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Groups demand sanctions as power collapses seventh time

…sudden drop in frequency caused collapse – TCN

Nigeria suffered another nationwide power outage on Monday morning after the national electricity grid collapsed for the seventh time in 2022.

Following the development, power consumer groups called for sanctions against operators or firms culpable of the incessant grid collapse that had characterised Nigeria’s electricity system since this year.

Industry figures seen on Monday indicated that power generation on the grid had risen to a peak of 4,100.80 megawatts on Sunday. It dropped to 3,713.1MW at 6am on Monday, before crashing to about 80MW the same day.

Various power distribution companies confirmed the collapse, while the manager of the electricity grid – Transmission Company of Nigeria – gave no reason for the development, up till the time of filing this report.

Confirming the development in a notice to its customers on Monday, the Enugu Electricity Distribution Company Plc said the system collapse occurred at 10:51am.

“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 service to our customers in Abia, Anambra, Ebonyi, Enugu and Imo states,” the Disco stated via a Twitter message.

It added, “We are on standby awaiting detailed information of the collapse and restoration of supply from the National Control Centre, Osogbo.”

The Kano Electricity Distribution Company, on its part, said, “This is to inform our numerous customers that the current power outage being experienced is due to a system collapse at the national grid supplying power to KEDCO and other Discos.

“Though the cause of the collapse, as well as the possible restoration timeline, is yet to be ascertained, efforts are ongoing to do the needful. We will keep you updated on the situation while we apologise for any inconveniences this outage may have caused.”

Abuja Disco also stated that “the current power outage is due to a system failure from the national grid. The system collapsed at about 10:55am today, September 26, 2022, causing the outage currently being experienced.

“We appeal for your understanding as all stakeholders are working hard to restore normal supply.”

Reacting to the development, the President, Nigeria Consumer Protection Network, who served in the National Technical Investigative Panel on Power System Collapses/System Stability and Reliability (June 2013), Kunle Olubiyo, said there should be sanctions to curtail the spate of grid collapse.

He told our correspondent that Monday’s “total system collapse is quite unfortunate and unnecessary.”

Olubiyo said, “The nation needs to do more in terms of upgrading obsolete grid infrastructure, grid automation, making more investments in grid system interfaces, protecting devices and with emphasis on load frequency management scheme.

“There should also be sanctions and consequences for infractions associated with grid system indiscipline. The present total power grid collapse is no doubt at a huge cost to the end users, the economy, all spheres of human endeavors and the nation at large.”

The National Secretary, Network of Electricity Consumers Advocacy of Nigeria, Uket Obonga, earlier told our correspondent that there should be consequences for dereliction of duty in the power sector.

“We can’t continue to record these anomalies and no one or agency is sanctioned for such infractions,” he stated.

Monday’s grid collapse made it the seventh time Nigeria would witness such development since this year.

On July 20, 2022, Nigeria’s power grid saw the sixth collapse in 2022.

Power generation on the grid has continued to fluctuate due to various concerns such as gas constraints, water management challenges, and gas pipeline vandalism, among others.

In April, The PUNCH reported that the quantum of electricity on the grid crashed from over 3,000MW on April 8, 2022, to as low as 10MW around 21.00 hours the same day.

The report further stated that another collapse of the grid occurred on April 9, 2022, as the nation’s power system collapsed to 33MW around 01.00 hours after it had earlier posted a peak generation of 3,281.50MW at 00.00 hours the same day.

In its recently released Fourth Quarter 2021 Report, the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission had stated that to ensure grid stability, it would continue “to enforce and monitor compliance by Discos and TCN with respect to the execution of Service Level Agreements to ensure further grid discipline.”

An industry expert and former General Manager, Corporate Communications, Niger Delta Power Holding Company, NDPHC, Yakubu Lawal, recently said that the power outages associated with system collapse from the national grid would not end soon, going by the capacity and poor integrity of the system.

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