24 February 2015, Abuja -The Federal Government has expressed grave concerns over the sustained vandalism of gas pipelines, noting that the incidents have constrained gas supply to power plants and held generation at less than 4,500 megawatts, MW.
The Minister of Power, Prof. Chinedu Nebo, who stated this while speaking at an event in Abuja, regretted that once the power generation was approaching 5,000MW, the vandals struck and brought it down to about 3,000MW.
Nebo while describing vandals’ activities as wickedness, lamented that “There is no justifiable individual benefit to gas pipeline vandalism other than sabotage to the progress being made in the power sector.
He however assured that the government is also working on deploying electronic monitoring gadgets and sensors to protect the pipelines, even as he added that the 10 newly built National Integrated Power Plants, NIPPs, have all been connected to gas supply infrastructure.
Nebo while appealing to all Nigerians to join in the campaign against vandalism said, 81 per cent of the country’s electricity is generated from thermal plants which are dependent on gas supply.He decried, “two days ago power generation was approaching 5,000MW, then the vandals struck and brought us to about 3,000MW. This has been the trend, we go up to above 4,000MW they will strike and bring us down and wait until repairs are done, and we start climbing then they will strike again, just to ensure we don’t make progress.”
Speaking further, the minister noted that the multiple cost of infrastructure repairs and low electricity generation profile all impact on electricity tariff pointing out that improved power generation will translate to lower tariff. He stated that the Trans Niger Pipeline, TNP, in the east and the Trans Forcados Pipeline, TFP, in the west are the worst hit. According to him, between December 29, 2014 and February 9, 2015, there had been six different attacks at different locations on these pipelines resulting to the loss of 150MMScf per day, the equipment of 700MW.
The minister noted that in spite of these acts of sabotage, there has been some improvements in power supply, adding, “The power sector foundation-building efforts are maturing and more facilities are being completed. He warned that any threat to that is a threat to power supply to the millions of Nigerians who desperately need electricity. Nebo said that the Federal Government in its determination to check incessant vandalisms of power infrastructure will collaborate with relevant bodies and individuals as part of the new strategies to put an end to the scourge of vandalism.