After collapsing six times in the first eight days of this year, Nigeria’s electricity grid recorded another collapse on the first day of the second month.
Documents obtained from the Nigeria Electricity System Operator, an arm of the Transmission Company of Nigeria, on Sunday in Abuja showed that the national electricity grid crashed from a high of 4,699.9 megawatts on January 31, to 219MW on February 1.
On January 30, The PUNCH exclusively reported that the generation statistics of NESO showed that the country’s power grid collapsed six times in the first eight days of this year.
The collapse was attributed to disruptions to gas production as well as constraints to the supply of the commodity.
A further analysis of the latest documents from NESO showed that power generation moved up to 3,663.3MW on February 2, after recovering from the first collapse of the month.
The system performance chart also showed that the quantum of power generation on the grid on February 3 was 3,904.3MW, which was the most recent date as released by NESO on Sunday.
In his explanation on the reasons for the grid collapses in January, the Chief Executive Officer, TCN, Usman Mohammed, stated that there was a need for adequate investment in order to stabilise the grid.
He stated, “There are certain things that need to be put in place for us to have grid stability and one of them is that we need to put in adequate investments. One of the key investments that we need to do quickly is that we need to build another line between Benin and Omotosho.
“When we do that, we think that we will be able to stabilise the grid, because 70 per cent of the instability we have is between Lagos and Benin. This, of course, is because we have so many generation stations located on that axis.”
But the Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola, insisted that the Federal Government was working hard to fix the power sector, stressing that despite the country’s electricity challenges, Nigeria was still exporting power to Republics of Benin, Niger and Togo.
In a statement, the minister noted that in terms of population as a function of energy need of a country, “Niger is running on 80MW; Republic of Togo, 200MW, less than Abuja; Ghana is about 3,000MW installed capacity and they are not producing all of that. Lagos alone is getting 1,200MW; one state, half of another country. So we must understand the dynamics of electricity use.”
Referring particularly to a comment that Germany was exporting power, Fashola stated, “Your country is exporting power too, to Niger, to Republic of Benin, to Togo, and we are selling gas to the West African sub-region.”
The minister called for collective effort to resolve the nation’s challenges rather than putting the country down.
He also reiterated the Federal Government’s commitment to the full implementation of the Power Sector Recovery Programme as a means of solving the seeming intractable challenges in the nation’s power sector.