“The issue we are currently facing now was not actually only as a result of the level of water which most of you captured in your reports; not only that part, that is part of it; but is not much from that angle.
“The more reason we are facing the situation now is as a result of the shortage of gas and some of the generators have to go to maintenance.
“It is a scheduled maintenance and it is supposed to be scheduled outage but we had not envisaged that we will have issues around vandalisation of pipelines which the NNPC has addressed as you can see evidently everywhere, aviation fuel, and petrol in the filling stations; it is a combination of many factors.
“That compounded the problem we are having on the grid.
“The generators are not supplying because of lack of gas; so, I know some of you are aware; just two days ago, I summoned an emergency meeting which was unprecedented.’’
The Minister said that he met with stakeholders in the sector to find solutions to the problem.
“I challenged all of them; I said this is like a war situation; we need to find solutions; we need to come out with answers—quick ones, emergency solutions because the power on the grid has dropped due to those things that affected it—lack of gas, the maintenance that some of the generators are undergoing.
“So, you know technology, it is not up to you, that drop in the supply that caused down on the grid, it triggered some response; some started to trip down and also causes the whole system to go down.
“We had day before yesterday, we recovered it, we are on top of it; we have recovered it now; the grip is back; we are trying to get more megawatts to push on the grid through that the aforementioned meeting; everybody now is contributing to that meeting.
“Those things you have mentioned about bickering is no longer the cause because I have told them that we are one; nobody should blame anybody; because if you go on the blame game, how do you solve the problem.’’
Abubakar said that committees had been set up all geared towards getting more megawatts to put on the grid as basically, the problem was around gas.
The Minister said that his ministry had got the approval of N5 billion from FEC for compensation to project affected persons in the expansion of a three-kilometre line from Lagos to Ogun states with six sub-stations.
“It is a project under JICA loan,” the Minister explained and added that part of the conditions for the loan was the clearance of the right of way.
Over N42billion For Roads, Bridges
The Minister of State for Works and Housing, Muazu Sambo said the cabinet approved contracts for the two road projects and two bridges in different parts of the country.
He said that the projects were the realignment of the Kano State border and Birni Kudu-Bauchi State border road in the sum of N10billion and the reconstruction of the sub-standard bridge on Kada Road in Kogi State in the sum of over N4billion.
Others were the construction of the Kayama-Kishi road in Oyo/Kwara State in the sum of over N24billion and the reconstruction of a sub-standard bridge along a road in Benue/Cross River States in the sum of over N4billion.
He said the projects would bring an end to the loss of lives due to bad roads and open up communities around the areas and provide access for the evacuation of farm produce from the area.
Minister blames drop in electricity supply on gas shortage