Senate re-considers power. Law to allow communities generate power
By Francis Etuko, Abuja.
Following a visit to the German village of Feldheim by Senators led by its President, Dr. Bukola Saraki, the upper legislative chamber is considering tinkering with the laws that guide power generation, transmission, and distribution to allow communities and private individuals to build power generation plants.
Feldheim has a population of 140 person, but receives 4,000 visitors, and generates 10 Mega Watts of electricity. It uses what the village needs and sells and discharges the excess to the national grid.
At Feldheim, Saraki maintains that power supply remains top in the agenda of the 8th Senate because it remains the key instrument for poverty eradication and unleashing the potentials of the people.
On a working visit to Germany, with some of his colleagues, Saraki stopped over at Feldheim, where residents have combined efforts and local resources to produce clean and renewable energy.
A statement signed by his Special Adviser (Media and Publicity) Yusuph Olaniyonu said the achievements of the German people can be achieved in Nigeria if the leadership and operators demonstrated the will power.
He said “We have to amend the laws to allow communities to generate energy that is more than 10 megawatts and even the laws about power transmission and distribution have to be amended to allow more creativity and involvement from the private sector”.
While inspecting the Feldheim Power project located 70 kilometers outside Berlin, the project leader, Mr Werner Frohwitter, revealed that citizens took their future in their hands, as they contributed money to build bio-gas plants which use slurry and manure from their pigs and cows, and wind farms.
He added that though the village has a population of 140 people, it hosts about 4,000 visitors yearly comprising students, politicians, researchers, scholars and journalists who want to learn about how the people’s efforts led to the generation of 10mw of electricity.
Discussions were also held with the Parliamentary State Secretary to the Federal Minister for Economic Co-operation and Development, Mr. Thomas Silberhorn, on how to foster economic exchange between the European giant and Nigeria.