Electricity consumers worry over dwindling supply
…Generation slides to 3810MW
The relative stability recorded in electricity supply in the past few months may not be sustainable after all, going by the recent complains of outages in some major cities of the federation.
However, the power statistics from the Ministry of Power showed that energy generation has dropped to about 3,810 Mega Watts (MW) as at 27 October, 2015, when the system could only send out 3,748MW. Meanwhile, the nation needs about 12,800MW to meet national demand.
Meanwhile, the power generation from Egbin Power Plant – the biggest power firm in Nigeria, with 1320 MW capacity has dropped to 660 MW.
The drop, according to a source in the company, was as a result of the ongoing pipeline maintenance of by the Nigerian Gas Company.
The Distribution companies (Discos), however blamed the situation on low supply from the national grid, owing to generation shortfall. Besides, they pointed out numerous issues relating to transmission hiccups which are largely hindering the ability to wheel power from the national grid to the distribution level.
Consumers in Magodo, Surulere, Isolo, Ejigbo, Abule Egba, Okota, Shomolu, Ikotun, Lekki, Ajah, and some areas in Sango and Ota Ogun State, among others are now lamenting sharp drop in electricity supply after some weeks of respite.
Besides, electricity consumers in Oshodi area of Lagos recently staged a protest to express their displeasure over poor electricity supply and the outrageous bills being rolled out by the Discos.
One of the concerned consumers, Tunde Solomon, said the situation is becoming worrisome considering the huge electricity bills issued by the Discos for services not effectively delivered.
Vice Chairman of the CDA, Kazeem Fawole said: “We are gradually losing hope on power sector. When the new government took over power we thought it was the end to suffering, but the recent development is making our hope to fade away. The Federal Government should give the operators a new mandate to perform or withdraw their licences. We are tired of frequent black out, for God sake, we are not living in a village, we are in the city, but living like villagers”
Senior Manager, Corporate Affairs Department, Eko Electricity Distribution Company (EKEDC), Godwin Idemudia, linked the dwindling supply to low generation and some bottlenecks in transmission the grid.
According to him, the company has been rationing energy due to lower allocation from the national grid, but the situation was recently worsened as the network recently experienced some challenges from the transmission grid, particularly in the Lekki/Ajah axis.
He said: “Without transmission wheeling power to us there is really nothing we can do on our side. We are carrying out preventive maintenance everyday to make sure that whenever we have supply we will be able to distribute it to our customers, but we have a problem now and i guess it is between generation and transmission,” he said.
The Corporate Affairs Manager, Ikeja Electric, Pekun Adeyanju, noted that they are having some transmission issues while generation has dropped from the previous allocation of about 400MW to the Disco.
The Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN), Mrs Tina Oshin said the company always ensure a technical fit of its facilities to enhance smooth wheeling of power to the Discos.
On the Lekki/Ajjah network challeneges, she said the TCN was only fulfilling the contractual terms by allowing the contractor to fix the facility which is still under warrantee.