*Power, Petroleum resources ministries set up committee to resolve gas shortage
By; BAYO AKAMO, Ibadan
Minister of Power, Chief Adebayo Adelabu in conjunction with the Ministry of Petroleum Resources (Gas) has set up a ministerial committee towards resolving the crisis in the nation’s power sector
The committee will consist of representatives from the two ministries, gas suppliers, the Nigeria Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) and stakeholders in the electricity value chain sector.
Speaking on Thursday at a meeting with foreign development partners operating in the country, Chief Adelabu said Federal government with its transformation master plan under the power ministry will improve power supply across the nooks and crannies of Nigeria .
” When we resumed here, we spent the first three months to diagnose and investigate issues that have affected development in the power sector and why the sector is still at the level it is today and the factors militating against the turnaround that is envisaged in the sector”, he said.
Chief Adelabu added, “We consulted, we engaged all the stakeholders. At the end of the diagnosis and investigation, we had a full understanding of the situation.
“We discovered that most of the problems in the sector are not all technical or engineering-related, it actually has to do with liquidity, funding, structural or operational issues which anybody, that has the commitment, could resolve”.
The Minister stressed further, “Though they are simple issues, they are in multiples, complicated and permeates all the sectors in the value chain.
“We met as a team to provide practical solutions and came up with a timing template on those issues that can be resolved in the short term, mid term and those that can be resolved on the long haul and we capped these activities up in December, last year when we had a ministerial retreat where we had the various stakeholders, cutting across the value chain, in attendance”
The minister maintained, “We had serious discussions that lasted three days where we came up with what we have to do. We are focused on providing workable solutions to the various issues.”
Emphasizing that the main problem of the sector is liquidity and funding, the Minister noted that the sector ” is supposed to generate -funding if allowed to operate a commercial model whereby all the costs attributed to generation of power, transmission and distribution of power are recovered through the tariff while the operators are given a good mark up.
” All which leads to a cost reflective tariff which is how the sector is supposed to operate. With this, there would be sustainability of the sector. There would be continuity in production, transmission would be seamless while distribution would be impeccable”.
Stressing that the sector is not allowed to charge cost reflective tariff, Chief Adelabu said, “Government promised subsidy which is not a problem, but that is when government does its own part with timely release of money.”
According to him, ” Once the sector suffers from liquidity challenge, there would be no investment in the sector and that is why the structures are dilapidated. It’s important we resolve the liquidity issue”.