The federal government has approved the sum of $53.1 million and N2.1 billion for the procurement and installation of electricity conductors and transformers that will help boost power supply in the country.
At the official exchange rate of N450 to the dollar, this amounts to N26 billion. The federal government also ratified a resolution that an electronic cargo tracking device be procured for port operations in the country.
Minister of Power, Abubakar Aliyu disclosed this to State House correspondents yesterday after the Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting presided over by President Muhammadu Buhari at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.
According to him, when installed, the conductors will help address the challenge of constant tripping of circuit breakers due to overloading of electricity lines. The Minister also revealed the cost of the conductors also includes a Naira component of N2.1billion. “The total amount for these four components of conductors is $53,131, 128.93 plus an onshore component of N2, 127, 068, 626. 45,” he said.
According to him, the new conductors would be used to upgrade existing power lines, with the aim of enhancing their efficiency. “These are existing lines which are being upgraded. The wires will be removed and new ones put in place and the difference is that the new ones will be more efficient because they carry more load than the old ones.
“They will reduce sagging because once the wires are aged, they will sag and they become vulnerable and heavier. So, these ones are lighter and can carry more electricity so it will improve efficiency and address the challenges of constant tripping of the breakers due to the overloading of these lines will be tremendously reduced,” he explained.
Aliyu listed the four components of the contract to include 173 kilometre Kubotso- Hadeja, line; 105 kilometre Kumbotso-Kankiya line; 90 kilometre Benin-Irrua line; 72 kilometre Irrua-Okpella; 48kilometre Okpella-Okenne, 58 kilometere Okenna-Ajaokuta lines and 394 kilometre Gombe-Biu-Damboa-Maiduguri line.
The minister also disclosed that Council approved a N1.46 billion contract for the procurement of 20 transformers ratio analysers for the Transmission Company of Nigeria.
Meanwhile, Minister of Transportation, Mu’azu Jaji Sambo, who also spoke after the FEC meeting, said the ability to procure the cargo tracking device would in no small measure aid port operators in detecting under-declaration of goods meant for import or export, ensure accurate invoicing, concealment, wrong calculations and other dubious practices within the port corridors.
Beyond these, the Minister said the facility is to be deployed by a Belgium firm Autisa in conjunction with other indigenous firms in Nigeria at no extra cost to the government. He disclosed that when fully operational, it is expected to shore up the revenue base of government from $90million dollars to $235milion per annum.
He noted that the device when installed would also instil a regime of effective tracking of crude oil export, including eliminating oil theft, which in recent times became rampant. He revealed that Ghana, Republic of Benin among other countries were already using the facility in their port operations and it has recorded success.
“We are looking at installing electronic cargo tracking device which will take care of under- declaration, secure our export and import, cargo invoicing. Ghana, Benin Republic and a number of other countries are already using it and they have all recorded improvement in their port services, especially issues of concealment, wrong calculation for cargoes,” the Minister noted.