$10b Investment Needed To Boost Electricity Supply In Edo

By Clement Alphonsus

The Edo State government has projected to attract an additional $10 billion in domestic and foreign investment for improved power supply in the state.

$2 billion in investment already attracted by the state, mostly in the agricultural sector, expected to create many multiplier effects, including enhancing food production, supplying raw materials to industries, and creating additional employment opportunities.

However reacting to the latest nomination of the State as the Best State Government at the Nigeria Power Sector Awards, the Senior Special Assistant, SSA, to the Governor on Electricity, Mr. Osasumwen Arigbe-Osula, said the Mr. Godwin Obaseki-led administration has taken bold steps to boost electricity in the state.

He said: “On April 4, 2017, Edo State Government (EDSG) executed a Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) with the Ossiomo Power and Infrastructure Company for at least 5MW of power. On March 9, 2018, EDSG applied to the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) for an Eligible Customer License.

“On November 4, 2018, NERC approved the EDSG application and declared seven EDSG locations as Eligible Customers. The Ministry of Energy and Electricity was created in 2019 to execute the “Electrify Edo” project.

“Testing and certification of the Injection Substation at the Secretariat Complex, Sapele Road, and the 11KV network connecting EDSG offices by the Nigerian Electricity Management Services Agency (NEMSA) were completed in July 2020.

“The first power to the Injection Substation at the Secretariat Complex, Sapele Road was achieved on October 8, 2020. Twenty-four hours of uninterrupted power supply is being provided to crucial EDSG facilities and utilities i.e., Government Administrative Buildings, Health Care Facilities, Water Works, Schools, Courthouses, etc as well as Ologbo, the host community of the Ossiomo power plant.

“A 200km Street-lighting program covering the three Senatorial districts of Edo State commenced in April 2021. As of October 2022, 50km (40km in Benin and 10km in Auchi has been completed). An Edo State Electric Power Sector Reform Bill was developed and sent to the Edo State House of Assembly in March 2022.

“The Edo State Electric Power Sector Reform Bill was passed in September 2022 and it creates two statutory bodies – a Regulatory Commission to create a framework for a State Electricity Market and an Electrification Agency – to implement the State Electrification Fund in unserved and underserved areas.”

He reminded that these efforts would culminate in Edo state emerging as the first State in Nigeria to experience 24 hours power supply, adding, “The initiatives constitute the needed catalyst for rapid industrialization and improved security. They have the capacity to attract 1 billion dollars in Foreign Direct Investment, create 200,000 Direct and Indirect Jobs, and open new revenue sources, especially following the dwindling of allocations from the Federation Account Allocation Committee, FAAC.

The Edo State Governor had earlier said: “We are going to use the advantage that we have as a state, with access to reasonably cost fuel and encourage investment in generation, transmission, and distribution within the state. As a state, this is one promise that we made to our people, when we came to office in 2016, that we will continue to provide an enabling environment for businesses to thrive.”

However, the Nigeria Power Sector Awards, sponsored by New Hampshire Capital Ltd, an energy investment and advisory firm with a focus on the power sector and supported by MOJEC International Limited, pointed that it aims to recognise and celebrate a few individuals for their immense contributions and achievements, including a Posthumous Award to the late Engr. Joseph Oyeyani Makoju, former chief executive officer of the defunct National Electric Power Authority, NEPA, and Special Adviser on Power to three presidents; Leadership and Excellence Award in the Power Sector to Engr. Ahmad Zakari, the Special Adviser to the President on Infrastructure, and Trailblazer Award in the Power Sector will be presented to the Min of Power, Minister of Power, Mr. Abubakar Aliyu.

The organisers disclosed that the inaugural edition of the Nigeria Power Sector Awards and Cocktail event will take place on Wednesday, November 23, 2022, at the Abuja International Conference Centre (AICC) by 4.30 pm, and maintained that despite challenges, the power sector has achieved some level of growth and improvements across the entire value chain worth celebration in order to motivate the award winners and others to do more.