By AUSTIN OWOICHO, Abuja
Former Executive Governor of Cross River State, Donald Duke has appealed to the Federal Government to review charges on gas selling to generating companies in Nigeria from three dollar per standard cubic feet to 10 cent as he said “it’s not economical’’.
Duke who chaired a book launch authored by Mrs Kofoworola Olokun-Olawoyin, an Assistant General Manager, Legal Department of the Eko Electricity Distribution Company (EKEDC), titled “The Nigerian Electricity Supply Industry–Post Privatization Realities, Trends and Challenges.
The former governor said that there is need to change our perception towards power industry to attract investors, adding that government should sell gas at domestic pricing to cushion power sector industry progress.
According to him, “We are selling the gas at interactional price which was not subsides, yet we import fuel and subsides, and that which we flares are selling at international market.
“We need to be mentally restructured; because petrol that we import is subsides but gas that we have in abundant was been sold at international price.
`Between Egbin power station and Port Harcourt generating companies had capacity to supply energy to the grid with additional 600 megawatts extra but the grid was unable to accept the energy but Discos are still blamed.
Duke said: The charge rate on gas given to Gencos is definitely not economical. I can appreciate that Discos don’t want to put hardship on already depressed populations. But why is government selling gas to generating companies at international price.
“Government can sell the gas to Gencos at N100 or 10 cent rather than three dollars and the effect to the consumers will be massive and positive, why every chain within power sector will pay appropriate price.
“With our abundant natural resources in energy, Nigeria is still deficient in utilization, which l wonders if something fundamental was wrong with us.
“Nigeria in years back used to flare 2.5 billion cubic feet of gas a day that’s equivalent to 25 million liters of diesel that was been flared.
“If we put turbines to power all of Africa, they will not consumed 25 million of liters of diesel daily but Nigeria had been flaring gas for decades, we are the single largest sources of contributors to carbon emissions in the entire world, Duke added.
Prof. Reynold Beks Dagogo-Jack, the book reviewer said that there is need to develop a robust cross boarder regional electricity market to enhanced developmental goals.
Dagogo-Jack is also a former Chairman, Presidential Task Force on Power, urged State Government to have active participation in the power space, adding that for too long, State Governments were hidden under the exclusive legislative lists to shy away from their responsibility.
He commended the author of the book for a well-researched material put together which was geared towards addressing power sector challenges, adding that the book can be recommended for institution, government and students to tap into the objective.
According to him, “We are in an industry that is very deep, wide and complex with so many experts, we have to be careful from taken a position but I can attest to this book written by EKECC staff as one of the great book ever produce in Nigeria.
“It’s sad that only few State governments were involved in power issues. It’s also sadden that in the few isolated cases we have projects own to poor planning and execution which are currently laying wastage across the country.
“It’s my conviction that if each of the 36 State Governors had done more in their state in different ways relying on the several energy sources within their boarder like solar, water, natural gas and thermal the country would have been better than this.
“I sincerely commended Olokun-Olawoyin for the excellent job done in addressing prospects and challenges affecting the power sector and finding a solution on the way forward.
He said that that in spite of all the challenges confronting the industry, the industry still remain highly untapped market and a viable investment landscape needed to accelerate development and injection of additional capacity into the market.
“It is commendable to observe that the book talks about prospective investors with invaluable resources on the procedure and requirement taken virtually any projects across the power value chain which can be adapted in school.
In his remarks, Mr Charles Momoh, Chairman, Board of Directors of EKEDC commended the author for a well done job, adding that it means that EKEDC’s workers are doing a great research on how to the industry can be a better place for all.
Momah said that the company had produced two authors in the last two years now, adding that last year it was the former managing director, Engr Oladele Amoda that authored a book , today Olokun-Olawoyin authored another book.
According to him, “This is very important because the power industry remain an important sector of the economy in the country.
“Power sector has become the nucleus of the economy. Everyday all the Discos, Gencos and gas people are trying to find solution on how we can be better country.“But this book has proffers solutions on how to address some of the major issues and lasting solution to the lingering power sector.