Power supply: Reps probe repeated national grid collapse

The House of Representatives has ordered an investigation into the recurring collapse of the national, throwing the entire country into darkness. It’s committee on power is to carry out the investigation.

The resolution was sequel to the adoption of a motion on the urgent need to investigate the recurring national grid collapse with a view to addressing the multiple and dire consequences associated with power outages in the country, sponsored by Hon. Sani Bala.

Bala observed that national grid collapses occur when there are system disturbances along the transmission lines connecting a number of generating stations, expressing concern that since 2013 when the privatisation exercise took place in the power sector, the country has witnessed over a hundred national grid collapses; a challenge which experts and operators said would linger for a long time if not addressed.

“Only this year, the national grid has collapsed seven times (more than the three times recorded last year), thereby, causing national power outages with enormous socio-economic implications”, he said, adding that the latest in the series of power failures has been adjudged among the worst the country has witnessed in recent times, which in turn indicates that there is no framework or spinning reserve meant to forestall such occurrences.

According to him, it is incomprehensible that all the key power plants in the country, including Egbin, Utorogu, Chevron Oredo, Oben gas-fired power plants, Ughelli, and Chevron Escravos power plants could all shut down at once.

He argued that it was worrisome that the issue of system collapse may not be unconnected with the Transmission Company of Nigeria’s lack of wheeling capacity, inadequate transmission lines and spinning reserves as well as refusal to fast-track construction of digital control centres instead of the company’s current analog system.

In his submissions, Deputy Minority Leader, Hon. Toby Okechukwu, urged the committee to conduct a thorough investigation into the activities of the operators and the regulatory agencies. 

“The essence is to find what we can do as a country to cure issues of power generation. It has been all motion no movement.

“Most countries have solved this problem. It is not a good thing a country of 200 million can’t generate up to 5,000 megawatts. If we can’t solve this, we also can’t solve the issue of unemployment. Every month we have an issue of grid collapse. This investigation should be taken seriously,” he said.

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