Power Minister opens up on persistent power outage

Gas pipeline vandalism and pricing policy, with the heavy debt profiles of the owners of Distribution Companies (Discos) and Generation Companies (Gencos) have been identified as the reasons behind epileptic power supply in the country.

The Minister of Power, Prof. Chinedu Nebo, who made these known on Channels Televisions Sun Rise at the weekend, said that the pipeline vandalism has almost been compromising the Discos and Gencos’ plan to provide regular electricity in the country.

Meanwhile, the Afam VI, River IPP, Ibom Power and Afam IV Power stations have been shut down as a result of recent pipeline vandalism.

This has resulted in 826MW reduction in power generation output across the country.

Nebo said that apart from pipeline vandalism, the new owners of the electricity firms are already heavily indebted to banks, posing operational challenges to the companies.

He also pointed out that the issue of gas pricing has been affecting gas availability to power firms.

Nebo in another occasion said the recurrent vandalism of gas pipelines to power plants which has led to the disruption in electricity generation has a been burden to the consuming public.

According to the minister, the condensate extracted from the pipelines, which appears to be the only attraction for these vandals attract no substantial commercial value.

The minister said the western axis of the pipelines network has been worst-hit but assured the public that urgent repairs are ongoing.

Apart from the vandalisation of pipelines, the minister also attributed the decline in power supply to the reduction in water levels at the nation’s hydro-electricity power plants and vandalisation of transformers.
He said: “It is important to note that with regard to the busting of gas pipelines and vandalism of pipelines that bring gas, there isn’t any significant commercial value behind the action. It is sheer madness or may be essentially politically motivated just to cause damage to the country and to Nigerians. The ones that we find to be commercially motivated are so very painful.

“The reason for people to carry out this act of vandalism is something that is beyond explanation..

“I agree that several arrests have been made, just like the issue of crude oil theft that is going on in this country. I think the seriousness given to this by the Federal Government to make sure that they arrest whoever that is involved in this act of sabotage is something that should give some comfort to Nigerians.”