2nd September, 2015
If you have been wondering what magic wand President Muhammadu Buhari has deployed in the Nigerian power sector that has accounted for the generally perceived improved power supply in the country, the answer may not be what you think.
It is not magic. It is simply that there has been zero vandalisation of the country’s pipeline of gas supplying the power stations, since Buhari came to power in May.
The Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Power, Mr Godknows Igali unveiled the secret while fielding questions from State House correspondents in Abuja on Monday.
He emphasized that no single case of gas pipeline vandalism has been recorded since President Muhammadu Buhari assumed office.
The permanent secretary was reacting to questions on what has been responsible for the recent improvement in electricity supply across the country.
Igali recalled that vandalism of gas pipelines was common in the last days and months of the previous administration, and reached its peak on the May 26 when gas-generated electricity was completely grounded.
“The gas is now passing to the gas pipelines and I think that the government has been engaging the communities and the places where these gas infrastructures pass through.
“We hope it will be sustained because like I said there is a conscious engagement and is redoubled. Redouble means that there was effort and when there was effort and you put additional effort and additional effort, then, it means that you have redoubled your work and that is what is going on and at different levels the engagement of where the pipelines passed.
“We saw tremendous vandalism, especially before the handover. It has never been so bad. But, now for nearly three months not a single day have we had that kind of vandalism.It is our prayer that this will continue.”
According to him, the Federal Government has been engaging stakeholders where the pipelines pass through to allow peace to reign.
He said this action had resulted in increased gas supplies and improved power supply nationwide with about 4,600 megawatts.
Igali explained that apart from President Muhammadu Buhari building on efforts of past government and tasking stakeholders to double efforts, Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo had been holding almost daily meetings with power distribution companies (DISCOs) on ways of improving power supply to consumers.
“It is no miracle but a lot of work being directed by President Buhari and Vice-President Osinbajo, and people are working in more a concerted manner to achieve the prevailing results,” he said.
He dismissed the insinuation that power supply improved because of increased rains, saying that the hydro power stations in Kainji and Shiroro contributed “about 20 per cent of the entire electricity and no substantial additions come from there”.