20 May 2014, Abuja – Minister of Power, Prof Chinedu Nebo, has reassured that all the relevant agencies are working assiduously to make gas available to operators in the power sector with a view to achieving improvement in electricity supply promise made to consumers of the product in the country.
The Minister, who disclosed this while on an over-sight visit to the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission, NERC’s headquarters was optimistic of ministry’s readiness to actualise improved electricity nationwide by next month’s as directed by President Goodluck Jonathan.
Nebo, who said he has firm commitment from the Minister of Petroleum Resources; Mrs Diezani Allison Madueke that gas would be available, added, “We must ensure synergy in all our operations.”
He assured Nigerians that no one will be left in darkness, because the ministry was determined to deliver on Mr. President’s directive of appreciable improvement in electricity supply nationwide by June.
The minister said that NERC as a flagship in the new electricity regime must provide the lead in revamping the Rural Electrification policy framework that would allow private sector to participate.
He challenged NERC to devise a mechanism that would open-up communities that are far flung from the grid system through rural electrification means that would include renewable energy sources.
On Gas to Power, “the June deadline is by the corner, Mr. President’s word is a bond. We must generate more power; we are prepared to assist all our agencies in making sure that the ball keeps rolling. We can’t afford to fail in our duties.”
“I have firm commitment from my colleague, the Minister of Petroleum, Diezani Allison Madueke that gas would be available. We must ensure synergy in all our operations, all in the three electricity value chain must be happy including our esteemed customers. She has even assured on gas for power that if need be, she will order that gas meant for export is diverted to power,” he said.
On the issue of over-lapping function with sister agencies in the sector, the Minister assured NERC of support in tackling this problem but was quick to add that the Ministry will leave no stone unturned in filling any gap that is noticed. “If there are areas we see that there are obvious gaps, we must close those gaps,” he said.
The NERC Chairman, Dr. Sam Amadi, commended the Minister for his focused leadership in piloting the affairs of the sector. He pledged NERC’s support for the new initiatives in the area of rural electrification. “NERC must key in to the directives of the Minister,” he said.
On the issue of Gas, Amadi assured Nigerians that much work has been done to make gas available to our power plants. He said, “In a few week’s time, the major pipelines will be able to make enough gas available for use by our plants.”
*Chris Ochayi – Vanguard