The National Integrated Power Project (NIPP) was conceived in 2004 as a fast-track government funded initiative to stabilize Nigeria’s electricity supply system while the private-sector-led structure of the Electric Power Sector Reform Act (EPSRA) of 2005 took effect.
NIPP was originally designed around seven medium sized gas fired power stations in the gas producing states, and the critical transmission infrastructure needed to evacuate the added power into the national grid. A commitment to electrify host communities in the vicinity of the power stations and major substations gave rise to the distribution component of the project.
In August 2005, the National Council of State and the National Assembly approved an initial funding for NIPP from the ‘excess crude savings account’ (ECSA) which statutorily belong to the Federal, State and Local Governments. The Federal Government therefore incorporated the Niger Delta Power Holding Company Limited (NDPHC) as a limited liability company to serve as the legal vehicle to hold the NIPP assets using private sector-orientated best business practices.
Following the 2007 change in administration at the Federal level and in many States, the funding arrangements for the NIPP were subjected to intensive legal, political and financial scrutiny, resulting in over two years interruption in funding for the projects.
At the time of the suspension, some amount of money was already invested in NIPP, which allowed some of the projects to continue despite the funding interruption.
Late in 2008, after a protracted and intensive debate on the way forward, the National Economic Council (NEC) agreed to set aside an additional fund from the ECOA as a power emergency fund to complete NIPP subject to the approvals of all the State legislative houses.
To implement the decision, in 2009, NEC inaugurated the NIPP steering council chaired by the then Vice President, Dr. Goodluck Ebele Jonathan, with six State governors and four Federal ministers as members.
The erstwhile NIPP Steering Council is now the Board of Directors of NDPHC chaired by the Vice President. Its decisions have revitalized NIPP to add new capacity to Nigeria’s electricity supply system for the benefit of consumers throughout the country, as the reforms of the Power Road Map and the EPSRA take effect.