The incessant power outage in the country is caused by vandalism. This is the conclusion of the whole matter as summarized by the Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed.
The electricity capacity dropped from over 5, 000 Mega Watts in February to over 2, 000 and rose to 4, 000 to drop to 1, 550 in March.
As at now the capacity had risen to 4, 000MW but it is grossly inadequate to light the country. Before he became the minister of Power, Works and Housing, the former Governor of Lagos State, Mr. Babatunde Fashola said that a serious government should be able to fix problems in the power sector within six months but here he is, "saboteurs" have not allowed him to fix it.
He attributed his failure to saboteurs and taking it from there, his counterpart for information and culture, Mohammed raised the alarm that sabotage was frustrating the effort of the government while the masses suffered.
Mohammed described the recent shutdown of Osogbo and Ikeja Disco by some unionists as an economic sabotage and that the government would have to take drastic measure now to arrest the menace of saboteurs who disguise in the name of peaceful protest to destroy electricity facilities.
He spoke about the repeated attacks on oil and gas pipelines and Forcados Export Terminal that had affected gas production by oil firms and reduced gas supply to power generating plants and the shutdown of the Utorogu gas plant.
To him, “These are totally condemnable and cannot be allowed to continue. While this administration will not do anything to abridge the constitutional rights of any individual or group to carry out protests, it will also not tolerate a situation in which anyone will hide under the guise of legitimate protests to sabotage power infrastructure.
His words: “Vandals, whatever their motives are, cannot and will not be treated with kid-gloves because their actions constitute a clear and present danger to the nation’s economic, social and political well being.
“The shutdown of the national transmission facility in Osogbo and the Ikeja Disco by some unionists amount to economic sabotage,” he said.
Mohammed added: “When oil and gas facilities are vandalised, the impact is felt directly by Nigerians. When power infrastructure is sabotaged for whatever reasons, Nigerians bear the brunt. While those actions may be aimed at discrediting the government, those who pay the price are the vast majority of innocent, law-abiding and well-meaning Nigerians, not the vandals or the saboteurs.