The presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party and former Vice President of Nigeria, Abubakar Atiku has advocated the diversification of the nation’s energy sources to solar, hydro and even coal and that the generation and transmission of electricity should be decentralised across the nation to ensure regular supply of electricity and prevent the frequent collapse of the national grid
The former vice president stated this recently during an exclusive interview with Arise TV.
Atiku said he had suggested the decentralisation of the generation and transmission of electricity when he was the vice president. “I went to the president (Obasanjo) and said, “let us use other sources of power, hydro, solar, even coal, because we are still a developing country and then break the concentration but the president said no, that he believed more in gas. I said gas was going to be a problem for us because it is available only in one location. And it will take us a longer time to have a gas plant that will supply the whole of this country’s electricity and that by the time we do that we will find out that the electricity we will be generating will be too heavy for our transmission.”
He said it was better to discentralise the generation, saying, “In the North-east we have two minidams lying idle and it is only a matter of introducing turbines. In the North-west, they have two large dams idling and all they need to do is install turbines and they’ll generate electricity. If you go to the South-south, then you can use any form of energy that is available, whether it is gas, or hydro, or even coal.”
He said that was how the gas generating plants were developed.
On stemming the incessant collapse of the national power grid, he advocated the decentralisation of power generation and transmission, with consideration for the use of solar, hydro electricity from mini dams, gas powered electricity, where applicable, among others.
The former Vice President Abubakar Atiku also stated his preference for getting the private sector to invest in the nation’s infrastructure, explaining that as Chairman of the Privatisation Council in the President Obasanjo administration, he initiated many reforms like those of the telecommunications, oil sector reforms, among others. These reforms were designed to give the private sector more space to play in the infrastructural development of the nation. They will be given tax incentives and are expected to recoup their investments over time. “Otherwise, where are you going to get the money if you don’t encourage the private sector to come in. We accomplished some of these reforms during our administration.”