The Federal Government has approved N200 billion payment for improved gas supply to the electricity Generation Companies (GenCos) so as to increase power supply to Nigerians during the Coronavirus pandemic lockdown period.

The Group Managing Director (GMD) of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Mallam Mele Kyari made the disclosure on Wednesday after a meeting with the Minister of Power, Engr. Saleh Mamman and the Managing Director of the Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN), Mr Usman Gur Mohammed at the Ministry of Power in Abuja.

According to him, the payment, which would be made available within two to three days will help address payments issues.

Kyari said, “The federal government has made payment of over N200 billion for power in the two or three days, this will go a long way in making sure that those payment issues are resolved and we are engaging as government to make sure that those payment issues are fully settled.”

Kyari noted that the meeting was held at the instance of the minister to further improve gas supply to the power plants.

“I will visit some of the plants by tomorrow to make sure that any curtailment that is in the system is sorted out and ultimately Nigerians during this period of lockdown will have better access to power,” Kyari noted.

 

In his remark, MD TCN, Mr Mohammed said although there is gas but several power plants do not have gas supply agreements.

His words: ”The suppliers always divert it to other places and from time to time, we always have constraints of gas and that is a big problem to us.

“With this meeting that has taken place and for the fact that the Minister has prevailed on the GMD of NNPC because we are still the same government, to asset in the supply of gas to the power plants, we believe that we are going to have more sustainable power supply going forward especially during this period of COVID-19,” Mohammed noted.

Managing Director of the Niger Delta Power Holding Company (NDPHC), Mr Chiedu Ugbo said the NIPP GenCos under his operations will get the gas fund and pay up.“We will soon get our own part of the payment and I assured the GMD of NNPC that as soon as NDPHC is paid, we have our payment vouchers ready, all we will do is press the button and remit what goes to gas.”

He noted that Calabar NIPP is the only NIPP plant with gas agreement. “Thankfully, the gas was there during this period and we ramped up production. We did 400 megawatts (MW) of power when every other plant was down.”

On the Distribution section, Ugbo said his firm has been intervening by providing 500KVA transformers, wires and cables to replace faulty ones in the networks of the Distribution Companies (DisCos) to ensure there is more access to electricity during this period.