Nigeria Experiences Another Nationwide Blackout as Power Grid Collapses Again

Nigeria Experiences Another Nationwide Blackout as Power Grid Collapses Again

Michael Olugbode in Abuja and Peter Uzoho in Lagos

Nigeria’s comatose power grid has recorded another collapse, plunging homes and business in the country into blackout. THISDAY gathered that the grid collapse occurred  yesterday at 16.28 hours.
The collapse happened few hours after the Minister of Power, Mr. Adebayo Adelabu visited Egbin Power Plant in Lagos, the largest thermal generating plant in the country with 1,300 megawatts installed capacity.

Due to gas shortage, Egbin’s generation has plunged to a meagre 400mw, far below its 1000mw current deliverable capacity and 1,300mw installed capacity.
The minister as usual, recounted the challenges of the sector, which included gas supply shortage and huge federal government debts to power plants, which runs into trillions of naira.
 But alerting electricity customers under its network, the Eko Electricity Distribution Company (EKEDC) in a power update sent to the subscribers, said it was working with its partners to restore supply.

EKEDC said: “Dear valued customer, kindly be informed there was a system collapse at 16.28 hours, which has resulted in a loss of power across our network.
“We are currently working with our partners as we hope for speedy restoration of the grid.  We will keep you updated as soon as power supply is restored.  Kindly bear with us”.

The Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN), the wholly government-owned company that manages the grid, confirmed the system collapse, in a short message to THISDAY, last night.

The Public Affairs Manager of TCN, Ndidi Mbah, said: “Grid collapsed 16.28pm. Presently, the southern part has been fully restored. The eastern part has been partially restored, and the northern part has also been partially restored. However, restoration is still ongoing and will be completed within the hour.”
She was, however, silent on the cause of the incident and the extent of impact in terms of numbers.
Nigeria, with over 220 million population, struggles to generate, transmit and distribute 4000mw to the entire population despite series of reforms and capital injections into the sector.
Meanwhile, the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) has decried the paucity of electricity in rural West African communities, stating that it stands at paltry 10 per cent as of 2023.

The regional bloc said this was notwithstanding the general increase in electricity from 45 per cent in 2019 to an average of 53 per cent in 2023 in the sub-region.
ECOWAS Commissioner of Infrastructure, Energy & Digitalisation, Mr Sediko Douka, made the disclosure yesterday at the weekly press conference of the regional bloc in Abuja.
He said: “The energy sector, which is one of ECOWAS’s main areas of action, has an installed production capacity of 25,421 GW, distributed as follows: 77 per cent thermal, 22 per cent hydro, 1 per cent  solar/wind.

“The rate of access to electricity has increased from 45 per cent in 2019 to an average of 53 per cent in 2023. Despite this increase, there were significant disparities as the electricity access rate in rural areas is standing at only 10 per cent,” he said.
He lamented  that the electric sector also faced a low level of intra-regional electricity exchanges which he put at 9 per cent.
The ECOWAS commissioner said electricity prices in the West African region remain very high (0.24 USD = 150 FCFA/kWh), negatively impacting economic development, especially industrial development.

He said to address these challenges: “ECOWAS set up specialised agencies in the field of energy, namely, the West African Power Pool (WAPP) in Cotonou, Benin, the Regional Electricity Regulatory Authority (ERERA) in Accra, Ghana, the Centre for Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency (ECREEE) in Praia, Cape Verde, and the West African Gas Pipeline Authority (WAGPA) in Abuja, Nigeria.”
Douka also disclosed that other measures taken by ECOWAS to address the challenges include the implementation of the WAPP master plan for regional power generation and transmission facilities for 2019-2033: 75 regional projects worth $$36 billion to build 23,000 km of power interconnection lines and generate 16,000 MW.
Other interventions, he said were the launching and operationalisation of the regional electricity market in 2018, the promotion of renewable energies, and electricity access programmes for both on-grid and off-grid networks.

Related Articles