The federal government has set up a committee to investigate the incessant complaints of inadequate gas to power Nigeria’s thermal electricity generation plants and recommend solutions.
A statement by the Deputy Director (Press and Public Relations), Chris Ugwuegbulam yesterday, said the move was part of government’s efforts to address the challenges.
Nigeria has over 206 Trillion Cubic Feet (TCF) of natural gas, but has been unable to tap the resource due mainly to lack of investment in the sector, leading to inadequate gas transportation infrastructure. Even the inadequate infrastructure is routinely vandalised.
The statement added that the Minister of State Petroleum Resources (Gas) Ekperikpe Ekpo and Minister of Power, Chief Adebayo Adelabu, jointly set up the inter-ministerial committee in in Abuja.
The committee, the ministry said, will suggest ways and means of achieving a steady and sustainable gas supply to power generating plants to meet both the domestic and industrial needs of Nigerians.
The inter-ministerial committee, the statement stressed, was formed at the end of the meeting between the two ministries.
“At the meeting, Ekpo outlined the challenges causing the low supply of gas to the thermal power plants to include; Decade of Gas legacy debts and vandalism of gas resources infrastructures in the Niger Delta Region.
“He also listed domestic pricing of gas in dollars, among others. He expressed his willingness to work harmoniously with any individual, organisation and agency to solve these challenges,” the ministry stated.
Minister of Power, Adelabu in his remarks stated the need for the two ministries to work collaboratively and solve the problem of low gas supply to the thermal power plants.
According to him this was in order to achieve an uninterrupted power supply in the country, stressing that, “there is absolutely nothing can be done in Nigeria without stable power.”
Members of the committee were drawn from the ministries of petroleum resources and power, regulatory agencies, operators and critical stakeholders in the gas and power sectors.
The meeting was witnessed by some directors in the ministries of petroleum resources and power.
Meanwhile, the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited (NNPC) yesterday assured the public that there is no imminent increase in the cost of Premium Motor Spirit (PMS), commonly known as petrol in the country.
A statement by the Chief Corporate Communications Officer of the national oil company, Olufemi Soneye, urged Nigerians to disregard unfounded rumours and assured them that there are no plans for an upward review of the PMS price.
“Motorists nationwide are advised against engaging in panic buying, as there is presently ample availability of PMS across the country,” Soneye stated.