06 April 2015, Abuja – Power generation in the country has risen above 4,000 megawatts after hovering between 3,000MW and 3,800MW since January this year.
The development, which industry operators attributed to the general elections, became noticeable on March 31, 2015.
Power generation for the past six months has been poor due to frequent vandalism of oil pipelines and destruction of vital infrastructure supplying gas to electricity generation plants.
But as of March 31, figures obtained from the Federal Ministry of Power showed that the country’s peak generation was 4,011.4MW, while energy generation was put at 3,540.42MW and the energy sent out was 3,465.36MW.
Peak generation consists of the quantum of electricity held as spinning reserves and the amount of energy sent out to electricity distribution firms. The country normally holds some quantum of electricity as spinning reserves in case of an emergency.
Peak demand and highest peak generated power were 12,800MW and 4,517MW, respectively as of March 31, 2015.
Our correspondent gathered that the interest of Nigerians during the period leading to the elections led to a reduction in the occurrence of pipeline vandalism. The presidential and National Assembly elections were held on March 28.
Some senior officials of the Ministry of Power told our correspondent on Sunday that the country recorded less cases of pipeline vandalism in March.
They explained that the industry had a near smooth supply of gas to the power plants and recorded a marginal rise in the generation of electricity due to less interruption of power installations.
“The elections diverted the attention of most Nigerians, including pipeline vandals, and that is why there has been some form of improvement in power supply and generation,” an official, who pleaded anonymity because he was not authorised to speak on the matter, said.
Another official said, “During the period leading to the presidential and National Assembly elections, we recorded less rupturing of our gas installations and there was a near smooth supply of gas. In fact, we recorded close to 4,300MW of electricity sometime last week and this was because there was gas for the power generation plants.
“It is, therefore, obvious that vandalism is affecting power generation negatively and you can see that in just two weeks that we had near smooth supply of gas, electricity generation increased.
“This again is largely due to the elections because most Nigerians and even the vandals were involved in the process.”
The Minister of Power, Prof. Chinedu Nebo, said last month that the country lost about 800MW of electricity as a result of the blasting of the Escravos-Lagos Gas Pipeline in the midnight of March 11, 2015.
According to the minister, the damage was done by vandals, who ruptured the ELGP with an explosive device at Egwa, near Batan, Gbaramatu Kingdom, Delta State.
Speaking through his Special Assistant on Media, Mrs. Kande Daniel, the minister said the attack was the fourth this year, adding that it came only hours after the repairs on an earlier attacked pipeline were completed.