19 February 2017, Benin – The Federal Government has blamed the poor power generation and distribution in the country on the destruction of gas pipelines by suspected vandals, who made the supply of gas to gas turbine power plants difficult.
The Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola, said this on Saturday during an inspection of ongoing projects at the Aduwawa axis of the Benin-Ehor-Lokoja road in Ikpoba-Okha Local Government Area of Edo State.
Fashola explained that power generation in the country had stepped up to 4000mw in the last two weeks and could be increased to 7000mw, if the destruction of gas pipelines ceased.
He said, “Three thousand megawatts of power is not available because of vandalism of gas pipelines, which is not helpful to the country. If we can recover the 3000mw lost to vandalism and add (that) to the 4000mw, we will have 7000mw.
“We cannot continue to destroy something and say it is unavailable to us. All of us must begin to speak to each other and sensitise against vandalism.”
The minister, who was accompanied by Governor Godwin Obaseki and some officials of the ministry, noted that bad portions of the road under inspection would be reconstructed.
Fashola added, “I have got recommendations about the failed portions of the Ekpoma axis of the road. I have asked them to get money for the contractor to do full reconstruction of the bad portions, instead of patching it up, which will wear away soon.
“As soon as we get money, the contractor will come back to site.”
Also speaking, Obaseki expressed confidence that the federal attention drawn by damaged portions of the would prevent a total collapse and ease the movement within the metropolis.
The governor, who was represented by his deputy, Philip Shaibu, however, listed the busy Ramat commended the Minister for the inspection tour, saying that it would ensure good quality and speedy completion of the road project.
Earlier, a Federal Controller of works, Okey Oweh, explained that the road, which was awarded in 2012, was divided into three phases.
Oweh said that a 12-km carriage way had been constructed along the Auchi axis of the road while the accident-prone section at Ewu had been improved upon.