By Phillip Oladunjoye – Senior Correspondent, Lagos (With Agency reports)
Piqued by the incessant incidences of pipeline vandalisation in the country and the amount being expended to fix them, the minister of power, Prof. Chinedu Nebo, has called on the incoming government to intensify security surveillance of the petroleum pipelines and if possible consider digitalising the surveillance system.
Nebo, who made this call when he spoke with the State House correspondents at the end of a board meeting of the Niger Delta Power Holding Company Limited presided over by Vice-President Namadi Sambo at the Presidential Villa, Abuja, lamented that the Federal Government spent an average of about N120m monthly, totalling N1.5b annually to repair power and gas lines destroyed by vandals across the country.
He also noted that despite the increasing vandalism, the outgoing administration had been able to achieve installed minimum electricity generation capacity of 5,500MW, saying that before the present administration finally winds down on May 29, President Goodluck Jonathan would still inaugurate some completed power projects across the country.
The minister regretted that the continued vandalism, which occurs every two weeks, had led to a situation where the country lost about 1,600MW of electricity at a particular time.
He said four completed power projects would soon be inaugurated.
“Four power plants have been completed and will be commissioned in the next couple of weeks; Sapele is one of them, Ihobor is another one.
“Hopefully, and by the grace of God, we intend to do the commissioning very soon so that Nigerians will enjoy even more the benefits of what the current administration has done in the power sector,” he said, adding that there are literally hundreds of other projects that need to be commissioned.
He said the ministry would go into commissioning exercise very soon.
Governor Gabriel Suswam of Benue State, who is a member of the board, said apart from the new power plants, the government had completed more transmission lines but would not be able to complete some sales transactions because of some complications in the bid process and inadequate gas supply, noting that the inability to seal the sale transactions deals were not due to fear of the unknown when a new government comes on board next month.
The Managing Director, NDPHC, Mr. James Olotu, said the company’s statement of accounts for the 2013/14 financial year is now ready for anyone or institution that wants to know the financial status of the company.
Source : Independent