Expert urges investors to maintain electricity generating plants
An energy expert, Mr Adekunle Makinde, on Monday urged investors in the power sector to maintain the nation’s generating plants to increase electricity supply.
Makinde, the immediate-past Chairman, Nigeria Institution of Electrical Electronics Engineers (NIEEE), gave the advice in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos.
According to him, many of the nation’s existing electricity generating plants are obsolete.
Most of the generating plants built in the 1970s were becoming obsolete due to lack of maintenance by the government.
These power plants need regular maintenance so that they will increase their output regularly.
Our maintenance culture is really drawing us backward; this makes us to be far away from where we are supposed to be.
There are lots of rots in the system over the years because of lack of a maintenance culture,’’ he said.
He said that the power sector had many challenges because the previous administrations did not deem it fit to invest in the sector.
Makinde said that it was only former President Olusegun Obasanjo, who pumped a lot of money into the sector.
The expert said that most of the generating plants were having problems of gas supply because of the distance.
When you want to build a gas power generation plant and you build them about 250 kilometres away from where they can get gas, all on the altar of federal character, who are we deceiving?
What do we actually set out to achieve when we built an electricity generating plant in Abeokuta and we have to lay the pipeline to Warri to get gas.
There is no issue with building gas power generation plant, but you should ensure that the gas to be used to power it is very close by.
It should not be more than 50 kilometres away.
Building it far away from the gas supply gives room for some people to be bombing or vandalising the pipeline, and as such, put us at the mercy of vandals.
There is a lot for us to do as a nation, but we have to get it right,’’ he said.
Makinde, however, said that the sector was blessed with efficient manpower, adding that the government was not employing them.
I must confess that the problem has not been the manpower here, but with professionalism and competence that have been sacrificed on the altar of politics, favouritism and nepotism.
Most of these jobs are hardly done by the people that know the job.
I wonder why we play politics in a very critical sector of our nation like power,’’ he lamented.