By Udeme Akpan & Prince Okafor
THE nation was yesterday thrown into darkness as the Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN) suffered the first major system collapse, resulting from poor and obsolete infrastructure.
System collapse is witnessed when a system disturbance occurs with the grid not being able to withstand the disturbance, which usually leads to a blackout or abnormally low voltage in a significant part of the power system.
Investigation by Vanguard showed that the system collapse, which disrupted power supply to all parts of the country, occurred because of a sudden load drop in one of the generators in Port Harcourt, Rivers State, leading to a nationwide disruption in supply.
Confirming this development, the TCN But in a statement, stated that the incident took place about 12:37pm local time.
According to the company, “Our men have already moved to restore the grid, we hope before the end of the day power will be restored.
“Currently we are yet to ascertain the actual cause of the collapse. We will disclose the cause of the collapse after the system has been fixed.’
Furthere more, the Eko Electricity Distribution Company (EKEDC), in a tweet, stated, “Dear Customer, the outage which occurred at 12.37hrs is due to a TCN system collapse affecting Lekki, Ibeju & environs. The team is working to restore power. Please, bear with us.”
In addition, General Manager, Public Affairs, TCN, Ndidi Mbah, in an email to Vanguard, stated: “There was system disturbance which occurred at about 12.34pm this afternoon, affecting some parts of the country. As at 1:10pm, supply was restored to Abuja and most parts of the affected areas. TCN is still working to completely restore and stabilise the nation’s grid.”
However, in an interview with Vanguard, the National Secretary, Nigeria Electricity Consumers Advocacy Network, NECAN, Mr. Uket Obonga, said: “TCN is still battling with inadequate and dilapidated transmission infrastructure across the country. The lines are old and need to be changed with new ones, their transformers and stations across the country are equally begging for replacement. Though transmission capacity increased from 5,000MW to 6,000MW, it cannot be relied upon as we have constant system collapse.”
In its recent report, PwC, stated: “The situation in Nigeria’s power sector is abysmal and a major concern to all especially Nigerians and those investing in Nigeria. Insufficient electricity production, transmission and distribution is the biggest infrastructural and economic challenge facing Nigeria. Nigeria generates, transmits and distributes megawatts that are significantly less than what is needed to meet basic household and industrial needs. This deficit is exacerbated by load shedding, partial and total system collapse as well as power failure.
“This problem has lingered for many for many years and adversely affecting the country’s economy. Nevertheless, successive governments have made countless attempts to salvage the greatest Nigeria economic woes but have however, failed to yield much needed result.”