Gencos face imminent shutdown over gas supply shortages
Power plant

Adebayo Obajemu

Adebayo Adelabu, Minister of Power, last week outlined his vision for the Ministry of Power, saying he will leverage on Nigerian Electricity Act of 2023, the power of technology, ICT apparatus of the Ministry of Power, the emerging technological ideas of young Nigerians, and robust partnerships between the private and public sectors to drive the sector.

However, beyond this wild remarks, he did not say how he intends to drive this agendas in concrete terms.

Adelabu made this known in his inaugural address titled: “Powering Nigeria’s Future Together.” According to him, he was ready to provide optimal solutions for Nigeria’s power needs across the nation.

He said, “This task is not merely a requirement but an expectation from our President and the Nigerian populace, who have endured years of power challenges.

“This responsibility weighs heavily upon us, and it is with conviction, divine guidance and the support of President Tinubu, the National Assembly, government agencies, and every Nigerian citizen that I pledge my commitment to achieving success in Nigeria’s power sector.

He said his key visions are as follows: leveraging the Nigerian Electricity Act of 2023, partnerships between the private and public sectors, focus on renewable and alternative energies,
universal metering of households and optimal solutions for Nigeria’s power needs

He also promised to build upon the foundation laid by former Ministers of Power and to diligently work towards meeting the energy needs of Nigerians.


But experts have wondered what the former minister achieved that Adelabu wanted to build on.

Adelabu said, “Our aim is to empower Nigeria through reliable and accessible power, ensuring that every home, industry, school, and business benefits from our efforts. Key to our success will be an unwavering dedication to efficiency and collaboration.

He further revealed that the focus of the Ministry will extend to households, small businesses, educational institutions, massive industrial productions, and other aspects of life that truly matter.

Adelabu also promised that a significant goal of his Ministry is the universal metering of households as well as addressing the challenges that the national power grid faces.

Speaking about his plan for the renewable energy sector, the Power Minister promised to equally pay critical attention to the options of renewable and alternative energies.

He said, “The world is indeed going in this direction, and Nigeria must not be left behind. As much as possible, we would leverage the power of technology and the bursting energies of our talented youths to achieve our desired objectives.

“This would be pursued by ensuring robust handshakes between the Ministry’s ICT apparatus and the emerging technological ideas of young Nigerians to accelerate the envisaged transformation.

“Through this, we are convinced we will deliver services that would match the speed and values that the 21st-century economy demands. He expressed gratitude to the individuals who have served and continue to serve the Ministry of Power as they work towards their objective, commending the efforts of former Ministers, Permanent Secretaries, Directors, and the entire staff of the Ministry.

He acknowledged that there was still much to accomplish and called on fellow citizens to stand by his side as they strive for tangible progress in Nigeria’s power sector.

Many experts, who spoke to Business Hallmark slammed the new Power Minister for making general statements on how he will tackle the rot in the power sector.

Professor Usman Yusuf Ali, a retired professor of Electrical Engineering said that ” the sector given the current challenges requires a person with thorough knowledge and grasp of the problems bedeviling the important sector. In this regard, the merits and not politics should be prime driver. The front rank of the challenges of Nigeria’s power sector is the poor and unstable electricity supply in the country.

“According to recent records on the operations of the sector from the Advisory Power Team in the office of the former Vice President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, every day, the volume of electricity supplied to Nigerians has steadily fluctuated between 3500 megawatts (MW) and 4000MW.

” It’s no brainer that this is in most cases caused by insufficient gas supply to some thermal power generation companies (Gencos), especially to those Gencos owned and operated by the Niger Delta Power Holding Company of Nigeria (NDPHC) under the National Integrated Power Projects (NIPPs).

“Besides the gas supply shortfalls, inadequate transmission and distribution systems have equally ensured that less power is supplied to Nigerian homes and offices every day.

“Adelabu, like his predecessors, do not have background in the power sector, so how he is going to manage the ministry is what I don’t know. When you appoint a man with sparse knowledge of the electricity market and systems to head the power ministry, how will he run the ministry and drive it to achieve results?”

“We all know that solutions to challenges are best proffered from points of knowledge, but Adelabu’s background is in finance”, Ali said.

Dr. Babatunde Samuel, a retired director in the Ministry of Power said part of the challenge Adelabu will have to address is how to drive the ministry to support the NERC to efficiently manage the cost reflective tariff regime in the power sector using its Multi Year Tariff Order (MYTO) structure.

Knowledgeable sources say Discos supply electricity to Nigerians on terms that are not economically viable. Ali say one of the challenges Adelabu will face is how to confront the need to resist potential urges to interfere on the independence and objectivity of the NERC as a regulator in the electricity market.



He says it is important that the power ministry does not intervene in the regulation of the sector but commits to its policy enactment responsibility in line with the thoughts of the power sector reform articulated by the federal government.

Samuel on his own said Adedabu should have come up with comprehensive, clear and focused agendas and how to achieve them.


“The minister must up his game to improve power supply by supporting the Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN) and Discos to take more power produced by the Gencos to homes and offices in the country should from interactions with stakeholders be another immediate focus of the ministers.

He bemoaned a situation, whereby in spite of TCN monumental investment on the national grid, it has been unable to take more power from the Gencos, while the 11 Discos have also reportedly failed to upgrade their networks to distribute as much as the Gencos can produce.

Adelabu, Ali said will have to mediate the frequent faceoff between TCN and Discos, who are always at loggerheads over poor transmission and distribution facilities. Both have constantly accused each other of failing to live by their obligations or even showing utter disregard for extant market rules.

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