Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, yesterday, lamented that the country didn’t have sufficient gas to fire the country’s power plants to generate up to 7,000 megawatts of electricity.
Osinbajo, who spoke at the NAEE/International Association for Energy Economics Annual International Conference in Abuja, expressed disappointment in the fact that despite Nigeria’s enormous natural gas reserves of over 185 trillion cubic feet, the country was still faced with huge energy supply problems.
“In fact, it is an irony that we do not have sufficient gas to fire our power plants up to 7,000MW, yet in energy industry circles, Nigeria is described as more of a gas territory than an oil territory,” Osinbajo, who was represented by his Senior Special Assistant (Power and Privatisation), Chiedu Ugbo, said.
According to him, currently the country has over 12,500 MW of installed electricity generating capacity, consisting of gas thermal, and hydropower plants, stating that capacity of about 7,000MW was available to be generated, if the required fuel was available.
“We have limited gas molecules to supply to the power plants. This is a result of many years of under-investment in gas gathering and processing for domestic consumption and also many years of gas flaring. Nigeria alone flares about half of the 40 billion cubic meters of associated gas estimated to be flared in Africa annually.
To address the situation, Osinbajo disclosed that the Federal Government was aware that there is no alternative to electric energy for energizing and powering Nigeria’s economic growth and development; hence it is determined to resolve the challenges to achieving sustainable energy supply in the country.
“We are working tirelessly towards resolving the gas-to-power challenge, ensuring that the needed investment will be made in gas gathering and processing for domestic consumption, especially for power plants and, at the same time working to ensure sustainability of supply of existing gas volumes,” he noted.