Why pipeline vandalism is not an excuse

Word on the streets is that the power situation has not improved. As at two weeks ago it had dropped to about 3,063.23MW capacity. The power ministry website says it was 3,575.85MW on the 8th of March although this is still way below the “high” of about 4500MW in December of 2012. What is the official excuse? Pipeline vandalism. In the words of the power minister;

“Vandalism is affecting our capacity to generate electricity. We are hoping that in the next two weeks, with the other pipelines that are being repaired and the ones that are being serviced are put in use, we will have been back to, an even beyond where we are”.

The thing is, pipeline vandalism is not a credible excuse for disruptions for a simple reason; Storage.  See thousands of years ago human beings figured out that they couldn’t harvest crops all year round. Yes you could go around gathering fruits and such. However if you wanted to keep eating your favorite food all year round then you had to store it. You stored it so that when the natural disruptions to getting your crops from the farm come around you don’t die. Its why every yam farmer has an oba, why every distributor has a warehouse, why every coal power plant has a coal silo, and why every serious gas powered plant should have gas storage facilities. The point of storage is to protect you from the day to day disruptions in supply of your key raw material; gas. So that it would take a really long disruption to actually influence your production.

Now I don’t know what the situation on ground in Nigeria is. Is it the case that the gas powered plants don’t have gas storage facilities? That would be interesting seeing as they know they are doing business in a country with regular gas disruptions. Or is it that the time involved in rectifying whatever causes the disruptions, vandalism, is too much? Either way using vandalism as an excuse is 2015 is not credible.

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