Minister of Power, Abubakar Aliyu has said the whole challenge around power generation and distribution in some major cities around Nigeria, especially the vandalisation of pipelines was never envisaged by the government.
Aliyu who participated in the Federal Executive Council meeting presided by Vice President, Yemi Osinbajo on Wednesday, noted that gas has been one factor that may have compounded the problem.
Recall that in the past few weeks, some major cities in Nigeria have been thrown into darkness, impacting economic and social activities negatively.
Shortly after the FEC, Aliyu made attempts to rationalise the situation, when he told State House Correspondents that “The more reason we are facing the situation now is as a result of the shortage of gas and some of the generators have to go to maintenance.
“It is scheduled maintenance and it is supposed to be scheduled outage but we had not envisaged that we will have issues around vandalization of pipelines which the NNPC has addressed as you can see evidently, everywhere, aviation fuel, and petrol in the filling stations. It is a combination of many factors. That compounded the problem we are having on the grid.
“We have recovered the grid now. The grid is back and we are trying to get more megawatts to push on the grid. We have set up small committees all geared towards getting more megawatts to put on the grid. Basically, the problem around gas.
“You need to have a gas contract between Generating Companies and gas supplies- some are from contracts, some are not. We are looking into this and have proffered some solutions in a few days to mature.
“We have a capacity of 8,000 megawatts – the one on the grid, embedded and captive. If you combine all of them, you will get these problems that we are encountering. We are on top of the challenge and very soon, we will come out of it.
“We have gotten approval now of N5 billion from FEC to open up and expand – Lagos/Ogun where presently, they may not be enjoying quality electricity. We need to do this more.”