Twenty And Counting : Celebrating Jedy-Agba’s Two Years Of Excellence As Minister

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Twenty And Counting : Celebrating Jedy-Agba’s Two Years Of Excellence As Minister

By Inyali Peter

Addressing Nigeria’s epileptic power supply was one of the cardinal campaign promises of President Muhammadu Buhari and the All Progressives Congress, (APC), during the 2015 and 2019 electioneering processes.

Past administrations had expended so much resources in the power sector but with little results. Despite the county’s existing power plants having the potential to generate up to 12,522 megawatts of electricity, the highest the highest it has attained was the 5,552.8MW announced on the 6th of January, 2021 by the Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN).

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Besides, the country’s overdependent on thermal and hydro power sources that other countries are walking away from is a major part of the issues facing the power sector. The decision of the Buhari’s administration to invest massively in renewable energy development is not however, unconnected to this.

During his first tenure, the President merged the Ministry of Power with that of Works and Housing. But in his second term, he decided to unbundle the Ministries, with the Ministry of Power assuming a pivotal role in the process of driving the nation’s economy in line with the administration’s diversification agenda.

To underscore the importance his administration attached to solving Nigeria’s power problem, the President deployed two Ministers; Engr. Saleh Mamman as Honourable Minister of Power, and Dr. Goddy Jedy Agba, OFR, as Honourable Minister of State, Power.

For effective and efficient service delivery and harmonious working relationship, the President, through the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Boss Mustapha shared responsibilities in the power Ministry between the two Ministers, with each having equal and independent supervisory role over agencies under them.

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While Engr. Mamman was asked to suprivise the activities of the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC), Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN) and Nigerian Electricity Liability Management Company (NELMCO), Dr. Agba on the other hand, was saddled with the responsibility of executing his mandatory work as Minister through the Nigerian Electricity Management Services Agency (NEMSA), Rural Electrification Agency (REA) and National Power Training Institute (NAPTIN).

Two years down the line, the two Ministers have left no stone unturned in ensuring improved electricity supply in Nigeria. For instance, the Minister of State alone has supervised the completion of twenty (20) major projects within this period, all geared towards solving the shortage of electricity supply in the country.

These projects are spread across the six geopolitical zones of the country. There’s no single geopolitical zone in Nigeria today that Jedy-Agba has not completed, commissioned and handed over economically viable electricity projects to benefitting communities and institutions.

In NAPTIN, for example, he has ensured drastic reformation in the agency which has enhanced its capacity to train more Nigerians in different electricity value chain including generation, transmission, installation and maintenance of electricity infrastructure. More than five thousand (5,000) young Nigerians have been trained, equipped and empowerred since he assumed office.

Similarly, for NEMSA, the agency responsible for maintaining technical standards in the power sector , he has supervised the completion of its state-of-the-art Meter Testing Station. The ultramodern facility is the first ever building started and completed by the agency since its establishment eight years ago.

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Located in Enugu State to cover the entire Southern Nigeria, the station amongst other things, is handling all metering services in the region as well as testing and certification of energy meters. Plans are on ground to build similar facility in Northern Nigeria to reduce the amount of money expended in rent in some of its rented facilities.

Nevertheless, where the Minister has shone the most is in the Rural Electrification Agency. To his credit, the agency has completed and commissioned not fewer than nineteen (19) major projects since he assumed office. Several other projects have been completed and awaiting commissioning while some are at different stages of completion.

These projects include, 100KWP Isolated hybrid mini-grid at Eka-Awoke community in Ikwo local government, Ebonyi State, 8.25MW Solar hybrid mini-grid at Federal University of Agriculture, Makurdi, two 7.5KWP Mini-grid at Nnewi and a 1.12MW Solar mini-grid at Abubakar Tafewa Balewa University, Bauchi.

Others are, 100KWP solar hybrid mini-grid at Adebayo Community, Ovia South local government, Edo State, 1.35MW at Federal University of Petroleum Resources, Effurun, Delta State, 60KWP solar hybrid mini-grid at Obudu Ranch Resort in Obanliku Local government area of Cross River State, 60KWP solar hybrid mini-grid at Okangha-Mpkansi community in Ikom local government area of Cross River State, Grid Extension project in Malumfashi local government, Katsina, and 30KWP solar mini-grid at Bambami also in Katsina.

The REA under his supervision has also completed Grid Extension Electrification Project in Ifesowapo in Ajilola, Ede South local government, Osun state, 100KWP solar hybrid mini-grid at Olooji community in Ijebu East, Ogun State, 100KWP solar hybrid mini-grid at Budo-are community, Ifesiwaju local government, Oyo State, provision of 65KWP solar hybrid mini-grid system in 250 bed cottages hospital in Ukpogo community in Okene local government, Kogi State.

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Under his watch, the agency has also completed a 334KWP isolated PV solar hybrid mini-grid in Shimankar Community in Shendam local government area in Plateau State, provided and installed 5.4KPW solar hybrid mini-grid at Adavi-Eba, Adayi local government, Kogi State, 40KW solar mini-grid at Goto Sarki community in Paikoro local government, Niger State, 85KW isolated solar mini-grid at Dakitti community in Akko local government area of Gombe State as well as provision of 30KW solar mini-grid at Mbela Town, Yulde, Gubudo, Mayo Belwa in Adamawa State.

There are also several other solar power streets lights projects across the country that have been completed under his watch in the past two years that are not included in this list.

Indeed, when President Buhari assured the United Nations General Assembly during its 74th session held in New York on September 24, 2019 that Nigeria is working to have at least 30 per cent of its total electricity supply from renewable sources by 2030, he knew he had a capable hand in Jedy-Agba to steer the country’s renewable energy revolution.

Nigeria may not have completely overcome the challenge of inadequate power supply, but with the guts, passion, commitment shown, as evidenced in the achievements of Jedy-Agba as Minister and the overall performance of the Buhari’s government in the power sector, the country is undoubtedly moving stoutly in the right path.

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