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Yar'Adua orders release of N59b for power sector

Posted by From Azimazi Momoh Jimoh, Abuja on 2008/07/25 | Views: 2283 |

Yar'Adua orders release of N59b for power sector


PRESIDENT Umaru Musa Yar'Adua has directed the Finance Minister, Dr. Shamsudeen Usman, to release the balance of N59 billion out of the N115 billion appropriated for the power sector in the 2008 budget.

PRESIDENT Umaru Musa Yar'Adua has directed the Finance Minister, Dr. Shamsudeen Usman, to release the balance of N59 billion out of the N115 billion appropriated for the power sector in the 2008 budget.

At a meeting with the Senate Committee on Power at the National Assembly yesterday, the Minister of State for Energy (Power), Mrs. Fatima Ibrahim Balarabe, disclosed that the presidential directive followed the discovery that of the N115 billion voted for sector in the budget, only N56 billion had been released.

At the moment, according to the minister, the balance of N59 billion was yet to be released by the ministry, a situation, which she noted, had started crippling the seven-point agenda of this administration as it concerned the sector.

Her words: "If you recall, in the 2008 budget, the Ministry of Energy (Power) has a total capital budget of N115 billion; out of this, the sum of N56.173 billion has been released. And the various projects for which all these monies were released are being executed. Mr. President has directed the Honorable Minister of Finance that before the end of this month, all the remaining balance which is about 50 per cent, must be released to the Ministry of Energy (Power) immediately. And I believe the Ministry of Finance is processing the balance of the 50 per cent."

A breakdown of the N56 billion released so far showed that a total of N6 billion was released to the main ministry; N33.5 billion to the Power Holding Company of Nigeria (PHCN); and the sum of N13.3 billion for Rural Electrification Agency.

The breakdown as provided by the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Energy, Dr. Abdullahi Aliu, showed that N854 million was given to the Nigeria Electricity Regulatory Commission; N974 million for the Energy Commission of Nigeria; N1.5 billion for the National Independent Power Project (NIPP); and another N50 billion for the Mambila projects.

Also yesterday, the committee was told that the correct figure regarding the volume of electricity generated at the moment was 2,500 megawatts (mw).

The committee was also advised to ensure that monies appropriated for specific projects in the power sector were released to forestall the frustration of the efforts to improve on the power supply to Nigerians.

The minister also provided explanations on some projects introduced by the ministry to develop fresh power generation projects apart from the hydro-electric power.

Among those projects is the N2 billion-wind project in Katsina State, which was expected to generate 10 megawatts (mw).

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