Fashola explains Nigeria’s deteriorating power situation, solutions

Photo credit: The Herald News Nigeria

The Minister of Works, Power and Housing, Babatunde Fashola, has said that Nigerians are experiencing irregular power supply due to instability in the national grid owing to low generation.

He said Nigeria is currently generating less that 3000 megawatts (MW) and that once that is the case, the system shuts itself on and off.

“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. They are in a sense almost necessary to protect the entire system, so what then happens is start-ups; we do black starts from various power plants,” he said.

Mr. Fashola, who stated this while addressing journalists shortly after a meeting of the Federal Executive Council, on Wednesday in Abuja said the sabotage of critical oil and gas platforms from the western axis of the Niger Delta, meant that “the Escravos Lagos pipeline is not operational, the Forcados export terminal too has been out of operation, so if you can’t produce oil you can’t 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,” he said.

Egbim Power plantThe minister also said apart from the lack of gas to the power plants, other power generating plants also witnessed fire accidents.

“While we were trying to start last week, we had a fire in Afam and that affected the control room and these are normal engineering accidents that can happen, the mechanical parts can break down, we also had another fire in Kainji. We have tried to repair them over the last weekend while negotiations with the gas companies are ongoing,” he said.

Mr. Fashola said the FEC had on Wednesday approved additional payment for the completion of the Odogiyan transmission substation in Ikorodu, Lagos and to provide additional transformer capacity at the substation to 260 MVA transformers and transmission lines of 132KVA.

“This will complete the works in that area generally known within the power industry as Ayobo West,” he said.

He said the contract had been awarded before but was not completed because it wasn’t paid for.

He said It was awarded in 2009 and should have been completed in 18 months which would have been sometimes in May 2011.

“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,” he said.

The minister said the initial contract was N3.225 billion with additional N274.3million approved on Wednesday.

“So it goes from about N3.2 to N3.5million,” he said.


Mr. Fashola said in order to overcome the challenges of power generation, he has been meeting with the gas suppliers, trying to see how the government can pay off some of their debts while other problems are fixed.

“As I continue to say, it is not technical but financial; vandalism of pipelines is not technical, people are destroying, they are hungry.

“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 we were back to 2900 (megawatts), so we are building up back again and very soon you will see some stability. These are set backs on the road to incremental power but we will overcome them,” Mr. Fashola said.


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  • Oscar Millenium

    Premium Times Editor,

    Raji Fashola can be honest…..in other ways

    People should consider what they have been saying about Raji Fashola.
    They are saying he is a thief and too much billion was stolen in Lagos state.
    I am not defending Raji Fashola at all. I don’t like thieves too. I just want objectivity.
    If someone is called a thief and has not argued it, why call him a thief again and again. Why?
    That is the issue. Raji Fashola is even showing honesty here but nobody talks about that one.
    Rajo Fashola is saying electricity supply has DETERIORATED under him so much into darkness.
    Go and check meaning of DETERIORATE. It means “to supply and rot into decay”. See the honesty!

    • Asking Questions

      NO WAY. That is not the meaning of the word, “deteriorate”. The word ‘supply‘ is not part
      of the definition of the word ‘deteriorate’. You are just an APC agent coming here to support
      zero megawatts electricity by Raji Fashola. Shame on you! My own dictionary here on my
      table defines “deteriorate” as follows:

      • …to make something worse; to grow worse or inferior in quality;
      to be of worse value or character; to be impaired in quality, or,
      to degenerate; to decompose, to make worse or reduce in quality”


  • tony H

    “The Minister of Works, Power and Housing, Babatunde Fashola, has said that Nigerians are experiencing irregular power supply due to instability in the national grid owing to low generation.
    He said Nigeria is currently generating less that 3000 megawatts (MW) and that once that is the case, the system shuts itself on and off.”

    And Fashola actually believe this nonsense that he’s spewing.

    Dear Mr. Minister of Power, Light, Road, House, Shelter, Bridge: your job is to generate electricity, low generation of electricity will cause reduction in power supply. You have to generate the power to be able to supply it. Your job is to generate electricity. Generate electricity. Generate electricity.


    You were to suppose to be so smart they gave you three portfolios. Your silly sophomoric explanation is akin to me saying I am hungry because low generation of food in my house. If I buy food, I will have food to eat and will not be hungry. If you generate power, like you are suppose to, you will have stable power supply.

  • Hillary Isife

    It is now clear to everybody that sabotage has a role in governance. These crop of men in position of authorities now never believed, one can sabotage the efforts of government. This blame game employed by this government has shadowed the wisdom of these men, impacted so much on their capacity to perform and impoverished the people. Leadership is all about taking responsibility and designing achievable policies and programs that will enhance standard of living. propaganda has a limit and when it is exceeded, the ripple effect will be very difficult to manage.
    The power situation in this country will continue to dwindle until square pegs are put in square holes.

  • tony

    Am not here to read your unreliable story but to tell you to resign, since you cannot fix power in two years. I wish to remind you of the comments you had made whilst govr of Lagos state “that any government that cannot fix power within two years and give autonomy to state governors to generate power should be voted out”

  • Mamman Bako

    This sweet-talking Minister is quite good at defending his incompetence, he’s simply overwhelmed and has no fibre of courage to say so, he’s happy to ‘keep up the appearance’ at the detriment of his fellow citizens. Shame.

    • blueeyedkitten

      you havent made a single sense from your post. take the minister on the issues he raised.
      some of you are only good in insulting people on social media platform. i know you’d proof me right o this.

  • blueeyedkitten

    after bombing the pipelines, you can then turn around and blame the government for blackout.
    makes sense.

  • Impulse400

    I do not believe that if power generated drops, the system trips. All along when power generated was 4000MW, transmission was blamed for not delivering power to distribution.

    Now that it is below 3000MW, transmission should carry it better.

    And what is all this blame on Kainji…? Some days ago, water level was blamed for lack of generation. The Manager there had to clarify issues. Now Fashola is saying it was fire.

    “Lawyer wey wan be Engineer, na swegbe oh!”

    I hope Fashola realizes that he needs at least 10,000MW delivered to all Discos to make a meaningful impact in his so called power reform.

  • Ola

    Am just waiting to see Fasola to divide power sector to every state because he long for it when he was a governor,,,,,, so why now? Power power power