Minister of Power, Engineer Abubakar Aliyu has blamed gas for the recent collapse of the national grid, saying the problem revolved around the commodity.
The minister while fielding questions by State House Correspondents over the Monday and Tuesday collapse of the national grid, explained that factors like vandalisation of equipment played a part, adding that the problem though resolved for now, would be fully addressed.
Aliyu who spoke after the Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting presided over by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo at the Presidential Villa, Abuja, also informed of the restoration of the national grid, said efforts are being made to get more megawatts to put into the grid.
He listed the challenges that contributed to the current power crisis to include the collapse of the grid, scheduled maintenance of facilities, vandalization of pipelines, the disputes around availability of gas as well as payment for gas contracts between gas companies and power generating companies.
“The more reason we are facing the situation now is as a result of the shortage of gas and some of the generators have to go to maintenance.
“It is a scheduled maintenance and it is supposed to be scheduled outage, but we had not envisaged that we will have issues around vandalization of pipelines, which the NNPC has addressed as you can see evidently everywhere, aviation fuel, and petrol in the filling stations. It is a combination of many factors that compounded the problem we are having on the grid.
“We have recovered the grid now. The grid is back and we are trying to get more megawatts to push on the grid. We have set up small committees all geared towards getting more megawatts to put on the grid. Basically, the problem around gas; You need to have gas contract between generating companies and gas suppliers- some are form contracts, some are not. We are looking into this and have proffered some solutions in some few days to mature,” he said.
Aliyu also made clarification on the issue of the quantity of generated electricity in the country, saying “we have capacity of 8,000 megawatts – the one on the grid, imbedded and captive. If you combine all of them, you will get these problems that we are encountering. We are on top of the challenge and very soon, we will come out of it”.