The Power, Works and Housing Minister, Mr. Babatunde Fashola SAN, has again assured the nation that incremental, steady and eventual uninterrupted power supply is achievable in the country appealing, however, that it could only happen if the citizenry cooperate with the government by taking ownership of and protecting the various power supply facilities across the country.
Fashola, who spoke to newsmen in Lagos after delivering a keynote address at the Nigeria Urban Design Forum 2016 at the LCCI Conference Centre in Ikeja, said government is ready and willing and has mapped out its programme to take the country to incremental power from where it intends to move to steady power and ultimately to uninterrupted power supply.
The Minister, who was responding to a journalist’s question on why power generation had gone down explained that the only way government could realize its programme was if those involved stopped some of the practices like cutting gas pipelines through which gas for the supply of over 80 percent of electricity to the whole country goes to the various gas plants across the country.
“But one of the things we should stop doing is to stop cutting gas pipelines and all of you (the media men and women) must sensitise all of those who are involved because that’s why supply is down”,he said
The Minister, who noted that 23 of the nation’s power plants are gas powered, added that it was important for those involved to stop vandalizing and cutting gas pipelines adding that it was also imperative that all those involved in the act be sensitized on the evil consequences of their nefarious act to the economy and the people of Nigeria.
Attributing the low power supply currentlybeingexperienced in the country today to the vandalism of some gas pipelines across the country, Fashola declared, “We are ready and willing to supply power but as I have said before, our power plants are no different from your generators at home, if you don’t have fuel you cannot operate the power plants”.
“The main source of about 23 of our power plants is gas, so when people break the gas line it’s like breaking the diesel tank or your petrol tank that supplies your generator at home and that’s why the power situation is currently this bad, so, as soon as we restore those gas pipelines, power will improve”, he assured.
On government’s plans concerning other renewable sources of power, the Minister disclosed that there are proposals that government is currently receiving especially from those who want to do solar and other forms of renewable energy adding that the major incentive for such investment was the market.
According to him, “There is a big and extensive waiting market, perhaps, none of its type in Europe, a market with a promise of very rewarding returns on investment. That, in itself, is an investment incentive”.
The Minister recalled that he held a meeting last week with about 15 to 20 solar energy developers from which they ultimately rose with a resolution that the promoters should write their own business efficiency proposals to government who, according to him, are regulators and are to enable them to be able to carry out their business adding that he is hoping to receive the proposals sometime this week.