The Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer of Transcorp Power Limited. Christopher Ezeafulukwe has frowned on the heavy costs associated with servicing equipment such as turbines outside the country, adding that these have significantly increased the operating costs of affected power companies.
According to him, the fact that these companies in Nigeria have to resort to incurring additional costs while servicing their turbines remains a huge downside to the business amounting to millions lost in foreign currencies, which the country could have saved if these services could be sourced locally.
Ezeafulukwe was addressing members of the press following a guarded tour of the facilities in Transcorp’s Plant in Ughelli, Delta State, by a delegation from the Army War College of Nigeria as part of their environmental study tour; where he pointed out that Nigeria’s overdependence on technical services from abroad, was also bound to increasingly expose gas plants in the country to huge logistics challenges, which translates to a loss in millions of naira.
He said, For instance, to carry out a routine inspection of the turbines, you need to fly them out which is a huge foreign expenditure which exposes us to logistic challenges. The fact is that we queue to wait for some clearance before being allowed to do our jobs, which to a large extent affects our turnaround, because, if you have a turbine that should have come back in six months, it ends up taking about eight to 10 months. This in turn will deny us the ability to generate power that could have been added to the National Grid to support the nation’s economy,” Ezeafulukwe explained.
He advocated the need for deliberate and significant improvement in the generation, transmission and distribution of electricity, as he pointed out that this is invaluable towards finding a lasting solution to the headache of inadequate power supply in the country, just as bemoaned the fact that Nigeria is currently struggling with 5,000 MW generated electricity.
“There is the urgent need for everyone involved to decisively tackle the current epileptic power supply in the country because it is rather distressing for a country of over 200 million people to still be grappling with driving its economic and social activities with a meagre 5,000 MW of electricity,” Ezeafulukwe noted.
According to him, Nigeria requires at least 20,000 Megawatts of electricity to drive its industrial, economic and social activities round the clock and end epileptic power supply, and it is therefore important that there is a conscious and disciplined investment by the incoming administration to address the challenges in the power sector in the country.
The Transcorp Power boss also urged the Federal Government to work on incentives for investors in the power sector by identifying gas fields for accelerated development, just as he scored the company high on the provision of various corporate social responsibility programmes spanning quality education and vocational training and empowerment to the provision of health and other social facilities, particularly for several host communities in Ughelli North and Ughelli South local government areas.
In his remarks, the Deputy Commandant/Director of Studies at the War College, Brigadier-General U.M. Alkali, who led the delegation from the Army War College, explained that the theme of the tour of the facility is “Protection of Critical National Assets and Infrastructure for National Defence”, and noted that it was of strategic importance towards identifying and understanding ways and means of safeguarding various critical infrastructure in the country important to national economic growth.
He assured that the outcome of the detailed study tour will help in fashioning policies and programmes that would translate into ensuring seamless operational activities of critical assets like Transcorp Power.
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