The Federal Government Friday outlined challenges confronting it in its efforts to give stable power supply to Nigerians, saying the situation may worsen.
Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Power, Mr. Godknows Igali who briefed State House correspondents, noted that power supply had dropped to an abysmal 1,327 Megawatts.
He said it may further worsen if the industrial dispute between government and labour unions persisted.
Igali also listed gas shortages and pipeline vandalism as other reasons why the power supply level had been on a free fall in recent times.
“It has become necessary to update our citizens on the current power situation in the country. Prior to the current constraints we have been encountering, we have generated between 4,800 megawatts at the beginning of the year with a potential to get up to 6,000 megawatts based on the available gas and hydros.
“Besides, pipeline vandalism which has continued to have very negative impact on the power supply situation in the country, the on-going strike by labour unions in the oil and gas sector has added additional toll.
“The current strike by both senior and junior staff unions of the NNPC, (NUPENG and PENGASSAN) has led to further reduction of the amount of gas available to most of our power plants especially in the western axis”, he said.
Igali added that: “As at 12.00 noon Friday, 22nd May, 2015, Utorogun, Chevron Oredo, Oben gas plants are all shut down while Ughelli and CNL Escravos are all isolated already. On the eastern axis, Shell Gas, Alakiri has also been shut down. This has led to the several power plants being stranded and shut down.
“This includes Egbin, Olorunshogo I & 11, Omotosho 1& 11, Geregu I & 11, Ihonvor and Sapele (NIPP) on the western axis and Alaoji on the eastern end.
“The overall effect is that power supply which had started picking up steadily since the beginning of the week, following repairs of various vandalised portions of the ELP Line and the Trans-Forcados Gas Pipelines has fallen to all-time-unprecedented low of 1,327megawatts was at 1.00 p.m. on Friday, 22nd May, 2015. This situation could get worse if the strike action continues.”
He expressed hope that with the ongoing dialogue among parties involved in the industrial action, power situation in the country would improve.
“The Federal Ministry of Power hopes that the on-going discussion between the Federal Ministry of Petroleum Resources, the Nigerian Petroleum Corporation and, the Labour Unions, will end amicably and soonest to spare the country from such a major disruption of essential service.
“Indeed it is hoped the Labour Unions would help restore supply of gas to the power plants even while negotiation is on-going” he added.