Vice President Yemi Osinbajo has revealed that the epileptic power supply across the country may continue till next month.
Osinbajo stated this while addressing Shell officials when he visited Forcados Export Terminal, which was attacked by suspected militants in February, adding that the country had not recovered from the incident.
Osinbajo explained that the damage done to Forcados has prevented most of the power plants from functioning at maximum capacity.
Osinbajo said few months ago, power supply in the country peaked at an unprecedented 5000MW, but has now dropped significantly including instances of system collapses, showing that there is “a real problem”.
“What is going on here affects the Nigerian people and the economy. I came here on the instruction of the president who is concerned about the damage done to Forcados,” read a statement issued on his behalf by Laolu Akande, his spokesman.
“I came here to see for myself and underscore the great implication for the nation’s economy. Many people don’t even know that power supply is hampered by what is going on here. The damage done to Forcados affects our oil earnings but also as important is the power aspect.
“It (Forcados) is a major source of gas, about 40% of our gas supply is affected leading to the problem of power supply in the country.”
The statement said a repair plan presented to the vice president during the visit by Shell indicated that the repair work which is in three phases is about concluding its first phase with expectation that the repair would be concluded in May.
Addressing journalists after inspection of the site located in the Brutu Local Government Area of Delta State, Osinbajo expressed optimism that the situation would be brought under control.
“We have seen the alternative steps that the NNPC is taking in order to ameliorate the damage that has been done and the problem associated with getting gas from that terminal to all of our plants.
“There are efforts being made by the federal and state governments as well as communities to tackle current vandalism challenges.
“Government is also looking beyond the present situation into what can be done in the future. One of the future steps that this administration will take to forestall the perpetration of vandalism is establishing a permanent pipeline security force.”
He said such a force if formed “would be armed with sophisticated weapons to ensure we contain the vandalism, and overhaul security.”
However, in an earlier report, Reuters quoted sources as saying that the repair work at Forcados would last till June.