House to Probe Frequent National Grid Collapse

House to Probe Frequent National Grid Collapse

Adedayo Akinwale in Abuja 

The House of Representatives has resolved to probe the frequent collapse of the national grid as part of moves to proffer lasting solution to the problem.

The resolution of the House was sequel to the adoption of a motion moved at plenary on Wednesday by Hon. Billy Osawaru.

Presenting the motion, the lawmaker said sustainable energy is essential to any modern economy and Nigeria is no exception.

He explained that stable electricity supply ensures that industries remain viable, power homes, and facilitates significant economic growth and industrial progress. 

Osawaru commended the plan of the Federal Government to increase power capacity to 20,000 megawatts (MW) from 12,522 MW projected within the next three years, adding that the  Electricity Act, 2023 was aimed at addressing the persistent challenges in the power sector.

He pointed out that the Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN) in August 2023 stated that the Nigerian power grid recorded an unparalleled period of stability in the history of the power sector by operating without major disruptions or systems collapse for over 400 consecutive days.

The lawmaker noted that this was a milestone that indicates an advancement in the nation’s efforts at strengthening its power infrastructure, ensuring a reliable and dependable electricity supply to distribution load centres for onward distribution to electricity customers nationwide.

He, however, expressed worry that in a space of one week in the month of August 2023, Nigeria recorded three national grid collapses, adding that the national grid collapsed twice within six hours and on August 19, 2023, another system collapse was recorded.

Osawaru said that frequent grid collapses this year had negatively impacted the economy, reducing industrial output and raising manufacturing expenses, because firms were forced to invest in alternate power sources.

This, he said, raised operational costs and leaving end users with exorbitant prices, which citizens cannot afford, especially with subsidy removal effects.

The lawmaker emphasised that the nation is currently facing its worst form of insecurity, including insurgency, banditry, kidnapping and other violent crimes.

He was of the opinion that the collapse of the national grid would embolden criminal activities and security facilities such as the Vigiscope App, Police Situation room App, all police commands control rooms could be compromised during the dark hours, as tracking devices that need power to reach telephone lines can be hampered.

“Cognizant that if the frequent national grid collapses are thoroughly investigated and solutions proffered, it will end the continuous system collapse, boost the economy and reduce the suffering of the citizens,” Osawaru said.

The House therefore, mandated its Committee on Power to liaise with critical stakeholders in the power sector to urgently investigate and proffer solutions to the embarrassing development and report back within four weeks for further legislative action.  

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