The Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Power, Ambassador Godknows Igali, said on Thursday that Nigeria had lost 1,800 MegaWatts of electricity in the last one month.
Igali, who stated this at a meeting between his ministry and the Senate Committee on Power, Steel Development and Metallurgy, in Abuja, also attributed the deteriorating outage in the country to activities of vandals.
He lamented that the hoodlums “went about destroying both oil and gas pipelines across the country in recent times.”
He added, “We have been able to explain to electricity consumers that the current power outage is as a result of high rate of pipeline vandalism.
“They vandalise both the crude pipelines and gas pipelines. When the crude pipelines are vandalised because people want to steal crude, and condense some that affect the gas.
“The more sinister one, which is with a lot of pain, is when people deliberately blow up pipeline written clearly Gas Pipeline. They blow them up almost every day; they blow them up and that denies the power plants some gas.
“Unfortunately, our country depends on a lot of gas. We have hydro pipelines in Shiroro, Jebba and Kainji, which are the major ones. But in dry season, the hydro does not do well.”
Igali, however, said security operatives had arrested about 200 people, who were vandalising gas pipelines in the last two months.
He noted that the vandals were undergoing interrogation in the custody of the security agencies.
Igali said, “Security agencies have arrested 200 people vandalising gas pipelines in the last two months, and they are interviewing them and working with communities to solve this problem and put it behind us.
Chairman of the Senate Committee, Senator Philip Aduda, consequently summoned the Director-General of the Bureau for Public Procurement, Emeka Ezeh, and other heads of agencies under the Ministry of Power, to appear before it on Tuesday next week.