Despite being the sectors saddled with the responsibility of ensuring adequate power supply for the country, the Federal Ministries of Power and Petroleum Resources and their various agencies will spend a total of N213.64m to fuel and maintain generators as well as other transport equipment this year.
According to the 2015 budget proposal now before the National Assembly, both ministries will spend N141.65m on the maintenance of plants/generators and fuel during the period.
A breakdown of the 2015 Appropriation Bill for the Ministry of Petroleum Resources shows that five of its agencies will spend N101.11m on plants/generators fuel in 2015; if the budget is approved.
The Petroleum ministry, according to the 2015 budget proposal, has six agencies and only one, the Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board, has no allocation for fueling plant/generator.
The other five agencies are the Department of Petroleum Resources, Petroleum Training Institute, Petroleum Product Pricing and Regulatory Agency, the Nigerian Nuclear Regulatory Authority and the Petroleum ministry headquarters.
A total of N26.26m was specifically allocated to plants and generators maintenance in the Petroleum ministry; N27.4m to transport equipment, and N9.879m to other maintenance services.
Although no amount was earmarked for fueling of generators in the agencies under the Ministry of Power, N13.98m was budgeted for the maintenance of plants/generators, N30.76m for transport equipment, and N4.25m for other maintenance services.
Of the eight agencies under the Power ministry, three have no allocations for generator, equipment and other maintenance services. They are NERC, the Transmission Company of Nigeria and the Nigerian Bulk Electricity Trading Company.
Other agencies under the power sector with allocations for generators/plants maintenance are the headquarters itself, Rural Electrification Agency, Electricity Management Services Limited, National Power Training Institute of Nigeria and the Nigeria Electricity Liability Management Company.
The ministries of Power and Petroleum Resources are two key government agencies that have been promoting the generation of adequate electricity by power companies for local consumption.
Late last year, the Minister of Petroleum Resources, Mrs. Diezani Alison-Madueke, in a document put together by her ministry, Ministry of Power, NERC and the Central Bank of Nigeria, had said the Federal Government was working on gas-fired power plants.
She stated that her ministry was focusing on a number of gas projects that would help to cushion the effects of supply shortage in the short term, adding that the projects were at various stages of maturation and would be concluded before the end of last year.
She said, “These projects should unlock an additional 370 million cubic feet per day of gas, assuring us of a total of 5,000 megawatts (inclusive of hydro) within the four to five months to the year-end.”
She had assured Nigerians that between August and September last year, all planned maintenance activities would have been carried out.
“Whilst this will create temporary disruption in supply, it will ensure that from October, disruptions due to planned maintenance activities will be minimal, enabling supply of power to Nigerians,” the minister had said.
Alison-Madueke also said in order to minimise disruptions to supply, the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation had concluded a harmonisation plan of the maintenance schedule of all gas plants from various suppliers.
However, the plan by the Federal Government to generate 5,000MW before the end of 2014 was not realised as the country only generated a little above 4,000MW.
Alison-Madueke, however, listed some challenges that affected gas supply to power plants as rapid reservoir decline, continuous pipeline vandalism, community disruptions of project schedules and funding.
The document also listed other projects being done by the Federal Government in a bid to boost power supply to include the Utorogo field expansion, comprising work-over of some wells and the completion of the new gas plants.