By Chris Ochayi & Davies Iheamnachor
The Minister of Power, Saleh Mamman, has apologised to Nigerians over the recent erratic power supply in the country, saying no fewer than power generating plants had broken down in the last few weeks
In a statement signed yesterday by his spokesman, Aaron Artimas, the minister said the breakdown of the plants was responsible for the poor power supply situation in the country.
He noted further that seven other thermal plants were battling with low gas shortages but assured that there were ongoing efforts to restore power to the affected areas in the country.
The statement read: “I sincerely regret the recent power outages across the nation and the difficulties it has brought with it, and wish to assure my fellow Nigerians that everyone involved is working assiduously to restore the national grid to its previous historical levels and exceed that.
“The problem is caused by the breakdown of some National Integrated Power Plants supplying electricity to the national grid. The plants are namely Sapele, Afam, Olonrunsogo, Omotosho, Ibom, Egbin, Alaoji and Ihovbor. The Jebba Power Plant was shut down for annual maintenance.
“Seven other integrated power plants, namely Geregu, Sepele, Omotosho, Gbarain, Omuku, Paras and Alaoji are experiencing gas constraints, while the Shiroro hydroelectric power plant has water management issues. This unfortunate development has drastically affected power generation, thus effectively minimizing the national grid.
“In view of this, The Minister of Power Engr. @EngrSMamman regrets this unfortunate situation and offers his sincere apology to all affected Nigerians on the inconveniences the Power shortages are causing.
‘’He assures that the ministry through the appropriate Agencies is working assiduously to rectify the technical problems affecting the plants as well as resolving the gas issues to the others.
“Engr. Sale Mamman further assures that the national grid will be restored to its previous historic distribution peak of about5,600MW of electricity achieved early this year, so as to relief Nigerians from the current harsh climatic conditions and restore full economic activities.”
Similarly, explosion at the power transmission station in Rivers State has caused power outage in most parts of Port Harcourt, Rivers State.
According to sources, there was explosion at the Afam power plant station in Oyibo Local Government Area of the state.
The source said that the power plant, owned by Transmission Company of Nigeria, TCN, and Port Harcourt Electricity Distribution, PHED, was shattered by the explosion.
The source, who noted that the cause of the explosion was unknown, said the authorities were working to repair the damaged plant.
However, the management of PHED in a statement in Port Harcourt, confirming the development, also said efforts were on to restore electricity in the affected areas.
The statement read: “Please be informed that the outage being experienced in some parts of Rivers State is a result of an explosion that shattered the power transformer at the transmission station.
“Repairs are already ongoing and supply would be restored as soon as possible. Areas affected are: Rumuokwuta, some parts of NTA road, Rumuola road, Ikwerre road from Wimpey junction to Rumuigbo junction, some parts of Ada George, GRA Phase 1, 2, 3, Oroworukwo community, Olu Obasanjo Road, some parts of Rumukalagbor, some parts of Rumuibekwe, Rumuola under the bridge, Rumuola link road, and some parts of Stadium road.”
It urged the public to exercise patient, while PHED and TCN worked to restore power supply to the affected areas.