By Chris Ochayi
ABUJA—The nationwide power crisis being experienced in the country worsened, yesterday, with a total system collapse at exactly 12.58p.m.
This came on a day Minister of Works, Power and Housing, Babatunde Fashola, reassured Nigerians that the 10,000 megawatts of electricity generation target set by the present administration would be attained by the end of 2019.
On the systems collapse, the nation got to Ground Zero, with all the Discos receiving zero megawatts allocation from the system operator, the Transmission Company of Nigeria, TCN.
The nation had experienced drastic reduction in power supply through the national grid in recent time, with generation standing at 2,243.20mw, which the Federal Government blamed on vandals.
It was observed that before the systems collapse, allocation to Abuja Electricity Distribution Company, AEDC, earlier in the day (yesterday) stood at 257.97mw.
The cause of the systems collapse is yet to be established at the time of filing the story as efforts to get officials of TCN to respond to the development proved abortive.
Meanwhile, the Minister of Works, Power and Housing, Babatunde Fashola, yesterday, reassured Nigerians that the 10,000 megawatts of electricity generation target set by the administration would be attained by the end of 2019.
Fashola, who spoke during the signing of an agreement in Abuja between Geometric Power, Aba, and Enugu Electricity Generation Company, EEDC, following peaceful resolution of the protracted legal tussle between the parties, said the presidential target was achievable.
Recall President Muhammadu Buhari had declared at the opening of the National Economic Council’s economic retreat, that in the next three years, the nation would generate 10,000mw of distributable power, adding that 2,000 of it would be added to the national grid this year.
The signing of the MoU marked the successful settlement of the rift between Geometric Power and operators of Enugu Distribution Company (Disco) that stalled the take-off of the 140MW Aba Power plant in Abia State since 2014.
Fashola said the resolution had shown that within one Disco, there could be two or more players.
He said the deal would ensure that the over $500million investment was safe, while about 200mw would be delivered first to Aba industrial zone and to the national grid.
The station, built in Abia State, was the first Independent Power Plant, IPP, in Nigeria, delivered by Geometric Power Ltd.
The gas-fired plant, which has a 27km gas pipeline, and a distribution utility, within a ring-fenced distribution network, is meant to provide embedded power towards reviving industries in the Aba hub.
Government granted a 20-year lease (concession) to Geometric Power Aba Limited to generate, transmit and distribute electricity in the Aba and Ariaria business districts of Enugu Disco network.
The plant, which was completed in 2014, was enmeshed in disputes and a law suit resulting in its non-take-off.
Former Minister of Defence, Kayode Adetokunbo, who spoke for the board of Enugu Disco/Interstate Electrics, said the Vice President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, last September initiated the dialogue between the two parties.
“We went to court earlier but are happy to sit down and sign a public document to show that all issues between us have been resolved.
“We are going to be getting 100mw from there to boost power supply in the East,” he said.
Speaking for Geometric Power, former Minister of Power, Prof. Barth Nnaji, said: “In what we have done here, we have achieved peace and progress.”
He said the Aba power ring-fence was a model to ensure that power generated within a place could be distributed reliably.