…appeals for calm
By Chris Ochayi
ABUJA—The Federal Government said yesterday that the nation has recorded a loss of over 2,000 mega watts in the national grid due to shortage of gas supply to the thermal plants.
The government in a statement signed by the Chairman of the National electricity Regulatory Commission, NERC, Dr. Sam Amadi explained that only five out of 23 power plants are currently generating electricity.
Dr. Amadi said that the Commission noticed with concern the acute shortage of power supply and the attendant hardship Nigerians are passing through.
He said “In the last couple of months, electricity supply has been generally poor on account of increase in vandalism in the run up to the April 2015 elections. But this bad supply condition has worsened in the last few days.”
According to him: “At present, 18 out of the 23 power plants in the country are unable to generate electricity due shortage of gas supply to the thermal plants with one of the hydro stations faced with water management issue. This has led to loss of over 2,000mega watts in the national grid.
“This situation is further compounded by the recent industrial actions embarked upon by workers in the oil and gas industry, a development which is taking toll on other sectors of the economy. Gas supplies to the thermal plants have been further constrained by the industrial actions of workers in the oil and gas industry.
“The Commission had proactively engaged the gas supply companies and its licensees when two weeks ago discussion was held on how to firm up gas supply in order to increase power supply.
“Unfortunately, not much progress was made through this meeting as NNPC and its subsidiary Nigeria Gas Company, disclosed high incidence of vandalism in some areas that were relatively peaceful along its pipeline networks.
“That meeting was told of the damage done to Trans-Forcados pipeline in the western axis and elps gas pipeline in the eastern axis. Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation had explained at the meeting that repair works are being intensified even as it expressed worry on the integrity of the pipelines on account of incessant damage it has sustained.
“In essence, what has brought about this development is the increased incidence of vandalism which is beyond the control of the regulator and the industry operators. This situation is further compounded by the industry actions declared by the oil and gas workres.
“However, we have continued to engage with relevant authorities on how fast we can address shortage of gas supply to the thermal plants. We are also engaging with the industry operators on how to improve electricity supply.
“The Commission regrets the hardships which Nigerians are being subjected to on account of this development as we intensify efforts to bring the situation under control in the shortest possible time.”