BY Jimitota Onoyume
MILITANT operations in the Niger Delta have been blamed for power outage in the country. Minister for Power, Dr Rilwan Lanre Babalola who said this in Port Harcourt noted that the activities of pipeline vandals in Delta state had led to inadequate gas supply needed to generated power daily. And the consequence of his he said was the incessant power outage in most parts of the country.
According to him, Federal Government has the capacity to generate the expected 4,400 megawatts of power, but the challenge before it was the supply of gas, which he said affected by the activities of these pipeline vandals.
He said his ministry was working closely with the Ministry of Petroleum Resources, NNPC and the Nigerian Gas Company (NPC) to rectify the situation and provide gas for the turbines.
â€œThe current capacity is 2,000 megawatts of electricity, but efforts are being made to improve on thatâ€, he said.
The Minister absolved the Power Holding Company of Nigeria (PHCN) from the crisis in the power sector, saying that the company was not responsible for gas supply, because they buy gas from the producers and merely transmit and distribute available power to consumers.
On the amount of money PHCN is owing Rivers State, Dr Babalola said the issue came up in his discussion with the governor, assuring that the matter would be resolved soon.
Inspecting the Omoku Power Station, the Minister of Power said the Rivers State Government has spent a lot of money to achieve the feat in Independent Power Project (IPP) and commended her for the initiative.
He said the Federal Government was cooperating with the state government to have enough transmission and distribution capacity across the state, adding that granting of licence to the state to distribute power.