The Federal Government has disclosed that construction work on the Lagos-Ibadan road will commence within the next four to six weeks, just as it said Nigerians would begin to experience uninterrupted light by December, 2012 with plans to generate 5,400 mega watts from the current 4,400 mega watts.Speaking with newsmen weekend, the Senior Special Assistant to President Goodluck Jonathan on Public Affairs, Dr. Doyin Okupe who noted that the president was gradually delivering on the promises which he made to Nigerians before the election, said the electoral reform, which was part of his promises was gradually becoming a part of the nation against the backdrop that the presidential election of 2011 was adjudged the best globally as well as that of Edo governorship election which was conducted recently under the watch of Jonathan’s administration.
He added that he never interfered with it and government ensured neutrality. Okupe explained that the 5,400 mega watts target will be achieved following the arrangement by the National Integrated Power Project, NIPP, where by December, 1,000MW would be added to the current 4,400 currently available in the country, as against the little above 1,900MW before Jonathan took over.
According to him, President Jonathan inherited grounded and moribund NIPP with 10 of the projects abandoned and with the rehabilitation process and efforts made, some of the grids are adding about 600MW.
Okupe debunked insinuations by some critics that power increased because of increase in the water level. He said: “When the President assumed office, the energy capacity of the country at that time ranged between 1,900 megawatts to some 2,200 megawatts. The Independent Power Projects, 10 of them were grounded and nearly moribund, but today Nigeria is generating in excess of 4,400 megawatts of electricity.
“Some cynics have said this is due to high level of water in the hydro generating plants in Shiroro and Kanji. This isn’t true. I can tell you authoritatively that why it is true that every year there is a marginal increase in power supply, because of the increased contribution in the hydro plants, that cannot account for the 15 hours or so that is being currently enjoyed in many parts of the country.
The reason for this additional increase is coming from the NIPP that are now adding between 600 and 800 megawatts to the national grid. That’s what is responsible for this new improvement and between now and December, we are expecting nearly an additional 1,000 megawatts, because of increase and an arrangement that have been made for purchase and supply of gas to some of these NIPP projects. More areas will enjoy longer hours of electricity supply by December.”