Tackling gas to power challenge critical to Buhari’s success | Independent Newspapers Limited
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Business, Labour & Employment

Tackling gas to power challenge critical to Buhari’s success

Posted: Apr 3, 2015 at 4:55 am   /   by   /   comments (0)

By Obas Esiedesa / Senior Reporter, Abuja


In December 2012, barely two years after the President Goodluck Jonathan succeeded his boss, power generation rose to its peak, at 4500mega watt. Since that month, generation had remained around 3,000mw. This is inspite of brand new power plants coming on-stream through the National Integrated power Projects (NIPP).

Even with the privatization of the power sector in November 2013 has not improved the supply of power to consumers and currently the supply is indeed very poor.

But with a current capacity of over 7,000mw, the challenge for the sector in terms of generation has been in the supply of gas to plants and therein lies, the President-elect, Mohammadu Buhari’s first challenge in its promise to bring electricity to Nigerians.

The challenge is of two dimensions; the first is that most of the plants were conceived with by the Olusegun Obasanjo administration without any plan on how to get gas to them.

But Jonathan has substantially addressed this with gas facilities to the plants either completed or still under construction. Now the new president has to ensure they are completed on schedule and vandals kept away from them.

The second and probably the most challenging is the continuous vandalism of gas pipelines to the plants.

Curbing the vandals’ activity in the first few months of his government would not only shape the future of his administration in the sector but it would also immediately deliver over 6,000mw of power to Nigerians.

In the long term, however, the completion of the Zungeru Hydro power plant and the award of contract and completion of the Mambilla Hydro remain critical to the diversification of the nation’s energy mix.

Speaking on consumers’ expectation, a business centre operator in Abuja, Nduka Obiora said if the Buhari can solve the power supply problem immediately after coming on board then he would have achieved a lot.

“The power supply is really very poor in this area and the cost of doing business is too high for small business like mine. Jonathan has done its best, but the problem of electricity is too much.

“I expect the new president to tackle this if not his government will be like other before him and that will not be good for him image. He must also look at how the PHCN companies were sold to ensure that the proper things were done”, he added.