Minister blames gas shortage for poor power supply

Transmission lines

The Minister of Power, Abubakar Aliyu, has said the current power situation in Nigeria is caused mainly by shortage of gas.

Abubakar briefed State House correspondents after a hybrid meeting of the Federal Executive Council (FEC) presided over by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, yesterday at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.

The minister said efforts were being made to address the shortages, adding that Nigeria has the capacity of 8,000 megawatts (MW) on the grid, embedded and captive.

He said: “The issue we are currently facing now is not only as a result of the level of water, which most of you captured in your reports; that is part of it; but it is not much from that angle.

“The more reason we are facing the situation now is as a result of the shortage of gas and some of the generators have to go for maintenance.

“It is a scheduled maintenance and it is supposed to be a scheduled outage but we had not envisaged that we will have issues around vandalism of pipelines.

“Which the NNPC has addressed as you can see evidently everywhere, aviation fuel, and petrol in the filling stations; it is a combination of many factors. That compounded the problem we are having on the grid.”

The more reason we are facing the situation now is as a result of the shortage of gas and some of the generators have to go for maintenance.

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Abubakar noted that for the first time, he brought in all the sector players—from NNPC, Agip, and Shell to the regulator, NERC, the GENCOS like the Niger-Delta Power Company, the TCN and the Ministry.

He argued that what is happening now is similar to a war situation, which requires quick and urgent solutions, adding that the grid collapse had triggered some responses.

He said the grid has been recovered and efforts are being made to increase the capacity, which attendees of the meeting discussed at length and stressed the need to eschew the blame game to find solutions.

To this end, Abubakar said committees had been set up towards increasing generation capacity through increased gas supply, adding that there is a need to have binding gas contracts between generating companies and gas supplies.

Noting that there is capacity for 8,000MW, he said all variables were being looked into and some solutions had been proffered, which would come into fruition soon.

In addition, he said his Ministry had received an approval for N5 billion from the FEC for the expansion of the Lagos/Ogun line with six sub-stations. (NAN)

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