Speaking at a press briefing at the end of a meeting of the Federal Executive Council presided over by VP Yemi Osinbajo on Wednesday, the Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola, attributed the collapse in the power sector currently being witnessed in the country to liquidity problem and vandalism among others.
According to Punch newspaper, Fashola who was accompanied by the Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, identified one of the problems as liquidity problem, saying gas suppliers have not been fully paid therefore causing back and forth between Distribution Companies and Generation Companies.
The former two-time Lagos state governor said apart from the sabotage in the Western axis of the Niger Delta, the Escravos Lagos pipeline and the Forcados export terminal have been out of operation.
“If you can’t produce oil, you cannot take the gas. The gas is the fuel that the power plants need.
“You have seen what we have been doing in increasing the capacity in firing transmission but if we don’t have fuel to fire the plants, that is the reason.
“What then happens on the grid is that once it goes below 3,000 MW, it becomes unstable. It is like in your house when you have surges and your circuit breakers trip to protect the system.
“So once it falls below a certain threshold you then have those trip offs. There are in a sense almost necessary to protect the entire system, so what then happens is startups, we do black starts from various power plants,” he said.
The minister said while efforts were ongoing to start the process last week, a fire outbreak in Afam affected the control room while another fire broke out in Kainji, adding that efforts were ongoing to repair the plants.
“As at yesterday (Tuesday), we were back to 2,900MW. So, we are building up back again and very soon you will see some stability. These are setbacks on the road to incremental power but we will overcome them,” he assured Nigerians.