*Four power stations shut down *Ministry withholds generation data
OpeOluwani Akintayo & Michail James
Lagos — Nigeria has been experiencing acute power shortage since the beginning of April, according to SweetcrudeReports investigations.
Indeed, the national grid has seen reduced power generation due mainly to the shut down of the Egbin, Omotosho, Olorunsogo and Paras power stations and emergency maintenance by the Nigerian Gas Company, NGC, of its pipeline supplying gas to the four major power plants.
The result is that electricity consumers across the country now have less than five hours’ supply in a day. Sometimes, the distribution companies seize supply for two to three days at a stretch, according to reports and complaints obtained by this Newspaper.
It was observed that homes, which can afford to fuel generators, now run the device for up to eight hours per day, while those that cannot afford to purchase diesel or petrol, live in perpetual darkness.
Business organisations are seriously feeling the pains, as most now run virtually on generating sets, jerking up their expenditures, hiking prices of goods and dipping incomes. Struggling companies have literarily paused activities.
SweetcrudeReports found that the power shortage is due to a gas pipeline leak that forced the shutdown of four power stations. Major power generating plants – Egbin, Omotosho, Olorunsogo and Paras power stations – are on shutdown due to the development.
According to the Transmission Company of Nigeria, TCN, the four power stations were completely shut down on Thursday last week for emergency maintenance on the gas pipeline supplying them.
A leakage was reported on the Escravos-Lagos Pipeline System gas pipeline.
Although the operator, Nigerian Gas Company, said it had already repaired the line, power supply is yet to return to normal. NGC is a subsidiary of state oil company, NNPC.
TCN also confirmed the repairs.
“Repairs have been completed and the pipeline is currently being pressurised prior to resumption of gas supply to the affected power stations,” TCN said in a statement.
In another development, the Federal Ministry of Power, Works and Housing, headed by Babatunde Fashola, has, for unknown reasons, been withholding power generation figures for some months now, SweetcrudeReports has observed.
The figures which were always updated on the ministry’s website on a daily basis, has not been updated since since February.
The figures usually supplied by the ministry have been of help to data reporting in the power sector. Their absence has restricted reporting on the exact state and quantity of power generation by both the hydro and gas plants.