The federal government yesterday lamented that the encroachment of land in various communities along power lines “is delaying the addition of 2,000 megawatts to the national grid.”
The Minister of Power, Mr. Aliyu Abubakar, revealed this during a two-day working visit to nine power stations in the state, saying land encroachment had been impeding the process of electricity supply and generation from one place to another in the country.
He added that the national grid “has been improved by this administration more than any other government.” “But the right of way has been an obstacle for successful generation of electricity.”
The minister said the current sub-station in Kano “is receiving 330 single lines from Kaduna, which is not enough for Kano.”
He went on to say that another project “double the size of the 330 single” had been awarded. It will improve the capacity from 600 megawatts to over 2000 megawatts and cater for Kano and Katsina States.
“One of our biggest challenges is how people are living on the routes we will use to pass our cables that will generate power to the various destinations.” The national grid has witnessed the most rapid improvement ever.
“As it is now, the capacity can take up to 78,000 megawatts or more, but it may not be useful if it is not uptaken at the distribution level because the distribution capacity is not up to that.” So, part of the challenge is the right of way, which is the challenge we are facing.
“We need people to clear the ways through which the wires can pass.” Some people were paid before, but they could not vacate the places. “Our agreement with the German company will raise the National Grid to 25,000 by 2025,” he said.
However, the minister assured that all ongoing projects would be completed by Buhari’s administration to ensure stable electricity supply across Nigeria, through the continuous enhancement of the wheeling capacity of the Transmission Company of Nigeria and more investment in renewable energy through the Rural Electrification Agency.
Some of the new projects inspected include Kumbotso Transmission Substation, Rimin Zakara Transmission Substation and the 1-megawatt Peak Interconnected Solar Mini Grid Zawachiki.
According to the minister, the three projects aim at improving the electricity supply in Kano, Katsina, and environs.
At the 330/132/33 KV Rimin Zakara transmission substation, Aliyu noted that work had been completed. He also said efforts are being made in collaboration with the Kano state government to resolve right-of-way issues that have been delaying the project.
At the Zawachiki 1 megawatt interconnected solar mini grid, the minister commended the Rural Electrification Agency for delivering on the project, which was crucial to the government’s commitment to energy from renewable sources.
Also speaking on the power sub-stations, Kano State Governor, Dr. Abdullahi Ganduje, said the right of way would be provided for the successful completion of the projects.
Ganduje added that a committee has been constituted and will commence action towards providing ways for the cables to pass through the state.