18 March 2014, Abuja – Minister of Power, Prof. Chinedu Nebo, yesterday in Abuja, said the drop in power generation was caused by gas shortage due to vandalism of gas pipelines.
Nebo, who spoke during a power public forum, he said: “We still face many challenges, gas supply is a very serious one and the current difficulty we have in generation dropping substantially in the past couple of days, was as a result of gas limitation.
“We also have security issues bordering on vandalism of the sector’s gas pipelines and oil pipelines that are associated with gas and then transmission and distribution infrastructure.”
Nebo stressed the need to develop the sector’s transmission capacity “and expand the wheeling strength, so that all power generated can be effectively transmitted.”
The Minister also said there are challenges in transmission “because we need to be sure that we have more wheeling capacity than generation, so we need to beef up our generation capacity and transmission capacity.”
He urged participants at the conference to fashion out a blue print on how to effectively fund and address the infrastructure deficit in the sector, especially the transmission chain.
“With regard to transmission, I will plead with people who are knowledgeable in the power sector, investors and technical people to really look into what Nigeria needs now.
“I will like you to also look at issues around market solvency, funding model for transmission, and so on,” he said.
Nebo, however, expressed optimism that most of the challenges being expressed at the moment would soon be addressed with the cooperation and support of stakeholders in the sector.
He said the power sector reform is on course and assured that it would ultimately lead to the economic growth and industrialisation of the country.
The minister also assured that the Federal Government was working round the clock to create the enabling environment for investors to thrive and urged more investors to key into the sector.
Earlier, Mr Stephen Bourne, the Chairman of the forum, said the conference was designed to deliberate extensively on the way forward for Nigeria’s power sector.
Bourne said the country’s power sector had the potential of serving as catalyst for economic growth and creating jobs for the youth.
The conference was attended by officials from the Ministry of Power, Nigeria Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC), Nigeria Bulk Electricity Trading Plc, NNPC, as well as development partners.