Nigerian government explains insufficient power supply

Energy Minister Abubakar Aliyu on Wednesday blamed the country’s inability to produce up to 5,000 megawatts of electricity on a lack of gas supply.

The minister spoke with State House correspondents following the Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting chaired by President Muhammadu Buhari in Abuja.

Aliyu’s remark came just a month after the ministry assured Nigerians that the country’s power generation would reach 5,000 MW.

He said: “On the drop in electricity, yes, you know, supply has so many players. The question of gas for certain powers is complex. They cannot light their plant, if they do , you will experience a drop once they are on and the electricity will increase.

“There can be a dip due to the generator going down and the power can drop. It’s mostly generation. I’ve been watching since like yesterday (Tuesday) night we had about 4,600 megawatts of generation. And you know, we told you since July 1, that we can raise it to 5000 when we activate the contract.

READ ALSO: Electricity workers suspend strike

“And we haven’t been able to do that, because of some of the issues with the gas and electricity contracts that we’re trying to deal with. And we’ve come very far with that, and I think that’s It is for this reason that we have been able to reach up to 4,600 since yesterday.

“The challenges of an inadequate gas supply are not something we directly control; you have to pay the suppliers. They won’t give you gas until you pay. So we are looking for ways to solve this problem.

“This is the reason why we are not able to reach the 5,000 MW that we promised you by July 1 this year. But as you will see from this date, July 1 , we have been around 4,000 MW since then.”

Nigeria’s power grid collapsed earlier on Wednesday following an indefinite strike by members of the National Union of Electricity Employees (NUEE).

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Alan A. Seibert