The Minister of Power Abubakar Aliyu has blamed gas supply shortage for the country’s inability to generate up to 5,000 megawatts of electricity.
He made the comment on Wednesday after the Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting at the Presidential Villa, Abuja, about one month after the ministry promised that the country’s power generation will hit 5,000mw.
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“Regarding the drop of electricity, yes, you know, the supply has so many players, gas, the cost that drops, issues of gas to some power plants, they cannot switch on their plant if they do you will experience some drop once they switch on, the electricity will increase,” the minister added.
“There may be a drop due to the fault of the generator and the electricity may drop. It’s mostly generation. I’ve been watching since like yesterday (Tuesday) evening, we had a generation of around 4,600 megawatts. And you know, we told you since 1st July, that we’ll be able to raise it to 5000 when we activated the contract.
“And we have not been able to do so, due to some issues around gas contracts, gas to power, which we are trying to take care of. And we have gone very far with that, and I believe, is for that reason that we’re able to reach up to 4,600 as of yesterday.
“This morning, it dropped to 4,100. So, this is what is happening, you will be experiencing this fluctuation due to all these issues around gas to power because gas is not something that we control directly; you have to pay them; they will not give you gas until you pay. So, we are looking at ways to solve that issue.
“It is the reason we are unable to reach that 5,000 we promised you by July 1 of this year. But as you will see from that date, July 1st, we have been around 4,000 megawatts since then.
“Even if you experience a drop, it may not be like throughout the day, you will see by evening it will rise again, just like I saw 4600 megawatts yesterday evening. So, this is the situation. So, we’re working around the clock to ensure that we raised the capacity to the required level.”
The minister, who rued the development despite the government’s signing of a contract with the Nigerian Bulk Electricity Trading (NBET) Plc, noted that the “necessary ingredient has been obtained to resolve the problem”.