Nigeria’s electricity generation, yesterday, crashed from the 5,500 Mega Watts (MW) ever attained to 2,524.2MW, which is lower than the 17,720MW national peak demand forecast for the country.
Daily generation report released by the Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN) yesterday, showed that the country recorded lowest generation of 60.5MW the same day.
According to the TCN report, despite the fact that the country has installed capacity of 11,165.40mw, the country’s network operational capability remained 5,500mw.
Corroborating the TCN daily electricity generation report, the weekly energy watch released by the Nigerian Electricity and Regulatory Commission (NERC), put the average energy constrained during the week at 4,571mw.
The constrained in power generation was attributed to the inability of the power plants to get enough gas to provide electricity.
The NERC report revealed that gas was responsible to about 4,399mw of power constraint while water management and line limitation was responsible for the constraint of 50mw and 181mw respectively.
The Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola, said that the highest generation capacity, achieved only in February this year, was 5074MW for a country of more than 150 million people as against Chad and Liberia with 84MW and 40MW electricity demands respectively.
Fashola listed the various power projects being undertaken across the country, some of which have either been completed and working or are in advanced stages of completion, to include repair of gas turbines, strengthening transmission to evacuate power and the National Independent Power Project (NIPP), Gbarain which, according to him, has now been completed and is being tested.
He listed other power sources targeted to increase supply to include expanding Qua Iboe, completing Kaduna Power Plant with generation capacity of 215MW, Kasimbilla with 40MW, Dadin Kowa with 39MW, Azura with 300MW, Zungeru 700MW and Gurara 30MW.
He added that other sources besides gas powered plants include Zuma Coal, Mambilla Hydro with 1,200MW and Solar which, according to him, is targeted for rural electrification and universities, small hydro-dams as well as some uncompleted constituency projects and embedded generation such as Parias Power.
The minister recommended a full audit of consumers in the country, which, according to him, could best be done through a comprehensive national census exercise, said it would be impossible to provide steady power supply without a data on the number of people requiring the utility.
He added that such an audit would help make it possible for the consumers to pay for what they consume, adding that this would boost the finances of the power generating and distribution companies to deliver more power and for maintenance of power facilities.
Fashola said the prospect of achieving uninterrupted power lay in the maintenance of sustained growth in the sector to match population increase, energy conservation in homes and offices, energy preservation and conservation of water and loss reduction.
He, however, noted that even if all the other variables were met, the hope of steady and uninterrupted power supply could only be assured if the challenges facing the sector were solved some of which he said include, the management of the expectation of the people to have power immediately after privatisation because of the impression created that this would happen immediately after, agitations by various aggrieved groups that sometimes lead to attacks on power assets, vandalism of power assets, power theft and problems of payment of bills which include assaults on collectors.