Nigeria’s overall electricity generation has dropped to an unprecedented low of 1,327 megawatts, the Ministry of Power said Friday, a week before the transfer of power from President Goodluck Jonathan to President-elect Muhammadu Buhari.
As at 12 noon Friday, most key power plants in the country, including those located at Utorogu, Chevron Oredo, Oben gas-fired power plants, were all shut down, while Ughelli and Chevron Escravos power plant were all isolated already, the ministry said.
Power output had dropped from a recent peak of 4,500MW on April 3, to 2,800 as of March 30.
The ministry said on the eastern axis, Shell Gas, Alakiri plants were shut down.
Other affected power plants include National Integrated Power Plants (NIPPs) – Egbin, Olorunshogo 1 & 11, Omotosho 1& 11, Geregu I & 11, Ihonvor and Sapele on the western axis and Alaoji on the eastern end.
The Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Power, Godknows Igali, raised the alarm over the worsening power generation across the country during a meeting with Vice-President Namadi Sambo in Abuja.
Mr. Igali and the Minister of Power, Chinedu Nebo, had briefed the Vice President on the current state of the power generation, transmission and distribution in the country.
He said the ongoing strike by the Petroleum and Natural Gas Senior Staff Association of Nigeria (PENGASSAN) and the National Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas (NUPENG), which began on Tuesday, was responsible for the worsening supply.
The workers are protesting the transfer of the rights of the Oil Mining Lease (OML) 42 to two indigenous companies, saying the move would affect the fortunes of Nigerian Petroleum Development Company (NPDC) and its staff.
He said “on the eastern axis Shell Gas, ALAKIRI has also been shut down. This has led to the several power plants being stranded and shutdown”.
“This includes EGBIN, OLORUNSHOGO I & 11, OMOTOSHO 1& 11, GEREGU I & 11, IHONVOR and SAPELE (NIPP) on the western axis and ALAOJI on the eastern end,” the permanent secretary said.
He said besides pipeline vandalism which has continued to have very negative impact on the power supply in the country, the ongoing strike by the labour unions in the oil and gas sector has added additional toll.
“The overall effect is that power supply which had started picking up steadily since the beginning of the week following repairs of various vandalised portions of the ELP Line and the Trans-Forcados Gas Pipelines, has fallen to all-time-unprecedented low of 1,327m was at 1.00 p.m. May22, 2015,” Mr. Igali said.
“With the strike, which has gone on for one or two days, there is a dramatic turn in the level of power supply in the country, with the level going down to the all-time low level of 1,327 megawatts (MW),” he said.
“So, if you look at it from 4,800 MW level it was until recently, there is a dramatic turn, the loss is terrible,’’ he said.
He warned that the situation could get worse if the strike continues, although he expressed the hope that the ongoing discussions between the Federal Ministry of Petroleum Resources, the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation and, the labour unions, would end amicably.