The Federal Government yesterday moved to halt the current problem of inadequate gas supply to independent power plants with the award of contract for the construction of a gas pipeline from Obiafu in Rivers State, to Oben in Edo State.
The contract is divided into two lots and is expected to cost about N105 billion.
However, industry watchers are of the view that the failure of the authorities to report back to Nigerians on the progress of previously issued contracts, casts a shadow of doubt on new ones.
Briefing State House Journalists after the Federal Executive Council meeting presided over by President Goodluck Jonathan, Minister of Information, Labaran Maku, said a major concern of government was the lingering problem of gas supply to some of the power sector projects, particularly those in the southern parts of the country.
Maku blamed the current shortfall in power supply to parts of the country on poor power supply.
While noting efforts of the Ministry of Petroleum Resources and that of Power to improve power supply, Maku observed that the new move would ensure significant improvement to southern parts of the country, especially factories within Lagos and the independent power plants located in the southern states.
The project which will commence immediately, according to government, would be completed within the next 24 months and would ensure sufficiency of gas supply to the power plants in the south.
In another vein, Maku disclosed that the Minister of Petroleum Resources, Diezani Alison-Madueke brought a memo for the supply of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) equipment to secondary schools and other institutions of higher learning across the country, to encourage ICT programmes.
The project, which is a collaborative arrangement by the Petroleum Development Trust Fund (PTDF) the Ministry of Petroleum Resources and Ministry of Education, was awarded at cost of N9.8 billion.
He announced that a contract has also been awarded for the construction of a National College of Petroleum Studies to be situated in Kaduna.
The college is being established to train middle level manpower and technicians, as well as oil and gas industry personnel, Maku said, adding that government was now emphasising training to boost local content in the petroleum sector.
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