Minister of Works, Power and Housing, Babatunde Fashola, yesterday said Nigeria could generate7000 megawatts of electricity if pipeline vandalism is effectively curtailed. He noted that the unwholesome activity had affected supply of gas negatively, making generation to hover around 4000 megawatts in the last couple of days.
Fashola, who spoke in Benin City while inspecting the reconstruction of the Benin axis of the Benin-Auchi-Okenne-Lokoja federal highway, noted: “3000 megawatts of power are not available because of vandalism of gas pipelines, which is not helpful to the country. If we can recover the 3000mw lost to vandalism and add to the 4000mw, we will have 7000mw. We cannot continue to destroy something and say it is unavailable to us. All of us most begin to speak to one other and sensitise against vandalism.”
Briefing Governor Godwin Obaseki, represented by his deputy, Philip Shaibu on the tour, the minister said plans were also in the offing to rehabilitate the bad portions on the Ekpoma axis of the road.
“I have gotten recommendations about the failed portions of the Ekpoma end of the road. I have asked them to get money for the contractor to do full reconstruction of the bad portions, instead of patching it up, which will wear away soon. As soon as we get money, the contractor will come back to site,” Fashola added.
The governor commended the minister for the trip, saying it would enhance quality and speedy completion of the project. He, however, called for a prompt action on the bad portions of the highway to prevent its total collapse.
In a related development, the Federal Controller of Works in the state, Okey Oweh, said the 12-kilometre Benin-Ehor-Lokoja road, awarded in 2012, would be completed by May 31 this year, just as he confirmed that work on the Ewu-Agbor-Sapele highway had begun.
Meanwhile, the Controller of Housing in the state, Andrew Ikechukwu, said the national housing programme for the ministry had commenced in earnest.