ABUJA – The Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Power, Dr Godknows Igali, has said that power generation in the country would hit 6000 megawatts if vandalism of electricity facilities was stemmed.
Igali made this known at a defence of the ministry’s 2015 budget before the Senate Committee on Power in Abuja.
“The major problem still faced by the sector is that of vandals who blow up gas pipelines.
“Once we go above 4,000 megawatts, people bring us down to 2000; there is no country where its own citizens go to blow up pipelines supplying gas to the power plants.
“If these vandals can allow this gas to flow, we will get to over 6000 megawatts,” he said.
He said that most of the power plants had been linked to gas pipelines and that power generation was increasing by the day.
Reacting to the allegation that the Benin Power Plant was a ‘’complete failure’’, the permanent secretary requested to brief the committee members in a closed-door session because, according to him, the issues are very complex.
“Going into 2015, Nigerians will have more electricity; all the new owners of plants are pumping in more money and generating more power.
“There is a spirited effort by the new owners to deal with the teething problems and the long term result is that Nigerians will have more electricity.
“The power sector is a sector that has been attracting the highest amount of investor confidence.
“We now have massive training of young people, with over 1000 people been trained; the idea is to have a power sector of people who are very well trained, not quacks,” he said.
On the performance of the 2014 budget, Igali said that given its experience in revenue shortfall, the ministry would be thinking of alternative sources of income in 2015 as there was a 92 per cent reduction on its budget.
He said that out of the N59 billion approved for it in 2014, only 43 per cent of it was released.
He disclosed that all agencies of government were being encouraged to generate income for their operations and that his ministry would not be an exception.
“The ministry is going to source for funds from bilateral agreements and development partners,” he said.
He attributed frequent fire incidents being recorded across the country to poor quality equipment being brought into the country, stressing that the ministry would ensure that all equipment were tested before importation.