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Federal Government of Nigeria commits $1bn to improve gas, power supplies.
The Federal Government has set aside $1 billion as part of strategies to scale up gas supply to various power plants in the country. The approval came at the power sector stakeholders’ meeting presided by Vice President Namadi Sambo at the State House, Abuja.
The money would be sourced from the resources allocated to the Niger Delta Power Holding Company with the active involvement of private sector providers.
Speaking to State House correspondents at the end of the meeting, the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Power, Ambassador Godknows Igali, and the Managing Director of the NDPHC, Mr. James Olotu, said the initiative was part of government’s bid to boost power supply, which had drastically gone down in recent times due to acute shortage of gas to power the plants in various parts of the country.
Igali said yesterday’s meeting was a follow-up to a similar one jointly held at the weekend among the ministers of Power, Petroleum Resources, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) governor as well as and the chairman of the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC), where issues pertaining to gas supply to power plants were discussed.
Igali said: “Today’s meeting on a higher level, chaired by the vice president, during which the vision of the Niger Delta Power Holding Company (NDPHC) that is already playing a critical role in the power sector, especially in the development of the National Independent Power Project (NIPP) power plant and now going to make further investment in the sector, plans towards ensuring gas is available to these plants, was discussed.”
He confirmed that the Minister of Petroleum led a team from the sector to the meeting to share the NDPHC vision and how gas could be made easily available.
Throwing more light, Olotu said: “The meeting addressed few critical issues pertaining to the issue of stranded power in the sector. The president and his team have worked assiduously in the area of strategies to improve power supply to the nation by building massive infrastructure in generation, transmission and distribution.
“Unfortunately, there is a little shortfall coming from the gas sector in spite of concerted efforts to address the situation. There is an obvious shortfall in gas supply to the power plants that have been built and are being privatised. And this shortage has created some problems and concerns in the industry regarding how the financiers of these plants feel about the situation.”
“The Board of the Niger Delta Power Holding Company, therefore, met on Friday and looked at additional strategies in which government again can move the sector forward. One of such strategies is to commit some funds out of the expectations from the sale of power holding companies towards partnering with the private sector again in developing some hollow walls, identified certain portions where they have been proven gas availability.”