In what appears to be the lowest drop to be recorded within a one-year period, the cumulative electricity generated in the country has dropped to a meagre 2,800 Megawatts. This is happening at a time Nigerians struggle with mini-heat waves caused by rising temperature.
Disclosing this, the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Power, Godknows Igali, noted that power output dropped from a recent peak of 4,500MW on April 3, to 2,800 as of March 30. He blamed the huge cut on “vandalism of gas pipelines”.
Igali, who made this known at a meeting with the Commandant General of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps, NSCDC, Ade Abolurin, called for increased protection of Nigeria’s power infrastructure, noting that the affected pipeline is the Escravos route.
The top government official said, “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.”
The Permanent Secretary said the damaged pipelines were being repaired to boost power generation and distribution across the country.
In an earlier remark, the NSCDC boss condemned in strong terms the activities of vandals, noting that his personnel were working to curtail the menace of pipeline vandalism in the country.
He revealed that the NSCDC had acquired more vehicles, boats and gadgets to aid its operations, especially in the Niger Delta region.
Abolurin said in 2015, about 50 culprits have already been convicted by the law courts while several others had been arrested and awaiting prosecution.
He said the NSCDC would not relent in its effort to ensure adequate security and protection of critical power infrastructure across the country in line with its mandate. The Civil Defence Commandant General further appealed to private investors operating the power infrastructure to make their own provisions for security in order to compliment government’s effort .