The Federal Government said on Friday it would ensure that it paid the bills of electricity generating companies as part of efforts to improve power supply.
The Minister of Power, Prof. Chinedu Nebo, disclosed this to State House correspondents in Abuja at the end of a closed door meeting on power held at the Presidential Villa and chaired by Vice President Namadi Sambo.
Nebo said that other issues in the electricity value chain were being addressed and expressed the hope that stability in power supply across the country would improve by October.
He said: “The generation companies have been complaining that they need to have all their bills paid.
“The good thing about this is that arrangements are being made to make sure that all the generation companies get their money as and when due.
“We are working on that.
“That was part of the meeting that was chaired by Mr. Vice President.
“The next thing is how far we have gone with the issue of even settling the gas question.
“The gas question has remained for quite a while.
“But thankfully, the Minister of Petroleum Resources and I, the Central Bank governor and Chairman of NERC (Nigeria Electricity Regulatory Commission) met many times to address those issues.
“And that eventually ended in finding resources to take care of the indebtedness of the generation companies to the gas companies.
“So, once we take care of the backlog, we’ll insist that the gas companies will eventually produce more gas.”
The minister said the efforts had paid off with better power supply across the country in the past one week following improved gas supply.
Nebo said: “The cheering news from all of these is that if you have noticed throughout the country in the past one week, people have been getting much better power supply.
“The gas is now beginning to come back and it’s something that gives all of us a lot of joy.
“And we know that it will continue to grow that way even until December.
“Now, some of the facilities, maintenance, repair works on the gas equipment and so on, the gas producers have come to a place where almost all of these is being taken care of.
“And, then, the new gas we are expecting we have them trickling in right now.
“So that part of the shortfalls we’ve had in production up to this time, we hope that by beginning of October, we will see a much better stabilisation of the entire power delivery system in the country.
“So, first, I would say we rejoice that for the first time in a long time, we have been averaging over 4,500mw when we include nearly 300mw of spilling reserve, which is always put there to make sure that the reliability and stability of the grid is ensured at all times.
“So, we are really moving forward.
“It may not be as rapidly as Nigerians expect, but it is important to let everybody know that indeed we are advancing, we are making progress and we will continue to make progress.”