The FEC held its first meeting in 2014 on Wednesday
The vandalism of gas pipelines in the Niger Delta is worsening the electricity situation across Nigeria, the Power Minister, Chinedu Nebo said on Wednesday.
Mr. Nebo spoke at the end of the meeting of the Executive Council of the Federation, FEC, at the Presidential Villa, Abuja. The meeting was the first by FEC in 2014 and was presided over by President Goodluck Jonathan.
The meeting, which lasted for over one hour, considered and approved a contract for the Onitsha new haven transmission line upgrade.
The Minister of Information, Labaran Maku, and Mr. Nebo, who briefed journalists after the meeting, announced that a major renovation of the power line aluminium conductors was imperative as the line was installed over 32 years ago.
According to the Power Minister, the power line is strategic as it services Onitsha, Enugu and Makurdi in Benue state.
Mr. Nebo blamed the current shortage of gas on the activities of vandals on power stations across the country. He said major holes which had been blown by dynamites where discovered at 20 different spots along the western gas pipeline in the Warri Escravos axis.
“With regard to the challenges on gas, I keep harping it so long as vandals violate the integrity of the oil and gas pipelines we are going to continue to have problems,” Mr. Nebo said. “We now need a lot more gas than is actually being produced but the unfortunate thing is that even the one that is being produced, the lines are being vandalised.”
He assured that most of the holes were being fixed and promised that electricity situation would improve as total repairs would be completed in about six weeks.
Speaking on the deliberations by the FEC, Mr. Maku said “the Minister of Power brought a memorandum seeking council’s approval for the award of contract for the supply of 746Km of Aluminium Conductor Composite Core Reinforced (ACCR) for the re-conduction of the Onitsha-New Haven 330 kv transmission line.”
He said the project will generate about 3,000 jobs during the installation of the conductor, while the multiplier effect of additional 400MW of power to the thriving areas of New Haven, Abakaliki and Makurdi would stimulate the generation of over one million jobs.
“The Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN) intends to fund the contract for the supply of the 746km of ACCR conductor from the $135 million allocated to TCN from the proceeds of the Eurobond recently issued by the Federal Government,” the information minister said.
“After deliberations, council noted that the reinforcement of the line would improve the nation’s transmission capacity and facilitate the evacuation of stranded generation from Afam and Okpai power plants.
“Council approved the award of contract for the supply of 746km of Aluminium. Conductor Composite Core Reinforced for the re-conductor in favour of Composite Technology Corporation in the sum of $11.2 million (N1.9 billion) payable at the prevailing rate of exchange; plus N189.43 million inclusive of 5 per cent VAT, with a delivery period of 20 weeks”.