Reps to investigate frequent collapse of National Grid

Oluremi AgbejuleFebruary 29, 20243 min

Nigeria recorded three national grid collapses in a week recently while the grid collapsed twice within 6 hours on 19 August 2023.

The constant collapse of the National Grid in Nigeria has necessitated the House of Representatives to take a massive step in investigating the matter which is of huge national importance.

Sequel to a motion sponsored by Rep Billy Osawaru (APC, Edo), the House noted that sustainable energy is essential to any modern economy, and Nigeria is no exception, as a stable electricity supply ensures that industries remain viable, power homes, and facilitates significant economic growth and industrial progress.

Rep Osawaru commended the Federal Government on plans to increase the power capacity megawatts and for signing the Electricity Act of 2023 which is targeted at improving the difficulties facing the power sector and will go a long way in creating new opportunities for better and effective electricity supply.

“We commend the plan of the Federal Government to increase power capacity to 20,000 megawatts (MW) from 12,522 MW projected within the next Three years and the Electricity Act, 2023 aimed at addressing the persistent challenges in the power sector, harnessing new opportunities, as well as propel Nigeria toward a future of reliable, affordable, and sustainable electricity supply.

“Aware that the Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN) in August 2023 stated that the Nigerian power grid recorded an unparallel period of stability in the history of the power sector by operating without major disruptions or systems collapse for over 400 consecutive days, a milestone that indicates an advancement in the nation’s efforts at strengthening its power infrastructure, ensuring a reliable and dependable electricity supply to distribution load centres for onward distribution to electricity customers nationwide,”  he said.

Rep Osawaru expressed concern that in the space of one week in August 2023, Nigeria recorded three national grid collapses while the grid also collapsed twice within 6 hours on 19 August 2023 adding that the constant collapse of the National Grid has negatively affected the economy, encourage criminal activities as efforts to curb insecurity technically in control rooms of security outfits will prove abortive in the event of criminal attacks during dark hours.

“Worried that frequent grid collapses this year have negatively impacted the economy, reducing industrial output and raising manufacturing expenses. Firms are forced to invest in alternate power sources, thus, raising operational costs and leaving end users with exorbitant prices, which citizens cannot afford, especially with subsidy removal effects,” he said.

“Recall that the nation is currently facing its worst form of insecurity, including insurgency, banditry, kidnapping and other violent crimes. The collapse of the national grid will embolden criminal activities and security facilities such as the Vigiscope App, Police Situation Room app, all Police command control rooms can be compromised during the dark hours, and tracking devices that need power to reach telephone lines can be hampered.

“Cognizant that if the frequent national grid collapses are thoroughly investigated and solutions proffered, it will end the continuous system collapse, boost the economy and reduce the suffering of the citizens.”

The motion was adopted and the House referred the Committee on Power to liaise with critical stakeholders in the power sector to urgently investigate and proffer solutions to the embarrassing development and report back within four weeks for further legislative action. 

Oluremi Agbejule

Oluremi is a program assistant at OrderPaper, broadcaster, writer and Alumni of Nigeria media innovation program NAMIP.

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