Barely hours after normalcy was restored in electricity supply through the national grid after Monday morning’s collapse, the system crashed again, this time totally, throwing the entire country into total darkness.
Power was restored hours later in Abuja, but has still remained epileptic in supply.
Meantime, the former Governor of Anambra State, and Vice Presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the last presidential elections, Mr Peter Obi, has expressed concern over the lingering fuel scarcity, the rising cost of energy, as well as their impact on the well-being of Nigerians. He noted that the situation has spiralled into a national crisis that is affecting other sectors of the economy. “It has led to unsustainable increase in the cost of doing business, the cost of living, the rate of unemployment and added to the worsening national security situation,” Obi said.
He called on the Federal Government to act swiftly, strategically and with a comprehensive perspective that will address our current national problems in a holistic manner
According to a MediaTracnet report, the supply of electricity across the country has been facing severe challenges in recent times as key players in the Nigerian Electricity Supply Industry (NESI) continue to engage in the blame game about what could be the cause of the epileptic performance of the system.
While the Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN) say the poor supply of electricity, which is characterized by massive load shedding, was as a result of inadequate volume of electricity from the electricity generation companies (GENCOs) for it ro wheel to consumers, the GENCos in turn blame the situation on poor management of the grid infrastructure and other operational issues, like inadequate supply of gas and huge indebtedness by the Federal Government through the Nigerian Bulk Electricity Trading Company (NBET).
But while the blame game continues, consumers have been subjected to the most grueling experience in recent times, as the level of electricity available nationwide dropped drastically to less than 1000 megawatts before the crash of the national grid on Monday.
A nationwide blackout was experienced on Monday following the collapse of the national electricity grid after it lost the available 1,100 MW from a peak generation capacity of 3,700MW.
Although a frantic rescue effort managed to restore operations on the grid late on Monday, the system worked for a few hours before relapsing again into a total collapse and complete cut in nationwide power outage at about 1709 hours on Tuesday evening.
Following the crash, Ibadan Electricity Distribution Company immediately alerted consumers in its franchise area of the development and assured them of efforts to fix the problem, including contacting the TCN and other relevant stakeholders to salvage the situation as quickly as possible.
Grid operations report as at Monday afternoon showed the system was yet to recover the load as three attempts failed to reinstate the system by about 2pm.
In Abuja, the Abuja Electricity Distribution Company (AEDC) also notified its customers of the collapse and appealed for their cooperation and understanding, while the work with other stakeholders in the value chain to restore normalcy.
A system monitoring report said at least 19 of the 25 active electricity generation lines linking the national grid were producing power as of 6 am on Monday when the grid held 3,867.60MW.
However, the available power began to decline gradually until it hit the bottom at 2,761.20MW by 10am after six of the available generation lines shut down, leaving only 13.
It was learnt that after the second collapse a few hours later, frantic efforts made by the authorities to salvage the situation again failed to yield any positive result.
It is not clear how long the latest situation is going to last before normalcy is restored. But it was learned that the relevant authorities were unrelenting in efforts to restore normalcy.
In a statement, Peter Obi said the scarcity is progressively bringing every meaningful economic activity to a standstill. He drew national attention to the effects of these on Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs), transportation, mobility of goods and the cost of service delivery.
Obi noted that no modern nation can survive with a piecemeal approach to problem-solving, as he called on the Federal Government to sit up and spare Nigerians the revolving spectacles of inflation, insecurity, declining national currency, youth restiveness and political confusion. He maintained that only a lasting solution that is in sync with 21st century governance templates can get the nation out of the woods.
Pointing out that more than half of the country’s population are living under poverty, Obi said: “Petroleum products, especially diesel, have not only continued to rise in price, but are extremely scarce. These are all weighing down on the economy as costs of production and manufacturing, transportation and logistics are on the increase. If this ugly trend is sustained, the level of inflation in the country will be unprecedented,”
On the continued strike action, by the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), Obi asked the Federal Government to meet its subsisting agreement with the university teachers, and also to listen to whatever reasonable demands they are still putting on the table, for the sake of Nigerian students who are at the receiving end of the strike action.
He lamented the negative effects of the incessant strikes on the students and warned that no nation that toys with its human capital and its future leaders can develop in today’s world. According to Obi, “A nation that does not prioritize its education sector is headed for crisis. We cannot expect meaningful development in the country, when a critical sector like education is characterized by incessant and avoidable strike actions. It’s dangerous to allow millions of Nigerian youths wander about due to the ongoing strike action.”
He implored the Federal Government to give urgent attention to these two critical issues, if the nation is to avert the looming negative consequences that could erupt when an already over stretched economic situation is further complicated by frustration of very poor and hungry citizens.
▪︎ Additional reports by MediaTracnet.com