Nigerians celebrate Eid-al-Fitr holiday in darkness, as national grid again collapses

NIGERIANS celebrating the Eid-al-fitr  currently have their homes in darkness as the national grid collapsed again on Wednesday morning.

The Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN) confirmed this development in a statement today.

The grid collapse occurred at about 11.01 am on Wednesday as a result of voltage collapse in parts of the grid.

Voltage collapse often occurs when there is an overbearing surge in the grid, a situation that occurs when there is load rejection and load shedding by the distribution companies, which puts intense pressure on the grid ending up in system collapse.

Ndidi Mbah, the General Manager Public Affairs at the TCN, said the company has commenced grid recovering after the collapse, assuring power restoration, but gave no timeline.

“The grid recovery has commenced from Shiroro Generating Station to Katampe ,TS, Abuja through the Shiroro Generating Station to Kampe, TS, Abuja through the Shiroro-Katampe line at 11:29 am, and through Delta Generating Station to Benin Transmission substation and has reached Oshogbo and part of Lagos,” he wrote in the statement.

Energy analysts have argued that unbundling of the TCN is the way out of the incessant collapse concerns. They believe unbundling  would make possible sanctions of any player in the value chain who violates the grid regulations.

“Nigeria cannot be risking its massive power infrastructure to incessant grid collapse, the best bet is for the regulator-NERC to unbundle the transmission company of Nigeria to perform independent role of market operator and system operator.

“This independent role will enforce checks and balances by the market operator. The market operator sanctions any defaulter who rejects loads, and ensures there is more investment into the transmission infrastructure,”energy lawyer and power sector governance expert, Chuks Nwani, told The ICIR.

Emeka Okukpara, a principal partner at NEXIER Power told The ICIR that lack of market discipline by various players who have not been punished for bad behavior by the regulator is part of what has kept the market in a bad shape, albeit reoccurring incidences of grid collapse.

Sam Amadi, a former Chairman of the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission, NERC also expressed concern over the inability of the regulator to unbundle TCN, citing executive manipulation of the regulator as a source of concern.

“This sort of executive manipulation and control is what continue to make TCN efficient.

“It’s unbelievable that a key part of the value chain that ought to be modeled on the most efficient corporate governance practice has no board of directors.

“So, the MD does whatever he likes without policy direction expect from a politician-Minister. This is wrong and the reason that TCN has never been an efficient entity,” Amadi said.

Nigeria has been experiencing grid collapse for a long period.






     

     

    In 2019, for instance, the national grid collapsed several times across the country with adverse effect on socio-economic activities.

    The national grid also recorded partial collapse last February.

    The current collapse could have have been averted if TCN is unbundled,  energy analysts have said.

    Meanwhile, Mbah has assured the public that the cause of the voltage collapse is being investigated, while pleading for patience.

     

     

     

    Harrison Edeh is a journalist with the International Centre for Investigative Reporting, always determined to drive advocacy for good governance through holding public officials and businesses accountable.

    Join the ICIR WhatsApp channel for in-depth reports on the economy, politics and governance, and investigative reports.

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