04 August 2014, Abuja – The Federal Government on Monday resolved to commit $1bn to the improvement of gas infrastructure in the country in its bid to improve power supply.
The Managing Director of the Niger Delta Power Holding Company, Mr. James Olotu, disclosed this to State House correspondents after a meeting of stakeholders presided over by Vice President Namadi Sambo.
Olotu said the money would be sourced from the NDPHC.
He said the decision was taken to tackle inadequate gas which has greatly affected power supply in the country.
He said, “The meeting addressed few critical issues pertaining to the issue of stranded power in the sector. The President and his team have worked assiduously in the area of strategies to improve power supply to the nation by building massive infrastructure in generation, transmission and distribution.
“Unfortunately , there is a little shortfall coming from gas sector inspite of concerted efforts to address the situation. There is an obvious shortfall in gas supply to the power plants that have been built and are being privatised.
“And this shortage has created some problems and concerns in the industry regarding how the financiers of these plants feel about the situation.
“The Board of the Niger Delta Power Holding Company therefore met Friday and looked at additional strategies in which government again can move the sector forward.
“One of such strategies is to commit some funds out of the expectations from the sale of power holding companies towards partnering with the private sector again in developing some hollow walls, identified certain portions where they have been proven gas availability.
“This programme promises to unlock gas from these locations within a short time and then compliment efforts currently being done by the petroleum ministry to ensure that we close the gap between gas requirement and gas supply.
“The sum of $1bn out of the funds of NDPHC is being put on the ground to support this iniative and this will involved a lot of private sector investors who will be willing to to partner and get this gas supply enhanced.
“The Ministry of Petroleum Resources is agreeable to this and is supporting the entire programme. Similarly, he said the Ministries of Power and Finance were also in the picture. And so we hope that gas supply will become a thing of the past very soon then maybe we can begin to have more megawatts.”
The Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Power, Ambassador Godknows Igali, said the meeting was a follow-up to the similar one jointly held at the weekend between the Minister of Power, Petroleum Resources, Central Bank of Nigeria Governor as well and the Chairman of the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission where issues partaining to gas supply were discussed.