In a concerted effort to enhance the power supply across the nation, the federal government has called upon State Governors to facilitate the acquisition of right-of-way for transmission lines. This move is part of a broader collaborative initiative to address various challenges and improve the power sector.
During a courtesy visit to the Minister of Power, Chief Adebayo Adelabu, a high-powered delegation from Abia State, led by Governor Alex Otti, engaged in discussions on the crucial role of states in the power distribution segment. Minister Adelabu stressed the significance of state involvement in infrastructure development, metering enhancement, bill collection enforcement, rural electrification, counteracting power theft, and preventing asset vandalism.
Adelabu highlighted the pivotal role of sub-national governments in achieving meaningful transformation in the power sector. He proposed the unbundling of regional Distribution Companies (DISCOs) into different states, allowing for more localized oversight. The Minister emphasized the exploration of financial collaboration modalities between the federal and state governments, possibly involving a swap of stakes in DISCOs with those in the Niger Delta Power Holding Company (NDPHC).
To facilitate this collaboration, the Ministry of Power intends to work closely with state ministries responsible for power, energy, and public utilities. Adelabu noted that addressing challenges in the distribution segment necessitates unified efforts from sub-national governments, given its retail nature.
The Minister underscored the vested interests of state governments in distribution, stating that they are better positioned to support and monitor DISCOs to achieve performance improvement plans. Adelabu also highlighted opportunities for collaboration in rural electrification, encouraging states to establish active rural electrification boards in alignment with the Ministry’s Rural Electrification Agency (REA).
The Minister announced plans for the inaugural ministerial retreat for the power sector scheduled from December 12th to 14th, 2023, where comprehensive discussions on these issues will take place. Governor Otti expressed support for the Minister’s strategies and pledged attendance at the upcoming retreat, aligning the state’s vision with the broader goals of power sector transformation. Abia State’s Commissioner of Power, Eng. Ikechukwu Monday, also commended the Minister and affirmed the state’s support for the transformative efforts in the power sector.