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THE HISTORY OF POWER GENERATION IN NIGERIA

Under colonial rule, Nigeria started electricity generation and supply in 1896. In 1929, it set up the Nigeria Electricity Supply Company (NESCO) as an electricity utility company operating a hydroelectric power station near Jos, Plateau State. In 951, the Electricity Corporation of Nigeria (ECN) was established. The first 132KV line was built in 1962, to link Ijora power station in Lagos to Ibadan power station.
Since then, there have been increases in electricity infrastructure and changes both in the nomenclature and operations of the regulating agencies. The Niger Dams Authority (NDA) was established in 1962 with a mandate to develop the hydro-power sub-sector. It was merged with the ECN in 1972. It was followed by the coming of the National Electric Power Authority (NEPA) and the current National Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) and Power Holding Company of Nigeria (PHCN) as the search for stable power supply in the country continues.
Military setback
Nigeria’s power infrastructure however faced a major setback under the military regime to the extent that most of its hydro-electric dams were allowed to decay and the transmission and distribution equipment and lines became obsolete until in 1998 when the Federal Government initiated efforts to end NEPA’s monopoly of electricity generation, transmission, distribution and sales.
Coming of NIPP
The most significant measures taken by the government to re-jig the industry came in August 2005 when the National Council of State (NCS) and the National Assembly approved an initial funding of US$2.5 billion for the National Integrated Power Project (NIPP) from the “Excess Crude Oil Account. The Niger Delta Power Holding Company Limited (NDPHC) was thereafter incorporated as a limited liability company to serve as the legal vehicle to hold the NIPP assets. The mandate of the NDPHC included construction and expansion of the country’s power infrastructure to boost electricity generation and supply across the country.
In 2008, the National Economic Council (NEC) voted US$5.375 billion from the excess crude account as Power Emergency Fund (PEF) to complete NIPP. NEC also inaugurated the NIPP Steering Council in January 2009, chaired by President Goodluck Jonathan, then the country’s vice president with six state governors and four ministers as members.
The NIPP Steering Council, which has transformed as the board of directors of NDPHC is headed by Vice President Mohammed Namadi Sambo. In February 2009, the council approved phase I budget of US$2.213 billion from the PEF of US$5.375 billion to complete the first phase of the NIPP projects. It also approved US$423.639 million to PHCN as special intervention fund.
KANJI LAKE NATIONAL PARK
In June 2010, the council approved US$123.110 million to augment the phase 1 budget and N1.750 billion to buy NDPHC corporate headquarters in Abuja.
With these funds, the NDPHC built several gas turbine plants, distribution and transmission equipment and lines in the country.
NDPHC Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer, Mr. James Olotu, while presenting NIPP Status Report on December 14, 2012 in Lagos, said more power stations had been completed in various parts of the country. These plants, he said, have cumulatively added 1,687.5megawatts (MW) to the national output.

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