Why Poor Power Supply Persists in Nigeria

…DisCos attribute recent cases to drop in generation. Why poor power supply persists in Nigeria

Several Nigerians across the country are currently witnessing poor power supply in the past weeks despite the alleged increased tariff they claimed was imposed on them illegally by the electricity distribution companies (DisCos).

Some of them, who spoke with Nairametrics in separate interviews, explained that it is worrisome that the government allowed the DisCos to raise electricity tariffs amid dwindling power supply witnessed by consumers across the country.

According to them, the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) had allegedly approved the adjustment of the tariffs payable to DisCos, as some of the DisCos got a raise in their tariffs.

What the consumers are saying about the poor power supply

One of the consumers, Leye Olayera, a retired civil servant with the Ogun State government, who resides in Magboro, explained that his tariff, which was supplied by the Ibadan Electricity Distribution Company, was increased by N4 despite the fact that the power has been irregular in the past weeks.

He said, “IBEDC usually shares power within my community, which is an average of 9 hours every two days, and it has been very poor compared with what we witnessed a few months back.

“We were so shocked when we found that the tariff had also been increased without prior notice by the DisCos or NERC.

“But what we are asking the regulator is that if they approved something that is going to affect our pockets without letting us know, it is like shaving our heads in our absence.”

Another consumer of IBEDC, Tito Adebajo, a medical doctor, the poor power supply was worsened by the adulterated fuel situation, which led to fuel scarcity across Nigeria.

He said,  “It is time for the Nigerian government to think out of the box and profer a lasting solution. We have been cheated here over time.

“We bought transformers, poles and wires and still we won’t access regular power, only to find out that tariff has gone up without any concrete explanation.”

Emmanuel Faith, a resident of Lugbe Oakville Community, Abuja, said, “Electricity supply in the community has been very poor in the past weeks. The supply has been very poor for some time now. We believe there is a need to replace some transformers and maintenance in order to restore effective and efficient power supply here.”

Why power supply dropped – IE, IBEDC, AEDC

The DisCos have attributed the persistent poor supply to the load shedding by the Transmission as a result of power generation.

For instance, Ikeja Electric, one of the DisCos based in Lagos, had apologized to its consumers, stating via its Twitter handle, “We apologized for the persistent power supply you have been experiencing in some parts of our network. This is due to load shedding by the Transmission as a result of power generation.

“We regret the inconvenience this has caused and wish to assure that we are engaging the responsible stakeholders in the Electricity value chain to improve the situation.”

In the case of IBEDC, the DisCo also apologized for the inconvenience experienced by its customers, assuring them of working tirelessly to resolve the issues.

It stated, “Due to a drop in low allocation from the National Grid, occasioned by low generation from GenCos, customers within Ibadan, Oyo, Ogun, and Kwara are experiencing low power supply. We sincerely apologize for the inconvenience.

“Please note that we are working tirelessly to ensure steady supply of power across our installations. However, this outage issue has been referred to the concerned unit for investigation and resolution.”

Abuja Electricity Distribution Company (AEDC) also took to Twitter to appeal to its customers.

It stated, “Dear Customer, please note that the interruptions of electricity supply you are currently experiencing is due to the instability of supply from the National Grid due to low Generation.

“We appeal to you to be patient as all stakeholders are working hard to restore system stability.”

In a statement signed by Emeka Ezeh, Head, Corporate Communication, Enugu Electricity Distribution Company (EEDC), the company assured its consumers that it would soon restore power in affected places, especially in Imo State.

He said, “EEDC wishes to inform her esteemed customers in Imo State that the loss of supply currently being experienced is as a result of loss of supply to the Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN), Egbu station from… Alaoji – Owerri 132KV lines 1 and 2.

“As a result, all 33KV feeders in Owerri namely: Airport, Owerri 3, Oguta, Orlu, New Owerri, Mbaise, Okigwe and Alex feeders are on zero supply. Consequently, our customers in almost the entire Imo State are without electricity supply…

“We are on standby as the TCN is currently working to restore power supply. We regret the inconveniences this has caused our customers and assure them that supply will be restored as soon as the issue is rectified…”

Bottom line

The poor power supply may persist across Nigeria, especially in 2022, due to the cankerworms that have eaten deep into the fabrics of nation’s power sector.

Going by industry statistics, some of them are gas-related issues, which has affected the country’s power generation. Dispatch of the generated electricity remains elusive as transmission and distribution bottlenecks are frequently blamed for the capacity to wheel power to end-users.

With huge debt and equity servicing challenges, operation and maintenance barriers, dearth of new investments, poor credit rating and poor business viability image to investors, the dismal outlook of the power sector and other challenges may persist in 2022.

Nigerians in several cities including Abuja and Lagos have been hit by a “double-whammy” of fuel scarcity and electricity outage, leaving millions struggling to keep up with their daily activities and businesses.

For weeks, the country has faced fuel shortage caused by the importation of low standard petrol into the country. Many fuel stations have run out of fuel as the government tries to retrieve the dirty fuel and distribute cleaner volumes.


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