The gradual decline in the spate of gas pipeline vandalism seems to be rubbing off on the power sector as the latest industry data obtained on Wednesday in Abuja showed that electricity generation peaked at 3,730.5 megawatts on Tuesday.
This is a confirmation of statements made by the Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola, at an event in Abuja on Tuesday, when he pleaded with vandals to stop destroying power installations, adding that the recent rise in electricity generation would be better if they refrained from pipeline vandalism.
From the data, peak electricity generation has hovered above 3,600MW since the beginning of February.
Data from the National Control Centre on sector reform/activities for February 6, 2017 indicated that Egbin and Olorunsogo I power plants added functionality in an additional turbine.
Power generation had peaked at 4,160.4MW on January 1, 2017, but this was not sustained for long as it fell to 1,072.4MW on January 12.
The country’s electricity grid also witnessed series of fluctuations occasioned by several hitches in the system, including power load rejection, trip offs by power plants, as well as limited gas supply needed to fire gas turbines.
The hitches resulted in several system collapses as the grid collapsed four times in January.
Industry operators blame gas supply hitches to the power plants as the major problem that has continued to drag down electricity generation across the country.
According to them, the vandalism of gas pipelines, particularly in the Niger Delta region, has severely impacted the performance of the power generation companies.
Meanwhile, the six newly inaugurated commissioners of the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission have resumed duty at the agency with a promise to promote no other interest than that of the power sector.
Their assumption of duty comes 13 months after the exit of the Dr. Sam Amadi-led team of commissioners.
In the absence of a substantive chairman for the agency, the Vice Chairman, Mr. Sanusi Garba, assured power consumers and operators in the industry that his team would balance the interests of both parties during their tenure as commissioners at NERC.
Garba, who spoke at a brief meeting with employees of the commission in Abuja, also noted that the power sector was in a bad shape, but stated that his team was aware of the tasks ahead.
The vice chairman, in a statement on Wednesday, said, “We are not here to promote any other interest other than that of the power sector. We will try to the best of our knowledge to balance interests of the electricity customers with that of the industry operators.
“We are coming at a time the sector is in a bad shape. We realise the challenges ahead. When people called to congratulate, sometimes we rather requested for their prayers so that we can do the right things in the interest of the sector.”
Garba and five other commissioners of NERC were inaugurated on Tuesday by the Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Mr. Babatunde Fashola, in Abuja. The minister charged them take to headlong some of the challenges in the power sector.