Why there’s persistent power outage – Fashola

Why there’s persistent power outage – Fashola
January 25 21:36 2017

The Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Mr. Babatunde Raji Fashola has said that the persistent power outage in some parts of the country was a result of liquidity problem and vandalism of installations.

Briefing State House correspondents on Wednesday at the end of the Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting in Abuja, Fashola said lack of payment to gas suppliers, sabotage and shutting down of oil terminals were also responsible for the power outage.

“If you can’t produce oil, you cannot take the gas. The gas is the fuel that the power plants need. You have seen what we have been doing in increasing the capacity in firing transmission but if we don’t have fuel to fire the plants, that is the reason

“What then happens on the grid is that once it goes below 3,000 MW, it becomes unstable. It is like in your house when you have surges and your circuit breakers trip to protect the system.

“So once it falls below a certain threshold you then have those trip offs. There are in a sense almost necessary to protect the entire system, so what then happens is startups, we do black starts from various power plants,” he said.

He said unless people change their negative attitude towards power infrastructure, the problem of poor power supply would persist.

“Until we resolve these behavioural issues, people collect money, are they remitting everything in a manner that is fair even if it is not enough? Some people hold up their own share and they ask themselves why should we continue to supply if we can’t get paid because there are bankers and financiers?

“So, we are talking with everybody trying to resolve it. As at yesterday (Tuesday), we were back to 2,900MW. So, we are building up back again and very soon you will see some stability. These are setbacks on the road to incremental power but we will overcome them,” he said.

The minister told journalists that Federal Executive Council has approved the completion of Odogunyan transmission substation in Ikorodu, Lagos, and the provision of additional transformer capacity at the substation with 260 MVA transformers and transmission lines of 132KVA

He said the initial contract awarded in 2009 was about N3.225 billion and a revision of N274.3 million to complete it was approved by the council.

“The contract had been awarded before now but not completed because it was not paid for. It was awarded in 2009 and should have been completed in 18 months which would have been sometimes in May 2011 but because of lack of funding, nothing happened.

“That is the approval we got today and of course the cost has been revised as a result of the economic realities so that this can be completed and put to use and this would add to the expansion capacity to the grid, just as what we have done in Kaduna and previous approvals,” he said.