Nigeria: Poor Generation, Vandalism, Others Responsible for Grid Collapses - Govt

(file photo).
16 June 2022

The Federal Government, yesterday, attributed recent rise in national power grid system collapses to poor generation by generation companies, GenCos, attacks on transmission towers, and low water levels at hydro power plants.

The Minister of Power, Abubakar Aliyu, who spoke at Nextier Power Dialogue, in Abuja, said government effort to expand the grid has also been frustrated by communities who deny right of way to transmission projects.

Similarly, speaking in Lagos, yesterday, the Chairman/CEO, Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission, NERC, Sanusi Garba, said: "Many factors are responsible for system collapse in Nigeria. They include low generation, which can be as a result of low water supply and inadequate gas supply that lead to high fluctuation in the process. This was rampant in the past because there was no strong commitment or agreement among the major stakeholders, but now we have caused all parties to go into an agreement that would bring about stability.

"The generating companies, Transmission Company of Nigeria, TCN, and the distribution companies, have now agreed not only to generate, but also to transmit and distribute to consumers.

"Consequently, we are very optimistic to a minimum of 5,000 megawatts, MW, would be supplied to consumers from July 1, 2022."

Recovery still low at 2,347.90 MW

However, checks on data provided by the National System Operator, NSO, a unit at the Transmission Company of Nigeria, TCN, showed that plants were on the grid with a combined 2,347.90 Megawatts.

The data showed that Azura-Edo and Geregu plants were the largest generators with 393MW each, while Delta (379MW), Odukpani (196MW) and Omotosho (152MW) were other big suppliers.

At the distribution end, NSO data showed that Ikeja Electric and Ibadan DisCo got the highest load allocations with 373MW and 344MW respectively. Others with major allocations were Abuja DisCo (286MW), Eko DisCo (273MW) and Enugu DisCo (248MW).

Many consumers don't have supply--World Bank

Also speaking at the Abuja event, the Regional Director for Infrastructure, Africa West and East, World Bank, Mr. Ashish Khanna, insisted that there were more people in Nigeria without access to energy than in any part of the world.

Khanna noted that the country needed about $100 billion in the next 10 years to bridge the infrastructure gap in the sector, adding that the bank had spent more money in Nigeria to develop the power sector than anywhere else in the world.

System collapses affecting economy--GENCOs

Reacting, the Executive Secretary of the Association of Power Generation Companies, APGC, Dr Joy Ogaji, in her report on, 'The Menace of grid collapses and the fate of the GENCOs', stated that the effect of these grid collapses cut across all sectors of the economy.

According to her, most of these service interruptions and high frequency allegations are attributed by TCN to the inability of DISCOs to take load that they cause system imbalance which hurt power generators/producers to a grave extent, depriving them of the ability to sell the output of their plants.

She said: "Nigerians are now used to incessant grid collapses in the power sector, occurring mostly at weekends and public holidays, with no clear explanation as to the causes. Arguably, electricity forms an indispensable part of modern life, especially at weekends when families try to catch up and relax."

Decentralize national grid now--Muda Yusuf

In an interview with Vanguard, the immediate past DG, of Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry, LCCI, and CEO, Centre for the Promotion of Private Enterprise, CPPE, Dr. Muda Yusuf, called for the urgent decentralization of the country's national grid.

He said: "The impact of this crisis is very obvious and you know right now energy cost has gotten to a level that is now almost unbearable. Both industry players and households are suffering."

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