• Wednesday, February 28, 2024
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BusinessDay

Adelabu seeks collaboration with Petroleum ministry to boost gas supply

Nigeria faces N1.6 trn power tariff shortfall, minister warns

…as grid collapse throw Nigerians into darkness

In a bid to boost gas supply to generation companies (GENCOs) for power generation, Adebayo Adelabu, Minister of Power has disclosed plans to collaborate with the ministry of Petroleum Resources.

This followed the national grid collapse which occurred on Sunday, throwing many Nigerians into darkness.

There had been a continued drop in the daily power generated by the available power plants in the country, which according to the minister, was due to the low supply of gas to generation companies.

Announcing the national grid collapse in a separate messages, the Managements of both the Abuja Electricity Distribution Plc (AEDC) and Kaduna Distribution Company said that the grid collapsed at about 11:21 am resulting in a nationwide power outage.

A circular issued by the AEDC read, “the management of Abuja Electricity Distribution Plc wishes to inform its valued customers that the power outage being experienced is as a result of a system failure from the national grid at 11:21 hours today, 4th February 2024 which has led to a nationwide power outage.

“Be rest assured that we are working with the relevant stakeholders to restore power as soon as the grid is stabilized. We appeal for your patience.”

Also the Kaduna Discos said, “the Management of Kaduna Electric wishes to inform its esteemed customers that it has lost bulk power supply hence the outage being experienced currently in Kaduna, Sokoto, Zamfara and Kebbi states.

“Power supply shall be restored to our customers as soon as we receive same at load centres across our franchise. We sincerely apologise for the inconvenience.”

However, the minister who met with sector stakeholders at the weekend said that there was need for generation companies (GENCOs) to enter a contractual arrangement with gas suppliers to ensure steady supply of gas to generating companies.

He said that to resolve the gas impasse and the liquidity issue, a committee, comprising all stakeholders inbthe Nigerian power sector would be set up to develop appropriate recommendations.

“We are aware that the sector has liquidity challenge, but we need to have a minimum threshold, we are working on revalidating the debt and determining a fair resolution. We know that there are certain concessions expected of government before this could be achieved and we are willing to work on this to stabilize the power sector.

“To tackle the gas supply and liquidity challenges, I’ve decided to form a committee involving all stakeholders. Together, we will work on recommendations to resolve these issues and ensure a more reliable and consistent power supply for our citizens.

“A plan has also been established to initiate discussions with the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources regarding collaboration and to emphasize to the Ministry the importance of prioritizing Gas to Power.

“Our commitment is unwavering in addressing the challenges affecting power supply. We understand the impact on citizens, and our goal is to swiftly resolve the issues of gas supply, indebtedness, and overall sector stability. Your patience is appreciated as we work collaboratively towards a brighter, more reliable energy future for Nigeria,” he said.

The Minister further stated that the countey was yet to decide if power was a social service or commercialized.

“If it is a social service with government fully subsidizing, then NBET should pay what is being owed to enable payment to gas suppliers through the Generating Companies.

“The converse side is to implement an appropriate tariff that would enhance liquidity in the sector and make it more competitive,” the Minister said in a statement issued by Bolaji Tunji, his Special Adviser, Strategic Communication and Media Relations.