Nigeria: Vandalism Worsens Grid Collapse as Gas Shortage Slashes Power Supply

Nigeria: Vandalism Worsens Grid Collapse as Gas Shortage Slashes Power Supply

By Zuleihat Owuiye, Mamos Nigeria
Nigeria experienced its sixth power grid collapse of 2024 on Monday, as electricity generation on the system plummeted from 2,583.77 megawatts at 2 am to 64.7MW around 3 am before the grid was restored later in the day.

The Transmission Company of Nigeria attributed Monday’s grid collapse to a fire incident, but it has consistently blamed gas shortage for power generation issues and the vandalism of power infrastructure for the recurring cases of grid collapse in Nigeria.

Nigeria generates an average of 4,000MW of electricity for its estimated 200 million citizens, but this level of generation is hardly sustainable. The grid continues to experience frequent collapses due to gas supply constraints, transmission infrastructure vandalism, and liquidity crisis, among other factors.

Data from the Independent System Operator, a branch of the Transmission Company of Nigeria, showed that only one electricity generation company, Ibom Power, was active at the time of Monday morning’s grid collapse.

Power generation on the grid further dropped to 44.5MW around 4 am before rising to 132.29MW an hour later.

The grid collapse was confirmed by the Jos Electricity Distribution Company. In a notice to customers, Dr. Friday Elijah, the Head of Corporate Affairs at JEDC, stated, “The current outage being experienced within our franchise states is a result of the loss of power supply from the national grid.”

Elijah expressed hope that the grid would be restored for normal power supply to electricity consumers.

In addition, economic activities in the South-East were brought to a standstill as the Enugu Electricity Distribution Company Plc announced a total system collapse in its network. According to Emeka Ezeh, the Head of Corporate Communications at EEDC, the system collapse occurred at 2:41 am on April 15, 2024.

Ezeh appealed to the company’s customers in the five states of the South-East for understanding while waiting for the Transmission Company of Nigeria to restore power supply.

The collapse of Nigeria’s power grid has become a recurring phenomenon, with the system remaining unstable and leading to frequent cases of grid collapse.

On March 29, 2024, power generation on the national grid crashed from 2,984MW around 4 pm on March 28 to 0MW at 5 pm the same day, according to figures released by TCN. As a result, the entire country was plunged into a blackout, leaving millions of homes and businesses without power.

On February 4, 2024, power generation on the national grid also collapsed to 0MW around 1 pm, causing widespread blackouts across the country.

These incidents of grid collapse are often attributed to factors such as gas constraints, transmission infrastructure vandalism, and other acts of sabotage.

The Transmission Company of Nigeria has expressed its commitment to enhancing the resilience and reliability of the national grid and promises to continue investing in measures aimed at strengthening the grid infrastructure.

The recurrence of vandalism on power transmission towers is a major concern. Vandals have destroyed several towers, leading to a reduction in power supply flexibility and volume. TCN has called for vigilance and urges reporting of suspicious activities around power equipment to security operatives or the nearest TCN offices nationwide.

It is crucial for Nigeria to address these challenges in order to achieve a stable and reliable power supply for its citizens and support economic growth and development.

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