Stakeholders canvass decentralisation of national grid to stop constant collapse

DESPITE restoration of the national grid, some industry stakeholders are calling for its decentralisation as a means of putting an end to constant collapse of the electricity system.

The national grid collapsed twice between Monday and Tuesday.

According to Nigerian Electricity System Operator (NESO), a total system collapse means total blackout nationwide, while partial system collapse is a failure of a section of the grid.


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The Minister of Power Abubakar Aliyu confirmed the restoration of the grid while addressing newsmen after the Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting on Wednesday.

According to Aliyu, the shortage of gas and maintenance of generators all combined to worsen the problem with the national grid.

Following the restoration, there has been growing calls for the decentralisation of the national grid.

The call is as a result of recurring nationwide collapse which exposes weakness in Nigeria’s grid management system.

“I will advise that we think of a solution beyond ‘national grid’. We don’t need a national grid to power this economy. What we need is energy federalism. If you like, you can call it energy mix in a fully decentralised style,” independent researcher and energy expert Dauda Garba told The ICIR.

Also An Associate Consultant to the British Department of International Development (DFID) Celestine Okeke told The ICIR that growing population and economic expansion are reasons a single national grid is not a good option.

“Year-on-year despite our rising population, we are making use of the same national grid, without back up. We must decentralise the grid,” he said.

He stressed that without back up for the national grid, incessant collapse will continue.

Nigeria’s national grid is known for experiencing disruptions. It collapsed in February, May, July and August 2021.

TheCable had reported that the grid experienced 206 collapses between 2010 and 2019.

Meanwhile, the power minister also affirmed that the Federal Executive Council approved the sum of N5 billion to open up and expand Lagos/Ogun, to reinforce power supply to that region.

He said, “The current challenges of electricity supply in Nigeria are being resolved with the ongoing restoration of normal operations. Early in the week, the national grid suffered a decrease in electricity due to so many factors. However, more of the power is being restored.

“The current energy crisis confronting some key sectors of the economy also contributed to the problems we are facing now in the power sector.

“We are where we are today also because of the increasing vandalization of pipelines that also supply gas to the power plants. This too is being resolved in collaboration with the relevant agencies. NNPC and other gas suppliers are working relentlessly to restore gas supply for optimum power supply.



    “The government is doing everything — working with the relevant security agencies — to stop the vandalization of pipelines.

    “Routine maintenance of power generating plants had also contributed to the current power outages we are experiencing.

    “These challenges do not in any way indicate that the ongoing rehabilitation of the national grid by the government is not yielding results.

    “Despite all the challenges, we are recording successes and the grid is being restored back to full operation. Government solicits the support of all Nigerians at this time, while efforts will continue to increase and stabilize the electricity supply across Nigeria.”

    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.

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