House Investigates Reoccurring National Grid Collapse

•Probes alleged killing of Ogun residents by Customs officers

Udora Orizu in Abuja

The House of Representatives has mandated its Committee on power to conduct investigation into the root causes of incessant national grid collapse in the country.

The Committee was mandated as well to look into Transmission Company of Nigeria’s (TCN) capacity to address the ugly trend, in order to forestall future occurrences and protect our already fragile socio-economic environment.

The resolution of the lawmakers followed the adoption of a motion of urgent national importance sponsored by Hon. Sani Bala at plenary yesterday.

Moving the motion, Bala said the House was aware that national grid collapses occur when there are system disturbances along the transmission lines connecting a number of generating stations.

He expressed concerns that since 2013, when the privatisation exercise took place in the power sector, the country has witnessed over a hundred national grid collapses, a challenge which experts and operators said would linger for a long time if not addressed.

He further expressed concerns that this year alone, the national grid has collapsed seven times (more than the three times recorded last year), thereby, causing national power outages with enormous socio-economic implications.

The lawmaker said, “Equally concerned that the latest in the series of power failures has been adjudged among the worst the country has witnessed in recent times, which in turn indicates that there is no framework or spinning reserve meant to forestall such occurrences.

“Worried that it is incomprehensible that all the key power plants in the country, including Egbin, Utorogu, Chevron Oredo, Oben gas-fired power plants, Ughelli, and Chevron Escravos power plants could all shut down at once.

“Also worried that the issue of system collapse may not be unconnected with the TCN’s lack of wheeling capacity, inadequate transmission lines and spinning reserves as well as refusal to fast-track construction of digital control centres instead of the company’ current analog system.

“Notes that available statistics from research show that if the power generated is adequately wheeled and transmitted for distribution to consumers, there will be a 30 per cent reduction in the cost of generating power thus leading to a corresponding reduction in the prices of utilities in the electricity supply industry.”

The Deputy Minority Leader, Hon. Toby Okechukwu, in his contribution, said the essence of the investigation was to find out what the country can do to cure the issue of power generation.

While lamenting that efforts on the matter had been all motion without movement, he warned that unemployment problem cannot be solved if power issue was not resolved.

“Most countries have solved this problem. It’s not a good thing a country of over 200 million can’t generate up to 5000 megawatts. This investigation should be taken seriously,” he added.

Thereafter the motion was put to a voice vote by the Speaker, Gbajabiamila who presided over the plenary session and it was passed.

Meanwhile at the plenary, Gbajabiamila set up an adhoc committee to investigate the alleged gruesome killing of some individuals by officers of the Nigeria Customs in Egbado South/Ipokia in Ogun state.

Last week, a member Hon. Kolawole Lawal had brought a notice to the House, notifying the lawmakers that there was a resolution on the floor in February 2022, for the constitution of an ad-hoc committee to investigate the alleged killings.

Announcing the 12-member Committee Gbajabiamila said it would be chaired by Hon. Muktar Ahmed.

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