Consumer group wants FG to establish mini-grid to boost power supply

Mr Kunle Olubiyo,  President Nigerian Consumer Protection Network, a Civil Society Organisation(CSO), has urged Federal Government to establish renewable energy based off -mini grid to increase access to electricity.

The  renewable energy-based off-grid and mini-grids solutions offer significant opportunity to increase access to reliable electricity services.

Olubiyo made the call while reacting to the N10.33 trillion 2020 budget presented by President Muhammadu Buhari to the National Assembly in Abuja on Tuesday.

While commending the president for proposing N127 billion for the power sector, Olubiyo emphasised the need for the establishment of renewable off -mini grid models in each of the senatorial districts.

He said that this would complement the national electricity grid saying that this was the quickest way to address the challenges of the Nigerian power sector.

“Government should focus on the low hanging fruits in Nigerian power sector by encouraging the establishment of Off Renewable Mini Grid Models in each of the senatorial districts of the country.

“This is about 10 Megawatts taking into consideration the energy and areas of comparative advantages.

“The off mini-grid using Emerging Technology, Clean Technology  and Renewable should be one in each of the three Senatorial Districts per state and this should be tied to the  establishment of Agro and  Industrial Clusters.

“The tariffs for this should be market driven and not over- regulated. It should be on willing buyers -.willing sellers,” he said.

Olubiyo said that budget was a hopeful projection meant to keep Nigerians happy but however, there seem to be huge gap between reality and projections in the country.

“Why not limit the budget to a little threshold below the present realities of daily production taking into consideration all the variables and budget base 5 dollars below the current selling price of crude.

“So that excess of these could be saved in National Sovereign Wealth Funds, Excess crude oil account, ‘’he said.

According to him, there is also the need to open the exploration of solid minerals and metals to Foreign Investors.

He said that local investors in solid minerals industry should be encouraged in form of provision of single digits low interest rates from Institutional Development Finance Institutions.

Buhari on Tuesday presented a budget of N10.33 trillion to a joint session of the National Assembly.

Buhari put the Federal Government’s estimated revenue in 2020 at N8.155 trillion, comprising oil revenue of N2.64 trillion, non-oil tax revenues of N1.81 trillion and other revenue of N3.7 trillion.

Other estimates are N556.7 billion for statutory transfers; N2.45 trillion for debt servicing and provision of N296 billion as sinking fund.

The 2020 budget is based on an oil production estimate of 2.18 million barrels per day, oil price benchmark of 57 dollars per barrel and an exchange rate of N305 to a dollar

 

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