- Â Begins recess
Damilola Oyedele in Abuja
The Senate thursday mandated its Committees on Power and Gas to investigate the decision of the Federal Ministry of Power, Works and Housing to use diesel to power the 215 megawatts Kaduna Power plant, instead of gas which is cheaper by 60 per cent.
The resolution followed a motion sponsored by Senator Bassey Albert Akpan (Akwa Ibom North-East) who noted that the lack of gas pipelines from the Southern part of the country to the North, has hindered power generation from the plant.
He, however, disclosed that the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) is at the verge of awarding the contract for the 40 x 614km Ajaokuta-Abuja-Kaduna-Kano gas pipeline.
â€œConvinced that to get the Kaduna Power Plant working in the next six months, to allow the northern parts of Nigeria enjoy the benefits of the installed 215mw power plant is to provide an alternative gas supply mode to the plant,â€ he said.
He added that gas is now used all over the world to power turbines due to its cheaper cost.
Akpan, who is also Chairman of the House Committee on Gas, added that gas is also more environmentally friendly, and its use is in line with the United Nations Charter on Green Energy and Climate Change.
â€œSurprised that the Federal Ministry of Power, Works and Housing appears to have jettisoned the use of gas to power the Kaduna Gas plant, and instead opted for use of AGO (diesel) which is 60 per cent higher in cost when compared to gas,â€
â€œFurther surprised that in the Federal Tenders Journal of May 28 to June 11, 2017, the ministry advertised for the supply of AGO instead of gas to power the Kaduna power plant,â€ Akpan added.
The lawmaker noted that over N4.7 trillion was expended on the importation of petroleum products in 2016, adding that 40 per cent of the forex demand in Nigeria is for importation of petroleum products.
Meanwhile the Senate has embarked on a two-week recess following the second anniversary of its inauguration.
The lawmakers would resume on July 4, 2017.