I will not rest until there is steady power supply — Jonathan

President Goodluck Jonathan has reiterated his administration’s commitment to the provision of stable electricity in the country.

Speaking at the inauguration of Unit 4 and Unit 6 of the Egbin thermal plant in Lagos, Saturday, Mr. Jonathan said he would not rest until Nigerians begin to enjoy steady power supply.

“For government, there is no going back until we surely stabilise power in the country,” Mr. Jonathan said.

“The Egbin power plant and the result shown today demonstrate without doubt that we have made a strong foundation upon which we are building a sound and sustainable electricity industry.

“Let me restate that we are committed to irreversibly reposition the Nigerian power sector as a pivot for the attainment of our nation’s development targets.”

In January, the Egbin Power Plc announced the completion of its rehabilitation of a Steam Turbine generator, raising its capacity by 220MW (megawatts) and bringing the plant back to its installed capacity of 1,320MW.

The generator, which was commissioned in November 1987, had been grounded for over eight years after suffering a boiler explosion in 2006.

Though the company had stated in January that the rehabilitated turbine would bring about an increased power supply to Lagos and its environs, the areas have continued to witness poor power supply.

On Saturday, Mr. Jonathan restated that the restoration of the plant would be beneficial to the Lagos industrial layout and its environs, leading to job creation.

The president further noted that the rehabilitation would extend the life span of the power plant by 20 years, adding that the power sector privatization had yielded more dividends to the country.

He also said that his administration is exploring various options to diversify energy source in order to remain the largest economy in the continent.

In his remarks, Chinedu Nebo, the Minister of Power, said that the company’s new investor had funnelled over N50 billion to rehabilitate the plant.

Mr. Nebo said while other operators in the sector had failed to hire or employ any engineer over the past 16 years, Egbin plant had hired over 100 engineers in training.

According to him, work in the other power generation companies has boosted the nation’s power generation capacity, noting that Ughelli had increased to 600MW, Shiroro 600MW, and Kainji 230MW.

The minister also said that a minimum of 5,000MW would be added to the grid at the completion of the coal turbines across the country.

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