In a move to address the incessant power outage in Nigeria, the Senate on Thursday, June 15, 2017 intervened through Motion to save the threatened yet to be completed 215 Mega Watts Kaduna Power Plant. The Chamber in a Motion titled “The Urgent Need to Save the 215 Mega Watts Kaduna Power Plant”, sponsored by Sen. Bassey Albert Akpan (Akwa Ibom North East) has resolved to look into the challenges hindering the take up of the plant.
According to Sen. Akpan, the Red Chamber noted the protracted power shortage in the Northern part of the country that has led to the shutdown of the industrial sector in the region. He also acknowledged the lack of gas pipelines from the Southern part to the Northern part of the country has hindered power generation by the 215mw Kaduna Power Plant.
Sen. Akpan disclosed that the Federal Government through the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) is at the verge of awarding the contract for the construction of the 40 X 614km Ajaokuta – Abuja – Kaduna – Kano (AKK) Gas Pipeline. He added that to get the Kaduna Power Plant working in the next six months and allow the Northern part of Nigeria enjoy the benefits of the installed 215MW Power Plant; an alternative gas supply mode to the plant has to be provided.
The law-maker was further convinced that the use of gas to power the Plant Turbines is key all over the World due to its environmental friendliness, cost implication which is in line with the United Nations Charter on Green Energy and Climate Change. Sen. Akpan expressed surprise that the Federal Ministry of Power, Works and Housing appeared to have jettison the use of gas to power the Kaduna Plant instead, it opted for the construction of AGO tanks for use of AGO that is 60% higher in cost when compared with Liquefied Natural Gas.
The Senate is worried that over N4.7 trillion was expended by the Federal Government on the importation of petroleum products in 2016; and 40% of the country’s foreign exchange demand is due to the importation of petroleum products. In view of the sudden change in policy, the General Electric/Rockson Engineering Consortium upon becoming aware of the development raised an alarm on the environmental hazard, cost and efficiency of the plant performance, threatened to withdraw their warranty for the project. Consequently, the Senate has resolved:
i) Mandate the Senate Committee on Power, Steel Development and Metallurgy and Gas to investigate this anomaly and report back to the Senate immediately.
Meanwhile, the Senate has debated and passed for second reading “A Bill for an Act to Amend the National Lottery Act 2005 to make provision for effective operation of lottery in Nigeria and for other related matters 2017 (S.B. 227)”, sponsored by Sen. Obinna Ogba (Ebonyi Central). The Bill has been referred to the Conference Committee to report back in four weeks.
Nevertheless, the Senate has adjourned session to Tuesday, July 4, 2017.