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Federal government says power generation in the country has reached a new milestone of 5,500 megawatts, despite unrelenting sabotage of oil and gas pipelines by vandals.
The Minister of Power, Professor Chinedu Nebo who made the disclosure at the end of last meeting of the Board of Niger Delta Power Holding Company (NDPHC) Ltd, in Abuja also noted that the government spent an average of N120 million monthly and N1.5 billion yearly to fix vandalised gas pipelines in its bid to improve electricity supplies across the country.
According to the minister, with most ongoing power station projects now completed and ready for commissioning, the General Muhammadu Buhari (rtd) incoming government must step up security surveillance of the pipelines in the country to forestall further vandalism. “Four power plants have been completed and will be commissioned in the next couple of weeks; Sapele is one of them, Ihobor is another one. And hopefully and by the grace of God, we intend to do the commissioning very soon so that Nigerians will enjoy even more, the benefits of what the current administration has done in the power sector. There are literally hundreds of other projects that need to be commissioned. So very soon we are going into commissioning exercise” the minister enthused.
Nebo had raised alarm last February claiming that sabotage of the pipelines by vandals has constrained gas supply to the power plants, making it impossible for the country to attain 4,500 megawatts (mw) generation capacity.
“Over 200 incidences were recorded on the Trans-Niger crude pipeline in the East, affecting Okoloma gas supply. These regular interruptions on the Trans-Forcados crude oil pipeline affect gas supply in the West. Sabotage incidents have constrained gas supply to power plants and held generation at less than 4,500MW,” cried the minister.
By Olisemeka Obeche