By Mariam Eko
An indication emerged on Tuesday that Nigeria’s electricity generation infrastructure may have suffered further deterioration resulting in a massive crash to 1,705 megawatts, MW, output, about the lowest in recent years. The output was 4,182 MW previous day.
Both the regulators and the operators declined to speak officially on what happened but unofficial information from the Association of Power Generating Companies, attributed the sudden system crash to equipment failure, lack of gas and other problems in the sector.
The source in one of the GENCOs said that the power value chain is the cause for the drastic drop.
The source also said GENCOs believe the foreign exchange crisis, shortage of gas as well as TCN incapacity to address challenges in the sector caused the sudden drop in generation as the system has become more fragile.
They also cited the right tariff as one other challenge hampering power generation in the country.
The source stated: “The business strives on generating and selling. If we don’t sell we can’t be in business. The value chain still needs to be attended to and urgently I would say else all hopes would remain a mirage.
“Hopefully, we have a new government and we are still watching to see the direction they are going to get the sector fixed otherwise, be it 20 or 30years we would still be running in circles without gearing headway in the country’s power sector.”But a source at the Transmission Company of Nigeria, TCN, blamed the Generating Companies GENCOs for inability to sustain the output level due to their weak operational capacity.
Data obtained by Vanguard from the Nigeria Electricity System Operator, NESO, the semi-autonomous arm of the TCN, shows that the drop affected the transmission and distribution of adequate supply of electricity by the TCN and Electricity Distribution Companies, DisCos, to consumers nationwide.
It indicated that the DisCos embarked on massive load shedding, targeted at allocating the meager to different categories of consumers, while more consumers resort to independent power generation.
TCN did not give reasons for the sharp drop but industry operators indicated that the weak power infrastructure is still the main headache.
The new Minister of Power, Mr Adebayo Adelabu, had promised Nigerians that they will witness improved power supply across the nation soon.
Speaking at a recent reception organized for him, Adelabu, said: “We know it’s not something that is achievable overnight but we believe that once the foundation is laid, others can also build on it. I can tell you that between six months and one year, we will start seeing improvement in the power sector”.