Chinedu Nebo, Minister of Power, has announced plans by the federal government to commence electronic monitoring of pipelines and other facilities channeling gas to power plants across the country.
He said this move was necessary to curb incessant pipeline vandalism. Nebo, who was speaking during the recent inauguration of the new 220 megawatts (mw), turbine at the Egbin Power Plant at Ikorodu, Lagos State, blamed vandals for government’s inability to meet previously anticipated power generation targets.
He stated that government will enlist the help of the Nigerian Air Force in a joint task force team to provide aerial surveillance for pipelines. The minister noted that electricity generation would increase significantly in the next four years, disclosing that power generation was currently standing at 3,600mw, due to gas shortages.
Nebo said power supply in Nigeria is mostly based on gas with about 70 per cent gas-fired turbine while 30 per cent is hydro-based. “When we have a holistic energy mix, things will get much improved, oil thieves and vandals who break into our pipelines make it difficult for Nigerians to even benefit from what this government has done. We have far larger capacity installed than the power we are giving out because of gas supply, which is being taken care of. More forces are being deployed. Electronic gadgets are being installed to ensure that at any point of disruption our security forces will know and know how to forestall it,” he said.
The Power Minister announced that government’s desire for Nigerians is to ensure stable power supply, noting that measures were being put in place to ensure that this happens. “The commissioning of this unit is a clear demonstration of the wisdom of President Goodluck Jonathan administration’s commitment to the reform and development of the power sector.
“The power sector is beginning to see the impact of the privatization of the generation and distribution assets to the benefit of Nigerian electricity consumers. With this new unit, the new owners of Egbin Power Plant have accomplished the commendable feat of bringing the power plant back to its original installed capacity of 1,320 megawatts. The ability to wheel this power from the generation stations on to distribution companies rests with the Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN). This has been strengthened by the private sector participation of Canada’s Manitoba Hydro International as the management contractor. TCN has the mandate of not only upgrading the existing transmission infrastructure but also to embark on new transmission projects to expand capacity around the country. Federal government has graciously approved huge capital investment to enable TCN to realize the vision for a more robust higher capacity transmission network in the country,” the Minister said.

Folashade Olubayo
Leave a reply