Vice President Yemi Osinbajo has assured Nigerians that the lingering problems in the power sector are being given serious attention as the Federal Government targets generation of 7,000 megawatts in the next 18 months.
Osinbajo, who spoke on Monday at the 50th anniversary of the House of Lords, Nigeria, where a book entitled, ‘Nigeria: The challenges of growth and development, an-depth analysis by experts’, was presented at the University of Ibadan, also lamented that about $15bn was being lost to corruption in the country.
He said Nigerians deserved the best from the government, adding that this year’s budget would solve some of the problems associated with the weakness in the power value chain.
While highlighting some of the challenges militating against the generation and supply of adequate power in the country, Osinbajo said that despite Nigeria’s huge resources, there was a major constraint in conveying gas from the gas wells to the power plants.
He said, “Power is a major factor in nation building. But the most important part of this is that the aspect of power generation that is weak at the moment will be quickly restored. The most important aspect in power generation is gas and its transmission. It is in our plan not only to produce more gas, but also that we are able to pipe the gas to appropriate stations.
“We are going to generate 7,000 megawatts of power in 18 months. But the problem is pipeline vandalism. The President has, however, ordered a full-scale protection of the pipelines by the military.”
He added, “Early in the life of this administration late last year and early this year, power generation was possibly at its best. Nigeria, for the first time, was actually generating 5,000 megawatts, which was the first time it would happen in the history of the country.
“By February 14, 2016, the Vorcados Export Terminal was blown. Of course, the gang up after the blowing ensured that 40 per cent of our gas that goes for power is no longer used for the purpose. This situation led to the immediate loss of 1,500 megawatts of power. It is our priority that the pipeline projects are completed so that gas will be adequately supplied to the power plants.”