The Federal Government on Friday apologised to Nigerians for the poor power situation the country has been witnessing in the past few weeks.
In a statement made available to the Punch in Abuja, the Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, blamed the situation on gas shortage, vandalism and sabotage.
He also said all efforts were being made to rectify the situation and ensure a gradual improvement in the power situation.
The minister said the routine maintenance by the Nigeria Gas Company had affected the supply of gas to power stations, forcing down power supply from an all-time high of 5,074 MW to about 4,000MW.
He added that a combination of unsavoury incidents further crashed the power supply to about half that figure.
Mohammed said, “There will be a decent improvement in the power situation from this weekend, thanks to on-going remedial efforts that will double the current power supply to 4,000WM. Getting back to the 5,074MW all-time high that was reached earlier will take a few more weeks.
‘’The vandalism of the Forcados export pipelines forced oil companies to shut down, making it impossible for them to produce gas. Then, workers at the Ikeja Discos, who were protesting the disengagement of some of their colleagues after they failed the company’s competency test, apparently colluded with the National Transmission Station in Osogbo to shut down transmission.
‘’Finally, the unfortunate strike by the unions at the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation over the restructuring of the corporation, shut down the Itarogun Power Station, the biggest in the country.
“Due to these factors, only 13 of the 24 power stations in the country are currently functioning. It is this same kind of unsavoury situation that has affected fuel supply and subjected Nigerians to untold hardship.”
The minister condemned the situation in which some Nigerians, under the guise of the various unions in the oil and gas sector, would continuously sabotage the country’s power infrastructure.
He said, ‘’The bitter truth is that for as long as these groups of Nigerians continue to sabotage the power infrastructure, Nigerians cannot enjoy a decent level of power supply.
“We therefore admonish all Nigerians who may be agitating for their rights in whatever form to refrain from any action that will further hurt the same people they claim to be protecting.”