Peter Obi, the Presidential Candidate for the Labour Party stated that he will unbundle transmission lines under a guideline that enables what is produced to be distributed accordingly, adding that if elected Nigeria would declare a state of emergency in its power-producing sector to achieve at least 20,000MW in 4 years.
Obi revealed this alongside his running mate Datti Baba-Ahmed at the Channels Television’s Townhall series.
He also hinted that Nigeria is underutilizing its geographic sea port potential, urging that he will work with the private sector to build and manage ports for economic diversification.
Power production: Obi hinted that his administration has no other option but to make it work, urging Nigeria to learn from the examples in South Africa and Egypt.
- “We are going to make it work.
- “What we need to is to unbundle first, the transmission line, because today, we are actually generating up to 10,000MW but the transmission lines can’t carry that ( grid) by unbundling the transmission lines, support the DisCos to make sure at least what is produced is distributed accordingly, which should be done under a guideline.
- “Then we have to open up as South Africa has done for its power, even with a population of 60 million, they are generating, almost over 40,000MW, they declared an emergency and said anyone can generate up to 100MW without a license.
He added if South Africa generating nearly 50,000MW can declare such a power emergency, he will declare war on Nigerian Power generation.
Lessons from Egypt: The Labour Party candidate also hinted that Egypt recently repositioned its power sector and a few years went from 20,000MW to 50,000MW in production capacity.
- “Egypt did the same thing, they had about 20,000MW, and they discovered from studies that power is a critical issue, today they generate almost 50,000mw.
- “If this can be done around us, why not Nigeria, within 4 years, we should be able to generate not less than 20,000 MW, it’s going to be war.
Datti Baba-Ahmed, his Vice candidate added that Nigerians must also be willing to cooperate with the FG in fixing power, citing that a new era of pricing is also needed. He said:
- “Why buy fuel cheap and buy security more expensive, as long as there is domestic demand that is boosted by a new government that is able to save from waste, the marginal increase is going to bring you to a level that we are paying the realistic commercial price level for either energy or electricity.”
- “Nigerians should develop an attitude of reason with the people because a government does not operate in a vacuum, they must be understanding and the participation of Nigerians is important.
- “We have to understand that this a new era of pricing, there is an era in which it was taken for granted that electricity must come cheap, now we must pay commercial rate.
- “If people do not pay the market rate, it will not work.
Improved Port infrastructure: Obi noted that 20 years ago the biggest port in terms of operations was Singapore, which today is in 4th or 5th position ( replaced by 3 ports in china), citing that it is a dynamic industry, he added that his administration will reduce waste and “ dismantle confusion” from the FG’s side.
- “The Nigerian Ports Authority have offices in London, for running a port in Nigeria, we will dismantle this confusion and get the country to work.
- “It’s not rocket science, the port is not difficult, Nigeria has so much port potential from Ibom to Port Harcourt terminal started by Shagari and still not fully operational,
- “ I will change it by bringing the private sector to build ports and manage it in collaboration with the government.”