A Review of the Nigerian Energy Industry

Pipeline vandalism contributes to poor power supply – Sahara Group boss

Power transmission line14 January 2014, Lagos – The Chief Executive Officer of Sahara Group, Mr. Tonye Cole, at 44th World Economic Forum held in Davos, Switzerland, has disclosed that the incessant pipeline vandalism was one of the major causes of poor power supply in the country.

Cole, who pointed out that it would take at least five years from now before Nigerians would begin to experience uninterrupted power, particularly from the input of the new investors in the sector, stated that pipeline vandalism had affected every spectrum of the economy.

Sahara Group boss said: “Anybody that vandalises a pipeline to go and sell crude oil somewhere thinking that he is making money, but each time he vandalises a pipeline, whether it is a gas pipeline or an oil pipeline, it affects everyone.

“But before we can get to a point where we don’t have to think about power because it is just there, it requires a lot of investment, a lot of capital has to go into that,” he stated.

According to him, there were areas needed to be improved upon before the needed stable power would be experienced, stressing that one of such would be improvement in the way information is shared among key players in the sector for the next couple of years.

Cole disclosed that the power sector had taken a new shape with the taking over of the Power Holding Company of Nigeria by private owners, saying that the private companies still had to work with the government and the regulators to achieve realistic results.

He added:  “It is a new area and it is expected that laws and relationship between the regulators, investors and customers will be shaped along the way. People need to understand the difference between generation and transmission and then the difference between transmission and distribution.

“Most people don’t know what these things are, and as far as the customer is concerned, he wants just one thing, power that is all. We will begin to see improvement within six months, but improvement in communication is the first thing that we need,” he explained.

– Charles Okonji, Daily Newswatch

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