The Minister of Power, Abubakar Aliyu, Wednesday attributed the recent collapse of the national grid to the shortage of gas and scheduled maintenance by generation distribution companies (GenCos).
He was fielding questions from State House reporters after the Federal Executive Council meeting.
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The minister said the national grid had been restored.
He also cited the vandalism of pipelines, disputes around the availability of gas as well as payment for gas contracts between gas companies and GenCos.
He clarified the issue of the quantity of generated electricity in the country, insisting that Nigeria had a capacity of 8,000 megawatts.
Aliyu reiterated that the current power crisis was not only due to the drop in the level of water.
“The more reason we’re facing this situation now is as a result of the shortage of gas and some of the generators have to go to maintenance.
“It’s scheduled maintenance and it’s supposed to be scheduled outage, but we’ve not envisaged that we’ll have issues around vandalization of pipelines which the NNPC has addressed as you can see evidently everywhere, aviation fuel and queue for petrol in the filling stations.
“It’s a combination of many factors that compounded the problem we’re having on the grid. The generators cannot supply because of lack of gas.”
He recalled that he had, during an emergency meeting with stakeholders on Monday, described the crisis as a war situation.
“We’re on top of it. The grid is back. We’re trying to get more megawatts to push on the grid…We’ve set up small committees, two, three committees and all geared towards getting more megawatts to put on the grid.
“So, basically, it’s around gas. You see you’ve to have gas contracts between the GENCOs and the gas suppliers, some are firm contracts, some are not,” the minister said.
Asked if there was any assurance from the Ministry of Petroleum Resources and the NNPC that there would be sustained supply of gas even when you recover the grid, he answered in the affirmative.
On whether the N1trn owed to GENCOs had been resolved, he said: “On gas issue, this should be one of them. So, we’re trying to solve all the problems.