The federal government through Sam Amadi, Chairman, National Electricity Regulatory Commission, (NERC) has announced that the nation has recorded a loss of over 2,000 megawatts (mw) in the national grid due to the shortage of gas supply to the thermal plants.
Amadi also disclosed that only five out of the existing 23 power plants are currently generating electricity; stating that the Commission noticed with concern the acute shortage of power supply and the attendant hardship Nigerians are passing through.
“In the last couple of months, electricity supply has been generally poor on account of increase in vandalism in the run up to the April 2015 elections. But this bad supply condition has worsened in the last few days. At present, 18 out of the 23 power plants in the country are unable to generate electricity due shortage of gas supply to the thermal plants with one of the hydro stations faced with water management issue.
“This has led to the loss of over 2,000 megawatts in the national grid. This situation is further compounded by the recent industrial actions embarked upon by workers in the oil and gas industry, a development, which is taking toll on other sectors of the economy. Gas supplies to the thermal plants have been further constrained by the industrial actions of workers in the oil and gas industry,” Amadi said.
He continued that the NERC had proactively engaged the gas supply companies and its licensees two weeks ago to firm up gas supply in order to increase power supply.
Amadi maintained that unfortunately, not much progress was made through this meeting as the NNPC and its subsidiary Nigeria Gas Company, disclosed high incidence of vandalism in some areas that were relatively peaceful along its pipeline networks.
“That meeting was told of the damage done to Trans-Forcados pipeline in the western axis and Elps gas pipeline in the eastern axis. Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation had explained at the meeting that repair works are being intensified even as it expressed worry on the integrity of the pipelines on account of incessant damage it has sustained. In essence, what has brought about this development is the increased incidence of vandalism, which is beyond the control of the regulator and the industry operators. This situation is further compounded by the industry actions declared by the oil and gas workers,” Amadi said.
He, however, said the NERC has continued to engage with relevant authorities on how fast it could address the shortage of gas supply to the thermal plants and also engage industry operators on how to improve electricity supply.
Amadi regretted the hardships which Nigerians are being subjected to on account of this development and said NERC is intensifying efforts to bring the situation under control in the shortest possible time.

Johnson Alabi
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