15 May 2015, Lagos – There were ominous signs on Thursday that the recent epileptic power supply would grow worse as the Senate Committee on Power was told that power generation has dropped from hitherto 4,500 to 2,700 megawatts.
Making this disclosure to the committee, the Permanent Secretary of Ministry of Power, Mr. Godknows Igali, said power generation had dropped drastically in the last five weeks as a result of the nefarious activities of gas and crude oil pipeline vandals.
According to him, the notorious activities of these vandals across the country have resulted in the loss of 1,800 mega watts (mw) of power generation from the 4,500mw it last generated on April 4.
He blamed the erratic power supply currently being experienced across the country on the sad development which he said occurred on a daily basis.
According to him, the development 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.
“We have hydro power stations at Chiroro, 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.
“From about 4,500 mega watts on of April 4 this year, we came down to 2,700 mw 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 andthat 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.
Meanwhile, the committee has summoned the Director General of the Bureau of Public Procurement (BPP), Mr. Emeka Eze, to appear before it next Tuesday.
*Omololu Ogunmade – Thisday