Power generation drops to record 1,580MW
• Labour shuts national grid
The Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN) yesterday confirmed that the power generation level has dropped to an all-time low of 1,580 Mega Watts (MW), thereby dampening hopes of early resolution of the nation’s power supply crisis.
The power generation slide, which was earlier attributed to gas pipeline vandalism, was said to have been accentuated by the on-going industrial dispute in the nation’s power sector.
Already the epileptic supply has been deeply impacting on commercial and domestic activities, as consumers continued to groan under intense heat and business collapse, even as fuel scarcity has blighted private power generation.
According to the TCN’s System Operations, the lower generation automatically degenerated into lower power allocation to the 11 electricity distribution companies (Discos) across the country.
The power allocation data obtained by The Guardian yesterday showed that Ikeja received 234.09 MW; Abuja, 181.77MW; Eko, 173.87MW; Benin, 142.25MW; Enugu, 142.25MW; Ibadan 205.48; Jos, 86.93MW; Kano, 126.45MW; Kaduna, 126.45MW; Port Harcourt, 102.74MW and Yola Disco got 55.32MW accordingly.
The drop in power generation started last week after the nation recorded about 4200MW on daily average, from the peak generation of 5074MW on February 3.
The Association of Nigerian Electricity Distributors (ANED) had estimated the nation’s electricity demand at 160,000MW, with the national grid managing a capacity of 6,020MW.
But the Asst. General Manager (Public Affairs), SO/MO, Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN), Clement Ezeolisah, said there was no system collapse, attributing the generation slide to the on-going labour dispute in the power sector.
“We have not recorded any system collapse since the beginning of 2016, and all hands are on deck to keep it that way,” he said.
The Head, Corporate Communications, Eko Electricity Distribution Plc, Idemudia Godwin, appealed to electricity customers in its network, blaming the blackout poor supply from the national grid as well as the labour action, which has militated against its operations.
He also appealed to the TCN to endeavour to fix up the faulty lines in its network.
He assured that the company is doing all within its powers to ensure a fair and equitable distribution of available power to all customers, pending the time there would be a significant supply from the national grid.
The Executive Director, Research and Advocacy, ANED, Sunday Oduntan, confirmed to The Guardian yesterday that many of the power stations, such as Egbin, Delta, Omotosho among others have shut down due the industrial action.
Oduntan said the generation slide was caused mainly by gas pipeline vandalism and the labour unrest in the country.
“What they have done was to make the staff of National Network Control Centre in Osogbo (where the national grid is operated) to join the strike. They said they were all on strike in solidarity with their members in Ikeja Disco who failed competency test.
Due to the situation, he said, “Egbin and Delta power plants have shut down two units each. As I am talking to you, Omotosho has shut down, Afam power plant has also given notice of shutting down due to load down pressure, so we don’t know how far that will go. It’s not in our hands, it has nothing to do with the Discos.”
Oduntan appealed to the labour unions to put the interest of Nigerians at heart. “When they are complaining about their members being sacked from Ikeja, they should also be Godly enough to mention another 700 staffers being employed by Ikeja. So, if the new employment is more than the number of people you are protesting for, it raises concerns. Those 700 people, are they not Nigerians?” he queried.