The Federal Government on Monday resolved to commit $1bn to the improvement of gas infrastructure in the country in its bid to improve power generation and supply.
The Managing Director, Niger Delta Power Holding Company, Mr. James Olotu, disclosed this to State House correspondents after a meeting of stakeholders presided over by Vice-President Namadi Sambo.
Olotu said the money would be sourced from the NDPHC.
He said the decision was taken to tackle inadequate gas, which had greatly affected power supply in the country.
Olotu said, “The meeting addressed few critical issues pertaining to the issue of stranded power in the sector. The President and his team have worked assiduously in the area of strategies to improve power supply to the nation by building massive infrastructure in generation, transmission and distribution.
“Unfortunately, there is a little shortfall coming from the gas sector in spite of concerted efforts to address the situation. There is an obvious shortfall in gas supply to the power plants that have been built and are being privatised.
“And this shortage has created some problems and concerns in the industry regarding how the financiers of these plants feel about the situation.”
The Board of the Niger Delta Power Holding Company, he said, met on Friday and looked at additional strategies through which the government could move the sector forward.
He added, “One of such strategies is to commit some funds out of the expectations from the sale of power holding companies towards partnering with the private sector again in developing some hollow walls, identified certain portions where there have been proven gas availability.
“This programme promises to unlock gas from these locations within a short time and then compliment efforts currently being done by the Petroleum ministry to ensure that we close the gap between gas requirement and gas supply.
“The sum of $1bn out of the funds of the NDPHC is being put on the ground to support this initiative and this will involve a lot of private sector investors who will be willing to partner with us and get this gas supply enhanced.
“The Ministry of Petroleum Resources is agreeable to this and is supporting the entire programme. Similarly, the ministries of Power and Finance are also in the picture. And so, we hope that gas supply will become a thing of the past very soon; then, maybe we can begin to have more megawatts.”
The Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Power, Ambassador Godknows Igali, said the meeting was a follow-up to the one jointly held at the weekend between the ministers of Power and Petroleum Resources, as well as the Central Bank of Nigeria Governor and the Chairman of the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission, where issues pertaining to gas supply to the power plants were discussed.