- Filling stations remain shut in states
- Power plants still await gas supply
More than 24 hours after oil workers and marketers called of their strike and resumed loading of products from depots across the country, Nigerians are yet to heave a sigh of relief.
Most filling stations visited by Nigerian Pilot in the Federal Capital Territory, FCT, Abuja and other states of the federation, were still shut as they had no product to dispense to motorists.
The situation was the same in the power sector as electricity supply remained unavailable. Most of the 18 power stations in the country which were closed due to lack of gas to run them because of the workers’ strike are yet to take delivery of gas from their suppliers.
This means that power generation and supply will remain at its low ebb or continued total blackout in the country.
However, a senior official of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, told Nigerian Pilot that it will take an engineering process to restore the power stations to full operations. He said that after shutting down, most of the thermal power stations will require engineering processes to get back to production.
Also, the Chief Press Secretary of the Ministry of Power, Mr. Timothy Oyedeji, attributed the problem to system collapse which will take time to be fixed. According to him, “the crises have amounted to system collapse. Scarcity of gas which led to the closure of the power stations has led to national system collapse; this means that to power the stations again requires blowing the engines. So it will take some time to take off again.”
He however added that by the close of work today (yesterday), normalcy would return in the stations.
The Minister of Power, Prof. Chinedu Nebo, yesterday called on oil and gas workers to urgently take remedial steps to restore gas supply to the power stations in the interest of the nation.
Nigerian Pilot correspondents, who monitored the availability of petrol in Abuja, observed that most of the filling stations remained shut throughout yesterday.
From the popular Nyanya Busstop in Abuja suburb, to Berger Junction, only Conoil at Central Business District and the NNPC mega station were opened and sold petrol to motorists.
Other stations along the same route were seen discharging the Premium Motor Spirit, PMS (petrol) while others were closed.
Some worried motorists told Nigerian Pilot that they had been on queue for hours waiting to get petrol.
Mr. Eze Dickson, a trader at Wuse Market in Abuja, who was at the NNPC Mega Station, said he had spent two days on the queue.
“Most of the filling stations in my area at Jikwoyi are selling above the pump price so I don’t mind staying here for as long as I get the product. They are selling at N87 per litre here but the queue is long and slow but the management has assured us that they have enough products in stock,” he said.
Nigerian Pilot recalls that the oil workers and marketers called off their strike on Monday, following the intervention of the Senate and the Group Managing Director of NNPC.
“We have agreed on the following: First is that the Minister of Finance will give an undertaking to the Major Marketers and Depot Managers that the work of the committee being headed by the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN and Petroleum Product Pricing Regulatory Agency, PPPRA, on the outstanding claims, would be concluded and be reflected in the handover notes to the incoming administration,” an excerpt of the report reads.
Consequent upon these conditions, oil marketers in the country agreed to begin lifting of petroleum products nationwide “within the next six hours” and to also pay the National Association of Road Transport Owners, the transport cost which would be determined by them.
Meanwhile, Seven Energy International Limited through its Accugas, has commenced supply of gas to the Alaoji Independent Power Project in Alaoji, Abia State.
Gas delivery to the 504MW power station commenced in May 2015.
Accugas is one of two gas suppliers to the plant with an initial contractual commitment to supply 30 million cubic feet per day MMcfpd.
The Alaoji project is the largest of Nigeria’s National Integrated Power Projects, NIPP, the first phase of which was commissioned in March 2015.
Chief Executive Officer, Seven Energy, Phillip Ihenacho, said: “The reliable supply of gas to the National Integrated Power Projects has been one of the core obstacles to their completion, and the consequent addition of significant generation capacity into the grid.
“Seven Energy is pleased to be able to provide this solution, ensuring that Alaoji has access to the gas it needs to commence electricity generation. Seven Energy is committed to providing the gas that will support the generation of electricity across Nigeria through our expanding gas distribution network,” he said.
Also, the Managing Director, Accugas, Steve Tierney, said: “Alaoji’s decision to choose Accugas as one of its initial gas suppliers is a further endorsement of the quality and reliability of the service we deliver to our customers. By ensuring our network is strategically located to deliver gas to the NIPP’s coming on stream in the South-East of the country, and having proven our ability to deliver almost 100 percent uptime of service, we expect to continue to expand our customer base in the coming months.”