Andy Esiet, Calabar
The Cross River state governor, Senator Ben Ayade has unveiled a magic wand for a steady power supply in Nigeria if elected president.
Ayade who laid out his plans on how he would address Nigeria’s electricity problem should he become the country’s next president in an interview with some newsmen in Calabar at weekend said, “the energy mix of Nigeria is dysfunctional because you cannot use gas to fire turbines to be able to generate electricity. It is a bit medieval”
Ayade, one of the frontline presidential aspirants on the platform of the All Progressives Congress (APC) said, “government should hands off power transmission because the vertical mercantile structure that has a guarantee from world Bank that guarantees that whether you take electricity or not you must pay, has created a situation where people luxuriate on that and make money without power generation.
Unveiling his blueprint the governor said because “Nigeria is relying on this captive transmission line, dedicated under the monopoly of the federal government, its inadequacies bring this national power challenges.”
He decried the current approach of using gas-fired turbines to generate electricity, describing it as dysfunctional adding that: “Gas today has too many alternatives. A small country like Qatar exports gas as their core business and they are doing so well. They are number one exporter of ammonia. Nigeria can build her ammonia plant. We can have our heterogeneous fertilizer plant, we can do so much with the gas.”
Ayade said as President, his focus would rather be on hydropower and renewable energy, “using solar, using underwater current systems, using copper-plated blades to draw and run hydro turbines to generate electricity from saliferous acuival and from saliferous water sources such as the Atlantic Ocean.
“If you have a major turbine in Calabar to drive power up to Maiduguri, if you have a major turbine in Port Harcourt to drive power to Kano, if you have a major turbine in Lagos to drive power to Sokoto, you would have had three master transmission lines managed by private companies.
“So when you have a licensed structure where different regions have different power suppliers like Siemens, for example, supplying Niger Delta, General Electric supplying South-East and General Electric feels it is better to go solar and decides to have massive solar farms and generate electricity, it will solve our energy crisis. Same thing for those who supply the North-East. They could decide that the wind is good and decides to use wind turbines.”
Ayade’s administration has built two power plants in Calabar with a combined capacity of 50 megawatts but are not on stream yet due to some federal government’s bureaucracy.