President Muhammadu Buhari says that his government is using renewable mini-grids to decentralize the country’s national grid in order to fix the problems with the country’s electricity supply.
According to the president, the federal government has set aside $550 million to pay for the installation of 20,000 Standalone Solar Systems (SHS) and Solar Hybrid mini-grids in more than 250 places.
“The 550 million dollar Nigeria Electrification Project has put up more than 20,000 Standalone Solar Systems (SHS) and Solar Hybrid mini-grids in over 250 places,” he said.
Concerning the modernization of Nigeria’s power grid, the country’s leader said that there were hundreds of projects and initiatives going on that were getting money from both local and foreign investors.
He said, “Take my Presidential Power Initiative (PPI), which is a plan between the governments of Nigeria and Germany and Siemens AG to invest $2 billion to improve the electricity grid.
“Once signed into law, the recently passed constitutional amendment bill will let state governments generate and send their own electricity. This will make it easier for investors to get involved in our market and let states and local businesses send extra electricity to the grid.”
The International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank have been telling Nigeria to get rid of fuel subsidies for a long time. The president said that it was getting harder and harder to get rid of the subsidies.
“Most western countries are now giving discounts on gas. Why should we take ours off right now? What’s good for the goose is also good for the gander.
“Our western allies are learning the hard way that what looks good on paper and what happens to people are two different things.
“At the end of last year, my government began making plans to get rid of the subsidy. As the year went on and we talked to more people, and as things happened, it became clear that this wasn’t a good idea,” said Buhari.
He also said that it would help to make more refined products at home.
“As private players and modular refineries (Dangote Refinery, BUA Group Refinery, and Waltersmith Refinery) come on board, capacity will increase significantly later this year and next.
“The exchange rate is still vulnerable to shocks from outside that can hit Nigerians hard and quickly.
He said, “As we increase domestic production, both of fuel (through PIA) and food (through agricultural policies), the threat of inflation will go down, and we can move toward unification.”