Data from the country’s System Operator showed that around 1pm on Thursday 31st March, no power generation company in Nigeria produced a single megawatt of electricity. The situation worsened as power generation collapsed completely to zero megawatt and stayed that way for about three hours.
Industry operators revealed that as a result of the complete collapse, no electricity distribution company received load allocation beginning from when the collapse was recorded up till around 3pm same day. Meanwhile, just few week ago, President Muhammadu Buhari had raised the hopes of Nigerians with a promise to deliver 10,000 Megawatts of Electricity, only for the opposite to happen.
Before the collapse on Thursday, AEDC got an allocation of 257.97MW and the nationwide generation level stood at 2,243.2MW. The System Operator stated that the 11 distribution companies got zero electricity load allocation during the period of the collapse, meaning that for about three hours on Thursday no part of Nigeria got power supply from the national grid.
Sources in the sector blamed the complete collapse in power generation on the extent of destruction of infrastructure and gas pipelines vandalism that had happened in the industry over the past years, as well as the poor upgrade of power installations across the country.
“The power crisis being experienced nationwide since Tuesday this week has worsened on Thursday with a total system collapse at exactly 12.58pm this afternoon. At that point, the nation went to ground zero, with all the Discos receiving zero MW allocation from the System Operator,” an operator in the sector told newsmen.
Officials from the Federal Ministry of Power, Works and Housing as well as private investors, had attributed the never-ending fall in electricity generation to vandalism of gas pipelines and destruction of vital infrastructure in the industry by miscreants.
A senior official at the power ministry said that aside pipelines vandalism, some miscreants have been involved in the destruction of vital power infrastructure and this has been affecting not just generation but transmission and distribution as well.
The official also stressed that the ongoing difficulty in the downstream oil industry was also impacting negatively on the power sector. However, the Minister of Works, Power and Housing, Babatunde Fashola, reassured Nigerians that the 10,000 megawatts of electricity generation target that Mr president set would be achieved by the end of 2019.