House to Investigate Frequent Collapse of National Grid

House to Investigate Frequent Collapse of National Grid

•Also to probe non-compliance with safety standards

Adedayo Akinwale  and Juliet Akoje in Abuja

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

The resolution of the House was sequel to the adoption of a motion moved at the plenary 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 indicated 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 6 hours and on the 19 August 2023, another system collapse was recorded.

 Osawaru decried that  frequent grid collapses this year have 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.

“We are cognisant 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 the 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.

Meanwhile, the House yesterday has mandated its Committee on Safety Standards and Regulations to investigate non-compliance to safety standards and regulations by public and private institutions as enshrined in the Employee Compensation Act (2010) and report back within four weeks for legislative action.

This resolution followed the adoption of a motion on the Need to Investigate Non-Compliance to Health and Safety Standards and Regulations by various Public and Private Institutions as Enshrined in Employees’ Compensation Act, 2010 (ECA) moved by Hon. Ahmed Babawo at plenary.

Babawo noted that the Employees Compensation Act, 2010 (ECA) was enacted with provisions which include ensuring the safety, health, and welfare of workers in Nigeria by preventing workplace accidents, injuries, and fatalities and enforcing compliance with safety and health standards and regulations in both public and private entities.

He informed the House that between July 2011 and June 2023 about 99,678 work-place hazard claims were received by the Trust Fund and  in 2023 alone, from January to June, a total of 8,959 claims under the various contingencies of medical expenses refund, loss of productivity, death benefits, disability benefits such as provision of artificial body to over 100 disabled workers and medical treatment were also received by the Trust Fund.

“There is noticeable increase in the rate of work-related hazards and lack of compensation to victims as a result of non-compliance to safety standards and regulations by public and private entities,” he said.

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