The Federal Government and the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) have pledged to work with the relevant industry stakeholders for the quicker resolution of the current power challenges in the country.
Minister of Power, Engr. Abubakar Aliyu and Chairman, NERC, Mr. Sanusi Garba made the commitment after a stakeholders meeting, Wednesday, March 16, 2022 in Abuja.
Engr. Abubakar said, the current challenges of electricity supply in Nigeria are being resolved with the ongoing restoration of normal operations.
He said, “early in the week, the national grid suffered a decrease in electricity due to so many factors. However, more of the power is being restored.
“The current energy crisis confronting some key sectors of the economy also contributed to the problems we are facing now in the power sector.
“We are where we are today also because of the increasing vandalization of pipelines that also supply gas to the power plants. This too is being resolved in collaboration with the relevant agencies.
“NNPC and other gas suppliers are working relentlessly to restore gas supply for optimum power supply”, he said.
In a statement by his Special Assistant on Media, Sanusi Isa, the Minister blamed pipelines vandalism and routine maintenance as some of the factors contributing to the current outages, assuring that government was working with the industry stakeholders and relevant security agencies to address the issues.
“These challenges do not in anyway indicate that the ongoing rehabilitation of the national grid by the government is not yielding result.
“Despite all the challenges, we are recording successes and the grid is being restored back to full operation. Government solicits the support of all Nigerians at this time, while efforts will continue to increase and stabilize electricity supply across Nigeria”, the Minister added.
On his part, the NERC’s Chairman confirmed that electricity “generation has dropped from about 5,300 Mega Watts in October 2021 to about 4,350 In March – a drop of about 1000 megawatts.
He said, “there has been a lot of concerns or publications that oh, this is because in the dry season, Hydros are down and so on. Now for clarification, in October 2021, Hydros were generating 1,350MW, and down to about 1,100MW. But that’s not enough to clearly explain why there’s so much outages across the country.
“The reality is normally at this time of year when the Hydros are down and generations from the three Hydro plants is down, the gas plants which currently contribute about 80% of the generation capacity ramp-up to cover the shortfall in generation from hydros, because obviously all the Hydro plants do water management and so on.
“Unfortunately, at this time when the gas plants are supposed to increase generation, we have had a number of multiple events that contributed to the lack of capacity to deliver on the shortfall in generation capacity, especially the power plants owned by Agip and Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC)”, which he attributed to act of pipelines vandalism.
He however, assures that efforts are on going to expedite repairs and push gas to some power plants, especially the ones built by the Niger Delta Power Holding Company (NDPHC) of Nigeria.