How activities of Militants Paralysed Nigeria’s Power Sector

By Aiyeku Timothy May 31, 2016 19:05

How activities of Militants Paralysed Nigeria’s Power Sector

As Nigerians continue to live in darkness, electricity supply statistics have shown that the power sector loses an average of N2 billion daily, since the resurgence of pipeline bombings by militants.

This is coming on the heels of the the activities of the Niger Delta Avengers, which have reduced the number of functional gas-fired power generating turbines across the country, from 50 that were operational in April, to about 30, as at the end of last week.

It would be recalled, that the Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola, stated that out of about 140 power generating turbines in the country, only 50 were functional, adding that the facilities were not working, because there was no gas to fire them up.

“The power being generated, comes from only about 78 turbines out of 140, and they are largely fired by gas. Now, power has gone down, because we have gas outage, due to the failure of pipelines.

“And as a result of that, 78 turbines dropped to may be about 50, because there was no gas,” Fashola had said.

Confirming the minister’s position on lack of gas for the power generating plants, latest data on the industry obtained on Monday, showed that the country lost 3,748 Megawatts, MW, of electricity due to gas constraints.

Nigeria could not generate 92MW and 127MW of electricity, due to line and water management constraints, respectively, while only 2,461MW hour of ‎energy was sent out.

“The power sector lost the equivalent of N1.904 billion on May 28, 2016, due to constraints,” the report stated.

An analysis of statistics showed that on the average, the power sector has been losing about N2 billion daily, as a result of constraints to electricity generation, while the major challenge, according to the report, is inadequate gas supply.

On Friday, the report revealed that the power sector lost N2.117 billion, while 3,849MW of electricity could not be generated as a result of gas constraint, as only 2,163MW of electricity was sent out to consumers across the country.

Additional data from the System Operator of the Transmission Company of Nigeria, showed that the country’s power generation hovered between 2,300MW and 3,000MW for several weeks, but this fell drastically to 2,020.1MW on Saturday, a development ‎that was largely attributed to the heightened bombings of pipelines by militants.

It was further gathered that the drop in the number of functional gas-fired power turbines, was due to the fact that some of the facilities get their gas supplies from oil companies, whose facilities were attacked by the militants.

Sources at the Power ministry and the Presidency, disclosed that the destruction of pipelines belonging to oil companies, was not only affecting the firms, but also hampering power generation.