States across Nigeria experienced another round of blackout on Saturday as the national electricity power grid crashed to 70.60 megawatts around 4 pm.

It marked the seventh time the national grid would collapse in 2024. The previous collapses were on February 4, April 10, April 15, March 11, March 12, and March 28.

During the inauguration of the 31-member Presidential Economic Coordination Council held at the Council Chamber of the Presidential Villa in Abuja on Thursday, President Bola Tinubu described the current low electricity generation in the country as shameful.

Tinubu said, “We have the challenge of energy security in Nigeria. We need to work together to improve our oil and gas sector, and we must also increase electricity generation, as well as distribution throughout the country. We are determined to do that with your cooperation, collaboration, and recommendations. As a nation, it is so shameful that we are still generating 4.5GW of electricity.”

Data on the ‘Nigeria Grid: Generation Profile’ supplied by the Transmission Company of Nigeria, indicated that the country’s power generation crashed to 70.60MW on Saturday.

Electricity generation initially increased from 3,788.63MW to 3,976.24MW around 10am yesterday, but dropped to 1,075.08MW at 3 pm, before crashing to 70.60MW around 4 pm. It was observed that only the Trans-Amadi Gas Turbine Power Plant in Rivers State supplied power to the grid around 4 pm on Saturday, producing just 0.80MW at the time. Power generation on the grid moved up slightly to 72.30MW around 5 pm, as engineers from TCN struggled to restore the grid, according to sources from the transmission company.

DisCos lament

Confirming the collapse of the grid, the Enugu Electricity Distribution Company, in a statement, said all its interfaces in the TCN stations were out of supply, adding that it was unable to provide services to customers in Abia, Anambra, Ebonyi, Enugu, and Imo states.

“The Enugu Electricity Distribution Company wishes to inform its esteemed customers of a general system collapse which occurred at 15:09 hours today, July 6, 2024. This has resulted in the loss of supply currently being experienced across the network. Due to this development, all our interface TCN stations are out of supply, and we are unable to provide services to our customers in Abia, Anambra, Ebonyi, Enugu, and Imo states. We are on standby awaiting detailed information on the collapse and restoration of supply from the National Control Centre, Osogbo,” a statement signed by the EEDC’s Head of Corporate Communications, Emeka Ezeh, read.

The Kaduna Electricity Distribution Company also tweeted on X, “We regret to inform you that the power outage being experienced in our franchise states is due to the system collapse of the national grid.”

Similarly, the Kano DisCo said, “We regret to inform you that the power outage being experienced in our franchise states is due to the system collapse of the national grid. The collapse occurred at about 3:10pm, hence the loss of supply in all our outgoing feeders. The power supply shall be restored as soon as the national grid is powered back. Our sincere apologies for any inconvenience.”

In a statement released by its management on Saturday, titled, Notice of System Collapse, Ikeja DisCo equally appealed to its customers to bear with the company for its inability to supply power, noting that it was due to the national grid collapse. It said, “The current service disruption is due to a system collapse of the national grid at about 15:08 hours today. We are in collaboration with relevant stakeholders within the power value chain to ensure speedy restoration of supply.”

Meanwhile, data on the TCN Discos load profile site showed that all the eight Discos had 0.00MW load allocation as of 6pm on Saturday.

‘Incessant grid collapse embarrassing’

Commenting on the development, Adetayo Adegbemle, who is the convener and Executive Director of PowerUp Nigeria, an electricity consumer rights and power sector policy advocacy organisation, stated that everyone involved in the electricity value chain should be embarrassed by their inability to prevent grid collapses.

Adegbemle added that some people should be sacked to fix the situation. He said, “I think everyone involved in the value chain should be embarrassed by the regular occurrence and inability to put measures in place to avoid this constant grid collapse. It is unfortunate because everyone blames others.

“I believe that if heads had been rolling for people not taking responsibility, someone would have stood up to fix this problem.”

Suggesting a way forward, Adegbemle said, “There is a need to align the value chain, and that was something the Siemens deal promised to achieve. If the head of TCN, for instance, were to lose his job tonight, the next MD would be more willing to work with other subsectors to ensure this does not happen again.

“Whatever is needed to forestall these grid collapses is definitely in the hands of the leadership of the TCN, especially.”

Also reacting, the Executive Director of the Electricity Consumer Protection Advocacy Centre, Princewill Okorie, regretted that the grid kept collapsing, despite the increase in electricity tariffs.

Okorie expressed concern that unmetered customers would still be made to pay for the period of the collapse, questioning what the government had been doing to prevent such incidents.

Asking some pertinent questions, Okorie said, “What are the causes of these grid collapses? Are the materials used in building the grid of good quality? Who is managing the grid? The players in the sector are more interested in collecting money from consumers, rather than making the system stable. What you hear more about the power sector is payment. The money that international communities are bringing into the industry and the money that is unlawfully collected from consumers—where is it being utilised? How do the DisCos spend their operational expenditures?

“In the past few months, they keep increasing tariffs, yet the power sector is inefficient. They are interested in collecting money, but whether the money is judiciously utilised or not, nobody cares. They keep overbilling customers. The desperation to collect revenue for services not delivered is a challenge. Now that the grid has collapsed, the unmetered customers will still be made to pay for darkness. That is injustice. The government should address this issue of grid collapse once and for all.”

NECA urges upgrade of power grid

On his part, the Director-General of the Nigeria Employers’ Consultative Association, Adewale Oyerinde, urged the government to address the persistent collapse of the national power grid.

He stated that the incessant collapses severely disrupt power supply, leading to erratic electricity provision across the country, stressing that the power grid should be upgraded. He called for swift action to prevent further disruptions and ensure a reliable power supply for all Nigerians.

Oyerinde said, “They should ensure to fix the cause of the national grid collapse. Once there is a collapse of the national grid, there won’t be power supply, or it becomes epileptic.

“We urge the government to fix the power grid, especially now that there is no subsidy on electricity. They need to upgrade the grid to stop the incessant collapse.”

  • Additional reports: Chukwudi Akasike and Muhammed Lawal



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