Power supply may worsen in coming weeks
The epileptic state of the nation’s power sector may get even worse in the coming weeks with power generation dropping from about 4,500 to 2,700 megawatts in recent weeks, according to hints by the Federal Government.
Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Power, Mr. Godknows Igali, who dropped the hint after his meeting with the Senate Committee on Power, in Abuja, blamed the drastic drop in power generation over the the last five weeks on “the nefarious activities of gas and crude oil pipeline vandals” which occur on an almost daily basis.
He said, “From about 4,500 megawatts as of April 4 this year, we came down to 2,700mw and that is a big loss from the amount of power generation that is available.
“This is what we briefed the Senate Committee on power but the committee seems to be more interested in transmission.
“Transmission because everybody is interested in power transmission and distribution. We briefed them on this and we are working with the contractors, and the minister has reminded them that a new government is coming in a few days and that it will not be proper for him to renew the contract as the contract will end in July, and we have told them to work on an interim arrangement pending when the new government comes and we‘ll take an informed position on that,” lgali said.
According to him, the activities of these vandals across the country and loss of 1,800 megawatts of power generation from the 4,500mw it last generated on April 4 had forced security agencies to be on the trail of the vandals, resulting in the arrest of 200 of them whom he said would be made to face the full wrath of the law.
He said, “We have been able to explain to electricity consumers that the current power outrage is as a result of high rate of pipeline vandalism. They vandalise both the crude pipelines and gas pipelines on daily basis.
“But the more sinister one which is with a lot of pain is when people deliberately blow up pipes on which it is written clearly ‘gas pipeline.’
“They blow them up almost every day. They blow them up and that denies the power plants some gas. Unfortunately, our country depends on a lot of gas.”
He added that, “We have hydro power stations at Shiroro, Jebba and Kanji which are the major ones, but this dry season, the hydro does not do well.
“Security agencies have arrested 200 people vandalising gas pipelines in the last two months and they are interrogating them and working with communities to solve this problem and put it behind us.”