Friday, May 1, 2015 3:12 pm
Power generation has dropped to 2,800 MW, the same level it was over a decade ago.
The slump in generation is the main reason Nigerians across the country are experiencing severe power cuts, with intermittent supplies as bad as 30 minutes a day.
Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Power, Dr Godknows Igali, blamed the problem on the vandalism of gas pipelines, making observers to wonder why government paid some groups of militants N9billion to safeguard the same pipelines.
Igali spoke on Thursday at a meeting with the Commandant General of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC), Dr Ade Abolurin, and relevant stakeholders charged with the protection of power infrastructure.
He explained that the power generation had dropped from a recent peak of 4,500MW on April 3 to 2,800MW presently as a result of recent vandalism along the Escravos pipeline route.
“As at April 3, which is the nearest reference point for us, we were able to generate about 4,500MW on the grid, but as at this morning we had gone down to about 2,800MW.
“So you can see how much power we have lost as a result of vandalism, that is why power supply has become very bad all over the country because of these strange Nigerians that continue to deliberately blow up our gas pipelines,’’ Igali said.
The permanent secretary described the action of the so-called vandals as national economic sabotage.
Abolurin, who strongly condemned the activities of the vandals, said that his men were working day and night to curtail the menace of pipeline vandalism in the country.
He said that the NSCDC had acquired more vehicles, boats and gadgets to aid its operations, especially in the Niger Delta region.
Abolurin said that in 2015, about 50 culprits were convicted by the law courts while several others had been arrested and awaiting prosecution.