The perennial low electricity supply in Nigeria got worse in the first quarter of 2018 as cumulative power supply reduced to 114,556 megawatts, MW in the first quarter of 2018, as against 144,054.92MW recorded in the last quarter of 2017, data from the power generation fact sheet of the Presidential Task Force on power showed.
N37.88 billion was also lost in the first quarter of 2018, as against N38.94 billion recorded in the last quarter of 2017, while gas constraints stood at N55.66 billion as against N32.51 billion within the period under review respectively.
Month by month statistics of the first quarter showed that January recorded the highest power sent out which stood at 63,138MW, while the sum of N21.63 billion was lost.
Power loss stood at 1,966 MW, while gas constraint of 30,622 MW was recorded. February followed in terms of power sent out, as it recorded 36,222MW and amount loss of N11.91 billion, while power loss stood at 236.85 with a gas constraint of 16,526.5 MW.
For January, power sent out stood at 15,196MW, as N4.33 billion was recorded as amount loss, while power loss stood at 251MW, with gas constraint of 8,520.4MW.
In the last quarter of 2017, the month of December had the highest power sent out of 77,577MW, with amount loss of N20 billion, while power loss stood at 724.59, with gas constraint of 17,784.6MW.
This was followed by the month of October, which recorded power sent out figure of 35,570MW, while amount loss stood at N11.08 billion, with power loss and gas constraint of 2,406.17 and 5,084 MW respectively.
For the month of November, 30,907.92 MW was power sent out, as N7.85 billion was amount loss. Power loss stood at 295.94 MW, while gas constraint was 9,646.7 MW.
Part of the reasons adduced for the worsening power situation has been the partial collapse of facilities in Lagos, Osogbo, Jebba, Kainji, Shiroro, Abuja, Kaduna, Gombe, Jos, Makurdi, Ikot-Ekpene and Port-Harcourt within the period under review.
High frequency due to DisCo inability to receive load also remains the largest constraint to power distribution during the first quarter of the year.
System collapse was also recorded on October 30 2017. Benin/Ajaokuta 330kV line 2 tripped at Ajaokuta transmission section.
Consequently, many individuals, households and organisations did not have adequate and stable supply during the period.
For instance, residents of IkolaIlumo in the Agbado Oke-Odo Local Council Development Area of Lagos State had lamented poor electricity supply to the community by Ikeja Electric.
In the letter signed by the Ifelodun Community Development Association Chairman, Mr. Gabriel Aremu; and Isokan CDA Chairman, Mr. Idowu Adelakun and sent to the Business Manager, Ikeja Electric, the residents stated that: "As you are probably aware, IkolaIlumo residents have not been enjoying electricity supply as and when due. Apart from the fact that power supply is so irregular, we are also regularly given electricity bills that seem to suggest that we have power for an entire month. In other words, the power supply we enjoy is far below the electricity bills we are compelled to pay on a monthly basis.
"We have never failed to complain about this to Ikeja Electric. However, the explanation that the firm has given for the abysmal power supply to our area is that our transformer is bad, as if it is our duty to buy and install transformers to service our electricity need."
But responding, the company had stated that:"There is nobody in this business that will ask you to provide a transformer for yourself. It is actually most of the CDAs who come up with such suggestions. Apart from the fact that the request for transformers is massive because of rapid development, it is a gradual thing.
"But I do also hope that they are paying their bills regularly because it is through such payments we upgrade our infrastructure. There are certain communities that are not paying and they expect you to meet these obligations."
The Federal Government, Monday, challenged the electricity Distribution Companies, DISCOs to take the issue of making enough electricity available to consumers a top priority in order to prove that the power assets handed over to them five years ago were not done in error.
Minister of Works, Power and Housing, Mr.Babatunde Raji Fashola, who gave the charge while speaking during the 26th monthly Power Sector Operators meeting held at the Ohiya Transmission Substation, Umuahia, Abia State, said:"My closing comment in these remarks to the DISCOs is get your employees out on the field. Get them to inspect lines, breakers, transformers and other distribution equipment. Get them to visit consumers and ask if they have problems, and fix them.
"Get them to do preventative maintenance and notify your consumers in advance if it will result in disruptions of service, and state very clearly how long it will take. I know that it may be difficult, but that is why we took our jobs; to do difficult things and improve people's lives against the odds.
"I know that you can do it, and I wait eagerly with other Nigerians as you roll out to prove us right for vesting these assets in you."
Fashola noted that, "While NBET, TCN and NDPHC act for government to implement its enabling role, the immediate tasks of the DISCOs, in my view is to, among others, improve the quality and capacity of the distribution equipment to improve power supply and service to stimulate consumer willingness to pay.
"NBET, on its part, must also improve on the timelines it takes to process payment to the DisCos and, in addition, adopt a business orientation of ensuring that it collects as much as it can from the DisCos, who help her to retail the Bulk Power."