The Federal Government has lamented that its inability to reach the target of 5,000 megawatts of electricity generation on July 1, 2022, was due to shortage of gas supply.
It regretted that power generation had remained around 4,000 megawatts because of the problem of gas, despite government’s firm contract with the Nigerian Bulk Electricity Trading (NBET) Plc.
The Minister of Power, Abubakar Aliyu, disclosed this on Wednesday while briefing State House correspondents after the Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting chaired by President Muhammadu Buhari at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.
Aliyu assured that every necessary ingredient has now been obtained to resolve the problem as his ministry is working round the clock to improve the situation.
On decline in electricity supply, he said: “I’ve been watching since like yesterday evening (Tuesday), we had a generation of over 4,000, around 4,600 megawatts and we told you since 1st July, that we’ll be able to raise it up to 5,000 when we activated the contract. But we have not been able to do so, due to some issues around gas contracts, gas to power, which we are trying to take care of and we have gone very far with that, and I believe, is for that reason that we’re able to reach up to 4,600 as of yesterday.
“This morning (Wednesday morning), it dropped to 4,100. So, this is what is happening, you will be experiencing this fluctuation due to all these issues around gas to power, because gas is not something that we control directly, you have to pay them, they will not give you gas until you pay. So, we are looking at ways to solve that issue. It is the reason why we are unable to reach that 5,000 we promised you by July 1 of this year. But as you will see that date, July 1st, we have been around 4,000 megawatts since then. So this is the situation. So we’re working around the clock to ensure that we raise the capacity to the required level,” he explained.
The minister also revealed that FEC approved N2.740 billion, as the revised estimates for the updated rates of building structures of compensation and resettlement of the communities affected by the construction of 700 megawatts Zungero Hydro Electric Power project.
The amount revised the subsisting amount from N19.640 billion to N22.380 billion.
Reacting to inflationary trends in Nigeria, the Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, while responding to what government was doing to stem rising inflation, said: “I wish my colleague the Honourable Minister of Budget, Finance and National Planning was here and she will probably tell you both the fiscal and monetary measures government is taking, especially in the area of the medium term fiscal measures.
“But what I can tell you is that inflation is a global issue. And I think it reflects, you know, a lot of things going on, globally. But what governments do to stem inflation varies from government to government.
“Sometimes it is the way you adjust your interest rate or the way you introduce certain fiscal measures that would allow you to bring down the inflation. But like I said, I wish the Minister of Finance was here she will be in a better position to tell you exactly what measures we’ve been taking to ensure that inflation does not continue to soar.”