Nigeria’s Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola, on Monday urged power distribution companies to be proactive in their operations ahead of the rainy season.
Mr. Fashola said the progress stakeholders are making in the power industry would require them to increase their commitment to further improving service.
The minister made the remarks at the 27th Monthly Power Sector Operators hosted by the Yola Distribution Company at the TCN Transmission Station along Numan Road, Jimeta, Adamawa State, on Monday.
The minister added that improved service will be more demanding as the rains come down in the next few months.
He said, “The rains will bring more water supply to the Hydro Electric facilities, and they will bring more challenges to Transmission and Distribution by way of storms, heavy winds, falling trees, damage to towers, lines and installations.
“We must rise up to these challenges better than we have done in the past.”
Some of what must be done by the power distribution companies, he said, is to promptly issue notices when there are known damages that interfere with power supply; send maintenance officials out to repair and replace damaged equipment or clear fallen trees; send information to the public on multiple platforms of conventional and social media to report faults that they may not be aware of.
He also urged them to painstakingly hold themselves out as available, ready, and willing to resolve customer problems and provide better service.
Similarly, the minister announced officially to the stakeholders that the Azura Power Plant is now fully completed and ready for commercial operation to deliver more power to boost incremental power.
Mr Fashola also praised the management of the Yola Disco for turning around the operation of the company.
He said, “Many of you will remember that in 2015, Yola DisCo was the only one of the 11 (eleven) privatized DisCos that was given up as being unviable. But this Government did not give up on Yola DisCo. The Government appointed Engr. Mustapha to manage this DisCo.
“Month after month, from reports we have all received about performance and monthly rating of DisCos, it is obvious that Engr. Mustapha and his team have proven that Yola DisCo is not unviable. At this forum, I will repeat what I have said about change, that it is not a matter of chance but a matter of choice. Similarly, it is not an event but a process that involves the application of methods and the making of choices, some of which are difficult, but very often resourceful, even if sometimes misunderstood.
“The story of Yola DisCo epitomises change and it speaks eloquently to our roadmap of incremental power. From my very first visit to inspect the resumption of work at the Maiduguri TCN substation, which had been damaged by insurgents, to the completion of the Mayo-Belwa TCN substation and the installation of Distribution Infrastructure by Yola Disco, incremental power is returning to the customers within the Yola DisCo franchise. Eighty per cent (80%) of damaged 33KV lines have been restored in areas like Damboa, Madagali, Maiduguri, Damasak, Gombi, Mubi, Wukari to mention a few.”
Mr Fashola said change means providing incremental power against the odds, adding that nothing is truer than the story of one agricultural enterprise in Adamawa whose proprietor said since the completion of the Mayo-Belwa sub-station, he has drastically reduced his purchase of diesel and the use of his generator.
“As you will have heard in the news, economists are predicting a further reduction in inflation and they are attributing it to reduction in food inflation and food prices.
“As you might have also heard, I visited Kebbi last week to inspect our road projects, and the Governor, Atiku Bagudu, reported that most of the local governments in his State are getting 18 to 20 hours of power supply, from Kaduna DisCo.
“This is what change means, and it is consistent with our roadmap of incremental power,” he noted.