…Raises committee on gas supply
The Federal Government said it has put in place machinery to fast track the ambitious plan of increasing gas-fired plant contribution to the grid from the current 70 per cent to 85 per cent by December 2014.
The government has said it is determined to ensure accelerated and improved power generation. The Minister of Power, Prof. Chinedu Nebo, who stated this when he inaugurated an 11-member committee drawn from key stakeholders in Power, Presidency and Petroleum Resources to step up gas supply to energise power plants.
Performing the inaugura recalled the unalloyed political will demonstrated by President Goodluck Jonathan to drive the power sector reform to a logical end.
“We are thus at the mercy of gas in order to meet this target. It is for this reason that Mr. President has tasked us to find solution, otherwise we could be strangulated by gas shortage.”
He therefore appealed to members of the task force to do all they can to ensure success of their assignment.
“There is obvious gap in gas supply. This has been made worse by vandalism because the NIPPs were conceived with no adequate provision for gas, which is described as the backbone. We cannot be giving gas to the world through export, while we are in dire need of gas to fire our plants.”
He therefore appealed to Nigerians to exercise patience, especially with the new owners. “In the short run, we must expect disruptions but we are getting reports that there is remarkable improvement nationwide.”
The Minister also used the occasion to denounce the activities of those he described as energy thieves and enjoined everyone that expects stable power to pay bills, just as he recognised the importance of liquidity as essential ingredients in the running of the system. A 12-point term of reference was handed over to the committee, which included the development of policy framework that would ensure availability of gas and strategies for curbing vandalism of gas infrastructure.
The Minister of Petroleum, Diezani Alison-Madueke said her ministry is working hard to develop stringent framework to meet immediate and long term with other key players like Shell and private sector in the development of gas infrastructure. She said that with the enormous work done, “we will see a positive result of what we are doing.” She said her ministry has identified various critical projects, which government has also released fund for their implementation.