Days after the damage by fire of a gas pipeline threw Nigeria into darkness, operators in the power sector on Wednesday called on Nigerians to take special interest in securing vital national asset in their domains.
The fire at the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, Escravos-Lagos Pipeline, ELP, forced operations in four gas-powered power plants to shut down; and disrupted gas supply to Ondo, Ogun and Lagos states.
The 36-inch pipeline conveys natural gas from the Escravos oil fields in the Niger Delta to various locations for power generation and other industrial use.
The fire, resulting from a bush fire on January 2 at Abakila in Ondo State, affected power plants including Egbin in Lagos, Olorunshogo and Papalanto, both in Ogun and Omotosho in Ondo State.
The four power plants account for 1,143 megawatts of electricity.
But, a report on the incident presented during the 23rd monthly meeting of the operators with the Minister of Power, Works and Housing on Monday in Lafia, Nasarawa State, said normal gas supply on the pipeline has been restored.
"The setback caused by the shutdown of gas supply to six power plants previously supplying more than 1,500MW to the national grid," a communique issued at the end of the meeting noted.
The communique said as at January 7, the pipeline repair work was completed, with Egbin and Olorunsogo power plants already receiving gas.
"Full restoration of gas supply to other power plants is expected in the next few days," the communique added.
The meeting noted that since most power companies use gas in generating power, gas pipelines are vital national asset and "all Nigerians must be encouraged to have a personal interest in ensuring their security and optimum functionality."
The meeting focused on identifying, discussing, and finding practical solutions to critical issues facing the Nigerian Electricity Supply Industry, NESI.
Participants at the meeting noted improvements in the current national power generation and transmission capacity to over 7000MW and proven distribution capacity to over 5,000MW.
The meeting noted the positive feedback from the power ministry from consumers, particularly from prepaid meters, who acknowledge improvements in energy availability and the need for energy conservation.
The meeting also noted the interest to invest in Nigeria's power sector showed by over 600 participants in a mini-grid regulation conference from 40 countries hosted by the Rural Electrification Agency, REA.
Besides, the meeting resolved that 2000 MW available from power distribution companies, DISCOs and Transmission Company of Nigeria, TCN, still needed to be distributed, assuring that work was ongoing to improve distribution of power to Nigerians.
Urging manufacturers to let the ministry know about their locations where they need power, the meeting said this would ensure that the unutilized 2,000 MW was delivered to them.
Other resolutions included their commitment to reduce estimated billing as the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Agency, NERC, concludes work on metering regulations to ensure consumers were metered.
The meeting also resolved to provide better customer service and timely communications on any service disruptions by all operators within the industry and with the public.
Participants at the meeting included NERC Commissioners, Managing Directors and CEOs of Generating Companies, GenCos, DISCOs, TCN and Gas Companies (GasCos).
Also participating were government agencies such as the Niger Delta Power Holding Company, Nigerian Bulk Electricity Trader, Nigerian Electricity Liability Management Company, and Nigerian Electricity Management Services Agency, as well as the Nigerian National Petroleum Company, NNPC.