April 16, 2024

Fixing incessant power failure

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Nigerians condemn incessant power failure; believe the job is beyond Adedibu to fix

Adebayo Obajemu

As Nigerians grapple with incessant power failure, the solution may still be far in sight as there seems to be concrete solutions neither on the part of DisCos to fix the problem.

It is disappointing that the latest figures on the daily load summary of power distribution companies has shown that the electricity firms failed to distribute about 1,769.91 megawatts of electricity between February 1 and 14, 2024.

While data from the Transmission Company of Nigeria, obtained by EnergyDay in Abuja on Monday has revealed the grim fact that disappointed consumers is that some of electricity companies indeed received excess electricity load allocation during the period, the majority but did not utilise all the quantum of energy they allocated to them, hence the epileptic electricity in the country.

Nigerians who daily toil in the extreme heat will get home without light only to be choked . Yet, this is happening under an administration that promises to revive the economy.

Recall that Nigeria’s power situation has taken a plunge to the hilt, as supplies to consumers have grown worse since January this year, forcing the Minister of Power, Chief Adebayo Adelabu, to declare on Saturday that some power firms and TCN had been summoned to provide reasons for the worsening state of electricity supply in their regions.

“Findings revealed that some distribution companies were deliberately not taking up power supply from TCN while some power lines were also damaged by vandals in Abuja, Benin, Port Harcourt and Ibadan regions,” Adelabu stated in a statement issued in Abuja.

The Minister’s view is in tandem with the figures on the daily load summary of power distribution companies from February 1 to 14, 2024.

Accordingly, on February 1, 2024, seven of the power distributors failed to utilise a total of 128.62MW of electricity, while four others, including Benin, Ibadan, Port Harcourt and Yola, took a cumulative excess load allocation of 61.91MW.

Likewise, on February 2 and 3, the Discos failed to utilise 108.25MW and 71.54MW, respectively, while they received excess load allocation of 22.35MW and 65.45MW, respectively.

On February 4, it was observed that only 4.45MW was not utilised by Kano Disco, while ten other Discos received 327.47MW excess load. The low rejection of electricity on this day was due to low power generation on February 4, 2024.

Meanwhile, on February 5, no electricity was rejected by any Disco, while 211.04MW of excess load was allocated to the 11 power distributors due to the low power generation recorded on that day.

On February 7, four of the firms failed to utilise 216.1MW, while the remaining seven took an excess load of 162.02MW, as figures from TCN showed that the power firms rejected a total of 726.28MW of electricity in the first week of last month.

On February 8, eight power firms did not distribute 126.33MW, as three others took an excess load of 31.77MW; while the next day, nine power distributors failed to utilise 137.9MW, as the remaining two got an excess load of 39.27MW.

On February 10, nine of the Discos rejected 185.47MW, as two others took an excess load of 22.23MW; while on February 11, eight of the firms did not distribute 142.86MW, and three others got an excess load of 60.66MW.

On February 12, eight Discos did not distribute 132.27MW; three others received an excess load allocation of 45.83MW, while on February 13, six Discos failed to utilise 133.8MW as five others took an excess load of 48.09MW.

Five power distributors rejected 179.6MW of electricity on February 14, while the remaining six took an excess load allocation of 83.18MW.

This shows that in the second week of February, from the 8th to the 14th, the power distributors did not distribute about 1,043.63MW of electricity. They, however, received an excess load allocation of 330.97MW.

The lack of power supply has worsened the woes of Nigerians in the past two months.

Speaking on the country’s power supply challenge, the Nigerian Economic Summit Group chairman, Niyi Yusuf, said President Bola Ahmed Tinubu’s $1 trillion Gross Domestic Product growth target by 2030 was not attainable with a ‘generator economy.’

EnergyDay findings show that residents of FCT have been reacting to extreme heat, poor power supply

Many residents of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) say they are unable to work comfortably in their offices due to the unbearable heat.

The Abuja case is even more pervasive as there seems to be total blackout .

The respondents who are civil servants spoke to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja on Thursday.

Though knowledge sources hinted that the current heatwave is a manifestation of widespread climate change and global warming trends.

Across many public offices there is total darkness and for small scale companies the low supply has affected their bottom line as they resort to using generator which is expensive .

According to Joseph Tamuno, a civil servant in Abuja, there had been an unstable power supply in his office, same goes for many offices across ministries.

He said that power was not stable, adding that most offices relied on generators to work.

According to him;

“Government jobs are now being done in business centres and such information is not supposed to be in the public domain; and because there is no power supply, information is being leaked.”

His colleague,who identified himself as Tolani said issue calls for concern because everything that is being done revolves around electricity.

He stated that the situation is so bad now that when they get to office they can’t do anything.

”Now I am in the office to work, I cannot do anything because there is no electricity.

“This is a wakeup call to the government and other stakeholders in the power sector to do everything possible to ensure steady electricity supply.”

Recall that recently Minister of Power, Adebayo Adelabu had summoned the chief executive officers of two Electricity Distribution Companies (DisCos) to a meeting over worsening supply situations in their regions.

Those invited to the meeting according to media report include chief executive officers of AEDC) and Ibadan Electricity Distribution Company (IBDC).

Also summoned to the meeting was Sule Abdulazeez, Managing Director of the Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN).

According to him, the management of other non-performing distribution companies will also be queried over non-performance as reports continue to filter in on the situation in their regions.

“The ministry expects power supply to have improved across the country, as opposed to current experience in some regions.

“Findings revealed that some distribution companies are deliberately not taking up power supply from TCN, while some power lines have also been damaged by vandals in Abuja, Benin, Port Harcourt and Ibadan regions,’’ he said.

The company attributed the situation to low energy generation, which has resulted in a drop in power supply availability generally.

On its own The Enugu Electricity Distribution Company (EEDC) says the poor power supply currently experienced across the South-east is beyond its powers.

The company attributed the situation to low energy generation, which has resulted in a drop in power supply availability generally, a position that contradicted Adelabu, who insisted there was enough generation.

The Head, Corporate Communications, EEDC, Emeka Ezeh, made this known on Monday to journalists in Enugu, the Enugu State capital.

Mr Ezeh, however, appealed to residents of the zone to bear with the company.

According to him, the development has resulted in low generation, leading to a reduction in the quantum of daily megawatt hour (MWH) of energy allocated to distribution companies nationwide, thereby impacting the quality of service to its customers.

“We understand the inconveniences this situation has caused our esteemed customers and appeal for their understanding as it is beyond us.

“We can only distribute what is allocated to us,” he said.

Mr Ezeh said that efforts are being made by the various stakeholders in the power sector to address this issue, and “we hope this yields positive results so that normal distribution will return”.

Many Nigerians believe government’s inability or lack of political will to deal with erring Discos is at heart of current situation. Although last Wednesday the Federal Government threatened to revoke the licences of power Distribution Companies over persistent poor power supply across the country.

The minister, made this known through his X handle, warning that the government will soon go hard on the DISCOs’.

“The purpose of this meeting is to discuss the worsening power supply in their respective regions and to collectively find lasting solutions,” Adelabu said.

He stated that despite enough generation, the DisCos have continued to provide insufficient electricity.

Hear him: “the ministry has been exerting pressure on the Generating Companies to enhance their performance, resulting in a recent increase in generation to over 4000MW. Despite this progress, certain distribution companies are failing to adequately distribute the power supplied by TCN, while vandalism of power infrastructure exacerbates the problem in regions such as Abuja, Benin, Port Harcourt, and Ibadan.”

He stated his commitment to hold all distribution companies accountable for their performance as “willful non-performance will not be tolerated, and severe consequences, including license revocation, may be imposed.”

He said , “Additionally, I have instructed TCN to prioritise repair works on damaged transmission towers and power lines to improve supply in affected regions. During recent supervisory visits to power-generating plants, I have witnessed firsthand the challenges faced by the sector.

“Plans are underway to settle outstanding debts owed to power generation and gas supply companies, which will alleviate the financial strain and contribute to improved generation levels nationwide. I urge electricity consumers to remain patient as we work tirelessly to address these issues and provide better service to all Nigerians.”
An energy expert, Ogundele Abolarin, a professor of electrical engineering told EnergyDay that ” the issues are quite deeper than what people think. Discos have not been buying new equipment to replace obsolete ones, besides government does not have political will to come hard on them because when the privatisation was done it was the big men who are well connected that bought it, so the government does not have the liver to do the right thing.

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