Nigeria’s Federal Government has downgraded its target of generating 6,000MW by December 2014 citing insufficient gas supply as the reason that it now expects to create 5,000MW by year end, according to local media sources.

Minister of Petroleum Resources Diezani Alison-Madueke said the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) will clear power sector debts related to the gas industry, estimated to be up to N25 billion (USD154 million), to increase confidence in the industry and prevent further outages.

Gas-related debts

Speaking at a press conference on gas jointly held by the Petroleum Ministry, Ministry of Power, CBN and the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC), Ms Alison-Madueke said CBN would support initiatives to clear up the most recent gas-related debts of the power sector, stressing that Apex bank was looking at banking-sector led measures to pay off N25 billion of debts owed to gas suppliers.

CBN will also play a key role in financial arrangements that guarantee payment for gas supply, while NERC will require firm commitments from gas suppliers that they will supply the agreed quantities of gas to generation companies in the country.

Alison-Madueke confirmed that about 750 million cubic feet per day of gas was currently supplied to the power sector, resulting in an aggregate generating capacity of about 4,000MW.

She said: “It is expected that barring unforeseen developments, our interventions will add at least 370 million cubic feet per day of gas and assure a generation capacity of at least 5,000MW within four to five months.”