Chiedu Nebo, minister of power, attributes the most recent gas pipelines vandalism and eventual loss of 1,600 megawatts of electricity to political enemies at work
| By Vincent Nzemeke | Aug. 26, 2013 @ 01:00 GMT
THE Federal Government has described the gas pipelines vandalism, responsible for the loss of about 1,600 megawatts of electricity as politically motivated. Chinedu Nebo, minister of power, made this assertion while briefing reporters on the outcome of a joint meeting of the Niger Delta Power Holding Company, NDPHC, and the National Council on Privatisation, NCP. The meeting, presided over by Namadi Sambo, vice president, was attended by Gabriel Suswam, governor of Benue State, Emmanuel Uduaghan of Delta State, Kayode Fayemi of Ekiti State and Theodore Orji of Abia State.
Nebo said: “I think it is instructive for the entire populace to know what has been happening recently. It is important to note that with regard to the bursting of gas pipelines and vandalism of the pipelines that bring gas to the generating plants. It is sheer madness and may be essentially politically motivated just to cause damage to the entire country and to Nigerians. The ones that we find to be commercially motivated are also very painful. For instance, one of our Distribution Companies (DISCO) encountered vandalism of transformers. What these young men steal from the transformers is copper. When you now put the total sum of the most recent one that they vandalised, all the copper they collected that they will sell as scrap, was not worth up to N10,000.”
Nebo recalled that about few months back, the western axis of the gas pipeline leading to the power plants in the west was cannibalised. He said the vandalism resulted in very severe damages that caused a sharp drop in power supply. “That has since been addressed and the damages are being repaired; but unfortunately a couple of weeks ago, the Akoloma plant in the Eastern axis was also vandalised. The damages are quite extensive, but a crack team of experts went to work and restored it.”
The minister also said that water level in Kainji, Shiroro and Jebba hydro power plants “are quiet low right now” and also partly responsible for the power drop.
He said the low water level of the dams was responsible for a loss of about 460 megawatts of electricity from the total 1,600 loss. “We are hoping that with the help of nature, it will come on board very shortly so that the 460 mega watts already lost because of water level will be recovered,” he said. Similarly, Suswam said that the consistent vandalism of the gas pipelines was an act of sabotage. He said government must intensify efforts to arrest those responsible for the act and bring them to book.
“The efforts and the huge amount of money being expended by government to ensure that Nigerians enjoy constant supply of electricity is being sabotaged by some unknown individuals whose motivation is actually not known to anybody. “The challenge to the minister is to ensure that Nigerians are sensitised to be more conscious of the fact that this electricity is not Jonathan’s electricity; it is electricity meant for Nigerians,” he said.