The federal government has blamed its inability to reach the target of 5,000 megawatts of electricity generation as promised on a shortage of gas supply.
Abubakar Aliyu, minister of power, said on Wednesday at the end of the federal executive council (FEC) meeting presided over by President Muhammadu Buhari at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.
Aliyu regretted that power generation had remained at around 4,000 megawatts due to gas constraints despite the government‘s contract with the Nigerian Bulk Electricity Trading (NBET) Plc.
He said “necessary ingredient has been obtained to resolve the problem” as his ministry is working round the clock to improve the situation.
“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,” he said.
“There may be a drop due to the fault of the generator. It’s mostly generation. I’ve been watching since like yesterday (Tuesday) evening, we had a generation of around 4600 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 4600 as of yesterday.
“This morning, it dropped to 4100. 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, 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 5000 we promised you by July 1 of this year. But as you will see from that date, July 1st, we have been around 4000 megawatts since then. Even if you experience a drop, it may not be 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 added that the council approved N2.74 billion as the revised estimates for the updated rates of building structures of compensation and resettlement of the communities affected by the construction of the 700 megawatts Zungaro Hydro electric power project.
The amount revised the subsisting amount from N19.640 billion to N22.38 billion.