Home Feature FCT is growing at alarming rate – Minister

FCT is growing at alarming rate – Minister

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Minister of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) Muhammad Musa Bello has said the territory records over 9 percent population growth rate annually.

The minister stated this on Tuesday when he received the chairman of Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC), Professor James Momoh in the minister’s office.

He harped on need to match the territory’s infrastructure development with the growth, regretting that funding is a challenge.

He identified electricity supply as a major challenge in FCT because many roads and streets require lights.

According to the minister, one way out of the challenge could be by dedicating mini grids to power strategic roads and facilities, maintaining that FCT needs first class power supply system.

“There is need for Discos [Distribution Companies] to invest in maintenance and fault resolutions.

“In the past, in every neighbourhood, there was a small fault office and there was always a pickup van with a ladder at the back such that even if it is 12 midnight and there is a fault, you will always get somebody to look at it. Now the case is different,” he said.

He consented to the request by Prof Momoh and the diaspora scientists to partner with the FCT administration to build a research institute, and offered to make space available for that purpose inside the Abuja University of Technology, Abaji.

Earlier, the chairman requested space to establish an energy research institute to promote science, technology, engineering and Mathematics in FCT.

While listing challenges faced by NERC in discharging its mandate, Momoh lamented that nearly 50 percent of customers do not have electricity consumming metres saying the commission would not relent in its efforts to ensure that every home is supplied with affordable, accessible and reliable power.

“There are challenges in doing this. A sizeable part of the country’s population is not connected.

“As you go from Abuja to the villages, you find a lot of people in total darkness. They are not connected to the grid.

“However the grid is passing by and nobody is connected. People are living in darkness when they have energised network passing through the villages.

“Customers are billed wrongly. Licensees are complaining too. ‘I produced for N10 and I’m being asked to collect N2’.

“There is also inadequate revenue to efficiently operate and run the power sector, poor governance in terms of ownership.”

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