enable full use of existing generation and ‘last mile’ generation capacities, bringing the system’s operational capacity to 11-GW”, while Phase 3 aims at developing the system up to 25-GW in the long term “with appropriate upgrades and expansions in generation, transmission and distribution.”

The document reveals that Enugu Disco (EEDC) is captured only under phase 2 of the project, with two projects in Enugu, the Enugu State capital, including 1 Upgrade of Ugwunwasike, 1x15MVA 33/11KV Injection Substation, to 1x15MVA &1×7.5MVA and 2) Upgrade of Trans-Ekulu Injection Substation 1×7.5MVA 33/11KV to 15MVA 33/11KV.

The remaining four states in the South-East states served by the EEDC have no single project in their domain under this huge power modernization programme.

In contrast, the Kaduna Disco covering Kaduna, Kebbi, Sokoto and Zamfara states has 23 projects under the phase 1 of the programme alone, including construction of substations and similar projects.

Also, Kano DISCO, which comprises Kano, Jigawa and Katsina states, has 13 projects allocated to it under phase 1 of the Roadmap and one in phase 2.

Similarly, Ibadan DISCO, the largest franchise in Nigeria, covering Oyo, Ogun, Osun, Kwara, parts of Niger, Ekiti and Kogi States, has four projects under phase 1– including replacement of 407 old transformers and purchase of additional 436 new ones – and two under phase 2, including an injection substation expansion.

The obvious short-change of the South-East in a development programme as important as the power sector modernization is coming a few months after the nation was put aghast by the discovery that none of the projects captured under a multilateral $27b loan obtained by the Buhari Administration was located in the South-East, which must statutorily contribute towards the repayment of the loan.

An Enugu-based political economist agreed that “this administration has made it obvious that it seeks to strangulate the South-East economically before the expiration of Buhari’s tenure.

“Otherwise, anyone with conscience would know that this EEDC thing is one shortchange too many. No leader ever rules like that in the whole wide world,” he said.

Meanwhile, wracked by obsolete equipment and piling consumer debts, the EEDC is unable to meet power consumption demand in the South-East where most of its commercial cities and state capitals are all but perpetually in darkness.

The seeming under-performance of the disco has led to incessant consumer petitions and protests against the disco with some consumers even calling on the Federal Government to withdraw the company’s license.

Efforts by The AUTHORITY Aand AbeyaNews to reach EEDC officials for comment failed.

However, it was learnt that the company actually submitted 15 projects in addition to 15 power transformers under the power roadmap, but it could not be ascertained if there is any review to accommodate the proposal.

The company hopes that the federal government would capture the projects under the Roadmap, thereby helping the EEDC to shore up its capacity to meet the usually high demand for power in the well-known economically and commercially vibrant South-East.

With only two low profile projects captured in the entire Electrification Roadmap for the zone, the hope seems forlorn unless the government changes tactics and do the needful.

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