Nationwide blackout looms as grid system collapses

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Nigeria’s national grid system again recorded another major collapse, thereby throwing several parts of the country into total darkness.

On January 16, 2020, the national electricity grid collapsed twice in less than two hours. The system, which collapsed around 12:37 on Thursday, resulting in power outage in parts of the country, went down again around 2:15 pm.

Confirming the latest development, General Manager, Public Affairs, Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN), Mrs. Ndidi  Mbah, explained that the blackout was as a result of loss of supply on the national grid, adding that the National Control Centre(NCC) commenced immediate restoration which has been completed nationwide, except for on the Eastern axis which is still ongoing and would be completed shortly.

When contacted, a power expert and partner at Bloomfield Law Practice, Dr. Ayodele Oni, explained that loss of supply on the grid would only affect some parts of the country in the process of power evacuation from point A to B while system collapse would involve the entire loss of power across the country.

RELATED NEWS:Lagos lawmakers storm electricity companies over darkness, issue warning

He noted that since the latest incident which TCN alluded to was nationwide loss of supply on the national grid, it could as well mean that it was a system collapse.

However, the claim of immediate restoration completion didn’t translate to electricity supply to most homes in Lagos as findings by Daily Sun as at 2pm yesterday afternoon, proved otherwise with most locations having no electricity supply.

As at the time of filling this report yesterday afternoon, most residents in Lagos were without power supply.

Daily Sun findings around Ajao Estate revealed that the power situation appears to have gone from bad to worse, with residents recording about four hours on a daily basis. Similarly residents of Bolaji Taylor Street, off College Road in Ifako Ijaiye Local Government in Lagos have been lamenting their power challenges following the grid collapse.

Complaints have also been pouring  in to the power regulators from Lagosians living around Ikorodu, Surulere, Ikotun,Okota, Ejigbo, Isolo and Ojo, as they said they have been grappling with poor power supply situation for over two months, which was compounded by their woes at this period of the lockdown.

Mbah said TCN will commence investigations into the cause of the supply loss as soon as full recovery is achieved, adding that it remains committed to to ensuring  grid stability and consistent bulk power supply, especially at this time of the pandemic.

READ ALSO:No decision yet to provide free electricity – Power Ministry

Reacting to the persistence system collapse in the power sector, Professor Wumi Iledare, Ghana National Petroleum Corporation, GNPC Professor and Chair in Petroleum Economics and Management, Institute for Oil and Gas Studies, Cape Coast, Ghana,  in a recent interview lamented that the power sector if flooded with “Epileptic power supply, transmission losses, vandalism of pipelines, DISCOs inefficiency will limit the potential for economic growth. Energy consumption grows an economy faster than energy production, especially, if the latter is mostly for export.

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“Governance and pricing framework is key along the value chain. Another challenge is the market structure and conduct. The electric power sector with respect to power generation is more of oligopolistic in structure but the distribution is more of hybrid market structure tending towards a captive monopoly.

Unfortunately, there seems to be a lack of understanding of this structure in terms of performance. Here lies then the issue that needs to be resolved!

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