FG’s N104bn budget for generators enough for 250mw power plant

Business Day

Nigeria plans to spend N104 billion ($252 million) on the purchasing and maintaining of power generating sets for its ministries, departments and agencies next year, an amount that has been deemed a wasteful use of resources for a country struggling to keep the lights on for its 200 million people.

A breakdown of data gleaned from the 2022 budget showed the federal government will spend N85 billion to purchase brand new power generating sets while another N19 billion will be used for the purchase of petrol or diesel for government agencies scattered across Nigeria’s 774 local government areas. The total comes to N104 billion or $252 million.

That amount can build a 250-megawatt power plant using global market prices which puts the cost of building a one-megawatt power plant at $1 million.

That’s more than enough to power all the government’s ministries, departments and agencies and just enough for the homes of 250,000 households or at least one million people with the assumption of four people per household.

“These numbers the federal government is proposing to purchase generators are outrageous,” Ayodele Oni, energy lawyer at Bloomfield law practice, told BusinessDay.

“How can we be spending this much on generators when the average international price for a kilowatt of power is one million dollars?” he asked.

Oni advised the government to leverage its gas potentials to power its ministries and agencies by building more power plants rather than spend so much on generators.

A further breakdown of the budget showed Federal Ministry of Finance, Budget, and National Planning proposed a sum of N82.03bn for the purchase of new generators followed by Federal polytechnic Ekowe with N237.8 million, Nigerian Institute of Medical Research (N230 million), Federal Teaching Hospital Ido-Ekiti (N140.8million), Federal college of education, Ondo (N135 million) and National Identity Management Commission (N131.5 million).

For Daniel Adebayo, a Lagos-based energy lawyer, the majority of these expenses on brand new generators are inflated.

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