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Power generation drops to all-time low of 1580 megawatts

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Power generation and distribution across the  country  have dropped to an all time low of 1,580.6 megawatts [MW]  as at 9.48 am Wednesday.

According to the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission [NERC], this was owing to the strike embarked upon by NUPENG and PENGASSAN workers over the recent unbundling by the federal government.

Recall that the unions downed tools following the declaration that the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation [NNPC] have been unbundled,  by the minister of state for petroleum, Emmanuel Ibe Kachikwu.

Consequent upon that, power generation and distribution plumetted across the  country.

Earlier, generation capacity had inched up to 4,387MW on Friday, after crashing to 2,800MW prior to that from a peak of 5000MW due to gas pipeline vandalism, according to NERC. 

Data from the Nigerian Systems Operations Department of the Transmission Company of Nigeria, TCN, website,www.nsong.org, indicated that the situation had gone even worse, with generation peaking at 1,580.6MW.

Although the Systems Operations did not give any reasons for the drastic drop, or which plant generated what, it however, indicated that the 1,580.6MW were distributed to the 11 electricity Distribution Companies, DISCOs, as follows:

Ikeja: 237.09MW; Abuja: 181.77MW; Eko:173.87MW; Benin: 142.25MW; Enugu : 142.25 MW; Ibadan: 205.48MW; Jos: 86.93MW; Kano: 126.45MW; Kaduna: 126.4MMW; Port Harcourt: 102.74 MW; and Yola: 55.32 MW.

The NNPC workers had threatened that the latest strike will affect every economic activity, as there will be no loading of petroleum products at the depots , a development that has escalated current fuel shortages, while also cutting gas supply. 

Majority of Nigeria’s power plants whether on-grid or off-grid, depend on gas supply from the Nigeria Gas Company, a subsidiary of NNPC, to fuel the plants. 

With NNPC workers making good its threat to cut off gas supply and suspend lifting of petroleum products, even to power homes and businesses through private generators will become more difficult and at premium costs. 

Supply challenges Even without the current crisis, many of the generating plants had been having issues, especially with plant upgrades and re-tooling, which are being frustrated by the scarcity of foreign exchange and inability to import the necessary tools. 

For instance, the Egbin Power Plc, Nigeria’s largest plant with a capacity of 1320MW, could barely generate up to 900MW last week, which a top management source attributed to gas shortages occasioned by pipeline vandalism. 

According to the source, “For over a week now, our generation has been between 800mw and 900mw against 1100megawatts recorded two weeks ago.

As a result of this shortfall, it is expected that the power transmitted to the distribution companies would be rationalised.”

Meanwhile, when Vanguard visited some areas in the Lagos metropolis, it was learnt that residents hardly get more than three hours of power supply daily. 

At Ajegunle, Ifelodu, Apapa, Amukoko, Awodi-ora, Festac, Agbara, Ile-Ipo, Badagry, Victoria Island, Ikeja, Berger, Ejigbo, residents complained of deteriorating supply of power to their environs. 

A woman who identified herself as Mrs, Aisha at Ojo Road, Ajegunle, said: “From experience over the years, the peculiarity of power outage in the country will be for a long time, considering how bad the systems were managed by the Federal Government prior the privatisation of these assets. 

At Orile axis, Mr. Brown Idewo said: “For the past two months in this area, we cannot be assured of receiving power for two hours in a day.

“Currently, we are yet to receive pre-paid meters in this part of the state. We are seriously crying for better power supply regardless of the bills we are subjected to pay.” 

The story is the same even in Victoria Island, as consumers revealed they receive power supply for about five hours daily. Some of them who spoke to Vanguard  said that the development has become worrisome as such delivery could barely meet their demands. 

At Awodi-ora, the situation was fair, as residents claimed to receive up to six to eight hours of power supply in a day. 

According to Mrs Maryjean Robert, “Recently we have been receiving favourable supply of power ranging from six to eight hours in a day.”

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