At the time when Dr Saraki’s administration came in to office, Nigerians were spending N540 billion every year on diesel, thus severely increasing the cost of doing business and impacting heavily on the quality of life for every member of the population. It was rapidly observed by the administration that, without a stable supply of electricity, it would be impossible to grow the economy. As a result, they made electrification a top priority for Kwara and embarked on an aggressive electrification programme targeted at both rural and urban communities.
Taking power, in both senses, into their own hands, the administration made sure that Kwara was the first and only state to complete the Nigeria Independent Power Project (NIPP). In collaboration with the Power Holding Company of Nigeria (PHCN), the state re-energised the Ganmo Power Station at Ilorin and its environments. Prior to this, the power transmission station generated only 90 MVA, but after the reconstruction was done in collaboration with the Federal Government, the power generation capacity of the sub-station increased to an impressive 150MVA, with an installed capacity of 300 megawatts, resulting in today’s average daily power supply of 18-22 hours.
Since Ganmo was commissioned, about N1.5 billion naira has been saved from both the formal and informal sector on the purchase of diesel and fuel, according to Kwara Chamber of Commerce and Industry statistics. On top of that, the administration initiated and completed seven 15MVA sub-stations (i.e. mini- power stations) to fully utilise and maximise power supply coming from the National Grid via Ganmo.
It’s not just the urban centres that enjoyed a more stable power supply. The administration also oversaw the connection of 375 rural communities to the National Grid with another 70 lined up to be adde in the near future. Similarly, in order to improve power distribution to residents, 725 power transformers have been installed in various parts of the state. It is owing to all this activity and intervention in the power sector that the Power Holding Company of Nigeria (PHCN) has adjudged Kwara as the “best state in Nigeria in terms of power supply investment.” And the results speak for themselves: while only one third of Nigerians have access to power nationally, two-thirds of Kwarans now have access.