Bayo Adelabu, the Minister of Power, has identified the root cause of the ongoing electricity blackout as the shortage of gas supply to electricity generation companies and outstanding debts owed to producers.
However, he offered reassurance to Nigerians, stating that measures are being taken to address these challenges, leading to a gradual increase in the availability of electricity across the nation.
The minister made this known on X (Twitter) through Bolaji Tunji, his media aide, on Thursday, February 8, 2024.
The statement read: “The blackout we have been experiencing is based on the fact that gas supply to the GenCos has reduced and that was due to indebtedness and the minister is looking into it. His concern is to ensure that we have more regular supply, incremental regular supply of electricity across the nation,”
Tunji said that the minister is not offering a miraculous solution as the issues have persisted for many years, but the government is committed to altering the prevailing situation.
He said, “He is not promising a miracle, but he is saying that there should be incremental supply of electricity, and people would see there is improvement. This is not a problem that came overnight. It has been there over the years.
“But he is desirous of making an impact and changing the narratives. It is not that he wants to perform a miracle, but he wants to ensure that we have incremental energy supply across the nooks and crannies of Nigeria.”
He said that the shortage of gas resources has hurt the production of power, revealing the formation of a committee to tackle this issue.
“If the DisCos are not supplying enough power, it is because they are not getting enough from the GenCos; and the GenCos could not give them enough because their production has been reduced, based on the fact that they have limited gas supplies.
“The minister is setting up a committee of all stakeholders to look at how to tackle this problem to ensure we don’t have this kind of situation again,”
Meanwhile, Osagie Okunbor, managing director of Shell Petroleum Development Company of Nigeria, told journalists on Tuesday after a meeting with the state minister for Petroleum (Gas) that gas producers were currently owed $1.3 billion.
Representing the Oil Producers Trade Section, comprising International Oil Companies (IOCs), Okunbor highlighted the detrimental impact of this situation on sector investments, emphasising the urgent need for its resolution.
The managing director expressed concern that this development fails to foster an environment conducive to increased investment, identifying it as a critical issue for the ongoing discussions surrounding the Decade of Gas initiative.