THE Chairman of Nigeria’s biggest power station, Egbin Power Plc, Kola Adesina, has blamed current operations of single pipeline connectivity to the power plants across the country as being responsible for the frequent system collapses ravaging the country’s power sector.
Speaking at the 2019 Young Engineers Programme Inauguration, held in Lagos, the chairman, called for a holistic approach to solve the crisis in the power sector.
According to him, “Recently, we had a serious power outage in Nigeria and the reason for that is gas. The gas provider had leakage on the pipeline, and in solving the leakage every generation company had to shut down their plant because they can’t be supplying gas while repairing what needs to be repaired.
“For us to have a holistic approach to solving the crisis in the power sector, Nigeria should not have just one pipeline supplying everyone. Nigeria should have multiple pipelines to all the power stations we have, such that if there is a shortage in one pipeline, gas can be diverted to the other ones.
“We have fixed all the turbines in Egbin, and are functional to do from 1,320mw today, but there is no gas and the system can’t be powered. Gas available to us can probably give at best today 750mw, that’s what we can do by way of gas supply. Egbin has a plant with an installed capacity of 1,320 MW, which it had not had since inception. This is the first time all the units are available and ready to work and there is no gas, so if gas is the issue we should ensure gas availability as a nation to help supply efficient power delivery to Nigerians.”
He, however, called for tariff review as a measure to improve efficiency in service delivery across the sector, “Wednesday was the first day for meter roll out and I believe by today most of them would begin to see how fast they can roll out the meters.
My view has always been that when you have a problem of this nature, you need a holistic way, but because the narrative of the power sector has shifted to metering, we want to see if that alone can solve the problem. However, I know it won’t solve the problem; we still have many other challenges within the value chain that needs to be solved.
“Recently, we have heard from different speakers and President of the African Development Bank, AfDB, that without a cost-effective tariff, which is the fundamentals in the power sector we may not be able to get uninterrupted power supply in Nigeria.
“Once there is cost reflective tariffs, all the critical enablers, investors who love profit would want to make legitimate investment and what is needed to be addressed would receive ample attention. Those are the fundamentals that should be set clear.
He explained that the inability to meet up demands from the Distribution Companies, DISCOs, has paved the way for gas suppliers to shift its markets from Nigeria.
“The gas supplier would prefer to sell gas not only to those who can use the gas but also pay. If the system of payment is not supportive of 100 percent, they are not motivated to sell to the power companies.
“Also, if truly there is a domestic supply obligation that needs to be enforced, such that the law of comparative analysis in terms of gas supply in Nigeria is made a priority, to all the power generations company, we need an enforcer.
“DISCOs are supposed to use N305 to charge consumers for the power they are using; instead they use N199 to a dollar. In Nigeria, we ought to have got six tariff reviews which haven’t been done and yet high level of service delivery is expected. The DISCOs are not doing well because the fundamentals are not right.”