By Daniel Idonor
ABUJAâ€”AS the nationâ€™s electric power supply continues to shrink, the Presidential Steering Committee of the National Integrated Power Project, NIPP, yesterday, gave reasons for the steady drop in power generation and supply, saying that it was the direct consequent of lack of gas to power the power plant.
The Minister of Power, Mr Rilwanu Babalola, who fielded questions from State House Correspondents, at the end of a meeting, presided over by Acting President Goodluck Jonathan, disclosed that unless and until the short supply of gas is addressed Nigerians would continue to live in darkness, because â€œthere is no way we can deliver more power to Nigerians.
The government explanation came, as the weekly Federal Executive Council, FEC, meeting yesterday adopted a resolution that â€œthe Acting President directed that within the week he will meet with ministers of Mines and Steel; Power; and Petroleum with a view to fashioning out ways of generating power from coal in the next 18-24 months in the countryâ€.
â€œThe sudden drop in power supply is as a result of the lack of gas. The ministry of power is talking with the ministry of petroleum resources and also NNPC through PHCN. We have brought the issue of gas to the attention of the acting president a number of times and unless we address this problem, unless all the problems militating against the supply of gas to the power stations are addressed, there is no way we can actually deliver more power to Nigeriansâ€, he said.
According to him, â€œas at December 2009, we were generating about 3400mega watts but as at today we have lost about 1,200 megawatts; the generation today is under 2,400 mega watts. The capacity to generate 4,000 mega watts has been compromised as a result of the lack of gas to the power plantsâ€.