The Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Mr Babatunde Fashola, has appealed to stakeholders in the power sector to partner the Federal Government in its effort to overhaul the sector.
Fashola made the appeal while unveiling an overhauled generating unit of the Jebba Hydro Power Station on Monday.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the rehabilitation work was the first carried out in the power station since it was inaugurated in 1985.
The rehabilitation of the generating unit made possible through a N3.5 billon grant by the Japanese government through the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA).
Mainstream Energy Solutions Limited, concessionaires of the power station, provided the N1.7 billion counterpart fund to bring the project cost to N5.2 billion.
Fashola noted that stability must be restored to guarantee investments in the power sector; otherwise it would be difficult to reposition the sector.
``Unless we have stability and liquidity in that sector, it would be extremely difficult to grow the interest and investment that would ramp up the power supply from where it is.
``This is the gap that we must fill and this is the challenge that we must overcome.
``So, I once again appeal to all of the stakeholders to join hands with us, the government, the private owners, and everybody who is interested to add value to the sector.
``There are no sides in this challenge. For us, there is only one purpose: providing reliable power to the Nigerian people.''
The minister commended the investors and development partners involved in the work for choosing to invest their resources in Nigeria’s economy.
He assured that the Federal Government would continue to support committed indigenous business owners who deployed their financial resources for the diversification and expansion of Nigeria’s economy.
``This plant has gone for over thirty years without prerequisite overhaul when at the time of commissioning in 1985, it would have been overhauled once every six years.
``All I wish to say is that for investors, like Mainstream and other concessionaires, as long as they play by the rules, they deserve our support.
``They have chosen to invest in a place we call home. There are others who have taken their money out.
``If the likes of Mainstream did not invest, the workers in this place would have no work.
``So, I once again use this opportunity to commend the investors, the workers and our development partners, the nation of Japan, represented by their ambassador, the JICA, ’’ Fashola said.
Representative of JICA Nigeria Office, Mr Hirotaka Nakamura explained that the grant was a demonstration of the agency’s preparedness to contribute to the development of Nigeria.
``JICA stays committed to improving sustainable and stable power supply and strengthening of power transmission lines for better quality, as well as better economy of Nigeria.
``JICA is ready to take another step forward into cooperation with the Government of Nigeria through a concessional loan to refurbish the other four generating units of the station,’’ he promised.
Earlier, the Managing Director, Mainstream Energy Solutions Limited, Mr Lamu Audu said the plant comprises six identical generating units which were supposed to be overhauled every five to six years.
According to Audu, ``unfortunately, none of the generating units was overhauled before being handed over to MESL in 2013, after about 30 years of service.’’
He appealed to the minister to direct the Nigerian Bulk Electricity Trading Company to facilitate full settlement of his company's monthly energy invoices to enable it keep the power plants afloat.
NAN also reports that Fashola had earlier inspected the Electrical Engineering Simulation Laboratory at the National Power Training Institute Regional Training Centre at Kainji.