National grid collapses, 7th time in 1 year

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For the 7th time this year, Nigeria’s power grid again collapsed yesterday, plunging parts  of the country into total darkness.

Monday’s incident which happened at  about 11 am, it was gathered affected only a section of the Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN), Afam IV, on the grid but with zero supply as of 12 noon.

This is coming as consumers attested to supply improvement  since July 1 this year, in their various service areas.

The Abuja Electricity Distribution Company (AEDC) for instance, recently confirmed the  rise  in its daily allocation to over 500MW from the actual 300MW it had distributed before then.

Though the national grid had not exceeded 5,000MW, it was  observed that the level of load rejection especially around the DisCos’ networks dropped significantly with some customers entitled to five-hour supply, recording over 12 hours daily.

Following this increase, the regulatory authority, Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC), attributed the improvement  to the partial activation of contracts that seek to hold sector operators liable for deliberate incompetence.

In a statement, head, corporate communications, Enugu Electricity Distribution Company PLC (EEDC), Mr. Emaka Ezeh, said the system collapse led to the loss of supply across the country. 

“The Enugu Electricity Distribution Company PLC (EEDC) wishes to inform its esteemed customers of a system collapse which occurred at 10:51 am today, September 26th, 2022. This has resulted in the loss of supply currently being experienced across the network.

“Due to this development, all our interface Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN) stations are out of supply, and we are unable to provide service to our customers in Abia, Anambra, Ebonyi, Enugu and Imo states,” Ezeh said.

Meanwhile, Minister of Power, Aliyu Abubakar, said that the grid had never collapsed adding that what happened were system disturbances.

Addressing State House Correspondents after briefing the president on the state of the power sector yesterday at the Presidential Villa, the minister said “It  is mischievous and misleading for any one to say Nigeria has experienced grid collapses five times this year. What we have experienced are pockets of National Power Grid System Disturbances. And in all, each lasted for just about 30 minutes and the grid was restored to normalcy instantly,” he said.

Commenting on the impact of the constant system collapse on manufacturers, Chairman, Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN), Apapa branch, Frank Onyebu, said he finds  it difficult to understand why the country should be experiencing the embarrassing grid failures.

“It’s something I can’t understand. I think we have passed this stage. Suddenly everything is just like going 100 years back. Industries are paying  their bills despite inefficiencies in the system of the discos. We still pay whatever bills we are given. So, I see no reason we should be suffering this. It’s very frustrating.” He said

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This epileptic power supply is forcing a lot of manufacturers out of the country, while some are closing shop”.

“Whatever needs to be fixed should be done on time. As  the chairman of a branch of manufacturers, our association is losing people and industries we can rely on. 

As an industrialist, it’s painful we have been talking about  supplying power not just for industrialists but for the entire nation. I think we should be getting better and moving forward but it looks like we are moving backwards. There is absolutely no reason we should be experiencing incessant collapse  of the national grid. 

Some  people are complaining that the GenCos are not being paid, and i don’t know if it’s a deliberate plan to let government feel their importance.

The grid lines are obsolete. With the kind of money the country has spent on electricity generation and transmission, we should be having top notch power generation lines now. Unfortunately the lines are not up to what they should  be. We just want power. I don’t know how we can continue this way.  A lot of manufacturers are leaving in droves to other countries for better business environment and steady power supply. Government needs to think fast. What ever needs to be fixed should be done on time. 

Also reacting, Chairman, Abia/Imo states, MAN,  Dr Jude Eluma, noted that the collapse was destroying the economy and  reducing productivity, which is almost zero.

“Its consequence is inestimable. The endless power crisis rocking the nation and the series of complete collapse of the national grid, have brought consequential socio-economic hardship to the people, hitting manufacturers even harder and speedily facilitating lock up of the gate of manufacturing in Nigeria.” Before the  shameful collapse, manufacturers are witnessing high cost of diesel and petrol, when available, which has led some manufacturers to shut down.”

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