Nigeria’s Power Crisis Deepens, As National Grid Collapses for The Second Time in 7 Days
Nigeria, a nation of over 210 million people, is experiencing a severe nationwide power outage. This followed a drastic drop in electricity supply, falling from 3,594.60 megawatts (MW) to a concerning 42.7MW. The Delta Power plant, the only operational power plant on the grid at the moment, is producing 41.00MW, while Afam contributes a minimal 1.7MW.
Repeated Grid Collapses
This significant drop in power supply comes on the heels of two previous grid collapses that occurred within a 12-hour period, leading to a total blackout across the nation. These blackouts have become worryingly common in recent years, causing the entire country to lose power on numerous occasions. The most recent drop in power supply was attributed to a fire outbreak at the Kainji/Jebba station, according to the Minister of Power.
Nationwide Power Outages
The most recent nationwide power outage lasted approximately 10 hours, affecting all of Nigeria’s 36 states and the capital city, Abuja. The electrical grid’s collapse was reportedly due to a fire, resulting in a sharp drop in frequency leading to grid failure. The Enugu Electricity Distribution Company, which supplies electricity to southeastern Nigeria, had earlier issued a statement announcing a total system collapse, rendering them unable to provide service to their customers.
Energy Infrastructure Challenges
Such power failures underline Nigeria’s struggle with dilapidated energy infrastructure, leading to frequent power outages. Despite being oil-rich, Nigeria is energy poor, generating a daily average of 4,000 megawatts of electricity. This is far from the 30,000 megawatts a day authorities have stated the country needs to cater to its large population. Consequently, millions of residents rely on gasoline-powered generators for electricity. However, gasoline prices have more than doubled this year following the government’s decision to end decades-long subsidies, leaving many households and businesses struggling to find alternative power sources.
Long-term Effects and Future Outlook
Nigeria’s electricity supply challenges have far-reaching consequences. The frequent power outages and system instability have led to continuous fluctuations in the national grid supply. As a result, a typical Nigerian household has access to an average of only five hours of electricity supply daily from the national grid. The country’s electricity production has not been sufficient to meet demand, promoting self-generation using traditional biomass and fossil fuel.
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