Abuja - Nigeria's daily electricity generation has fallen by around 40 percent from its peak output last December, figures from the power ministry showed, and it cited a cut in gas supply to several power plants.
Power stations generated a combined 2 628 megawatts (MW) of electricity on Saturday August 10, the power ministry said in a statement, down from around 4 500 MW reported in December last year, the last available data.
Royal Dutch Shell said last month that gas supply to the Afam VI power plant had been cut off due to pipeline damage caused by oil thieves.
Government is in the process of breaking up the Power Holding Company of Nigeria (PHCN) into 17 private generation and distribution companies and selling them for about $2.5 billion as part of a plan to increase electricity output by ten times over the next seven years.
Boosting power output through privatisation is seen as key to unlocking the potential of Africa's second-biggest economy, which is blighted by persistent power outages.
It is also President Goodluck Jonathan's central promise to 160 million Nigerians ahead of nationwide elections due in 2015.
Despite holding the world's ninth largest gas reserves, Nigeria's power capacity is a tenth of South Africa's for a population three times the size.