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Nigeria's Power Grid Has Collapsed 108 Times Since Privatisation - TCN


The nation’s electricity grid has collapsed 108 times after the power sector was privatised, data from the Transmission Company of Nigeria have shown.

The TCN, which manages the national grid, is still fully owned and operated by the government.

While the TCN says the grid has a wheeling capacity of 8,100MW, the highest power generation ever attained in the country stands at 5,375MW.

The sector was privatised by the President Goodluck Jonathan administration with 11 electricity distribution companies and six generation companies handed over to core investors on November 1, 2013.

Between November 1, 2013 and May 2020, the number of total grid collapse recorded was 83 while the grid partially collapsed 25 times.

A total system collapse means total blackout nationwide, while partial system collapse is a failure of a section of the grid, according to the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission

The grid has continued to suffer system collapse over the years amid lack of spinning reserve that is meant to forestall such occurrences.

Spinning reserve is the generation capacity that is online but unloaded and that can respond within 10 minutes to compensate for generation or transmission outages.

Although five power stations are meant to provide spinning reserves, sometimes none may have actual reserve.

The power stations are Egbin, Delta, Olorunsogo NIPP, Geregu NIPP and Omotosho NIPP.

The Nigerian Economic Summit Group recently advised the Federal Government to complete the power and energy sector deregulation process by opening up the transmission segment of the power value chain to private participation and investments.

The group said in its 2020 Macroeconomic Outlook,

“In doing this, three criteria should be considered for willing and prospective investors – managerial experience, technical expertise and financial capabilities.

“These are key to the success of the power/energy sector reform road map in Nigeria.”

The system operator, an arm of the TCN, put the nation’s installed generation capacity at 12,910.40MW; available capacity at 7,652.60MW; transmission wheeling capacity at 8,100MW; and the peak generation ever attained at 5,375MW.

In another development, the leadership of the National Assembly on Monday met and convinced electricity distribution companies to defer the plan to hike tariffs till the first quarter of 2021.

This was contained in a statement issued late Tuesday by the Special Adviser to the Senate President on Media and Publicity, Ola Awoniyi.

The statement read, “The President of the Senate, Ahmad Lawan, the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila, and other principal officers of the two chambers met at the National Assembly with the chief executive of the government electricity regulatory body and Discos across the country.

“The meeting agreed to defer the planned hike till first quarter of next year while the leadership of the National Assembly promised to meet with President Muhammadu Buhari on the issue.”

“The agreement here is that there is not going to be any increase in the tariffs on July 1st,” Lawan was quoted to have said at the end of the meeting.

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