Amid the recent claims of improved power generation by the regulatory authorities in the power sector, electricity users in many parts of the country are still battling with the problem of load shedding, which the Chairman of Presidential Task Force on Power, Beks Dagogo-Jack has blamed on the return of suppressed demand for power.
Dagogo-Jack, who insisted that power generation had improved, faulted a report in a national daily (not THISDAY) which stated that electricity generation has dropped further from 4,502mw it recorded in December 2012 to 4,167.8mw as at last week.
When confronted with the fact that despite his claims, major parts of the country are still experiencing load shedding, the PTFP Chairman said, "No I'm not worried. Power is not dropping. Indeed only last week on the 28th of February, we recorded a new national record in highest energy supply of 99,127.81 mwh; 4,130.325 mwh /h. What we have is the previously suppressed demand which are coming back to outstrip this growth. Produced and delivered power quantum has never been this steady in our history".
"You can quote me that I didn't give him that figure although he might be right depending on the particular day his quoted figures referred to. The figure I gave you is from the National Control Centre, the only legitimate source for this data.
"I purposely refused to over- publicise it because the return of suppressed demand was giving the public the perception that we were doing less," the PTFP Chairman said. He explained that Nigerians were still experiencing blackouts in some parts of the country because the current available peak cannot satisfy the demands of its population of 160 million people.
Dagogo-Jack was earlier quoted in a statement as saying that current generation, transmission and distribution capacity of the country was simply not enough for its population, hence the blackouts. He, however, noted that planned and ongoing electricity projects at both the Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN) and the National Integrated Power Projects (NIPPs) aimed to alleviate much of the constraints on the national grid are expected to come within the third quarter of 2013.
"Let's face it, with our population of over 160 million people living in over 25 million households; the current available peak power is just a tiny drop in the ocean. This is why we are having the blackouts.
"The load shedding, which is increasing lately, has its origin in the fact that once consumers witnessed increasing supply and reliability, previously suppressed or migrated demand started returning to the grid. People who used to only put one air-conditioning unit at their homes when using their small generators now put on all units at home," Dagogo-Jack said.