Disclosure News

Factual Reportage

… As lawmakers express concern over incessant grid collapse, tariff hike


Worried by the alarming deficit the electricity sector is facing, the Minister of Power, Chief Adebayo Adelabu on Monday sought intervention of members of the Senate Committee on Power, in order to pressure the Federal Government towards clearing the huge debts the industry owes to gas suppliers and generation companies (GENCOs).

Giving the breakdown of the large chunk owed to the above mentioned parties, the Minister revealed that the sector currently owes the gas suppliers a total of $1.3 billion while the GenCos are owed a sum of N1.3 billion.

Adelabu, who gave this figures during an oversight visit of the Committee to the Ministry, lamented that the gas suppliers have threatened to stop supplying without payments being made. He added that the nation’s electricity industry suffers deficit across the five segments of the power sector value chain, including gas, generation, transmission, distribution, and consumers segments.

The Minister attributed the sector’s difficulties to privatisation, pointing out that in 2021 the nation claimed to have 14,000MW of installed capacity, but had only produced 5,800MW. This was because the investors lacked the necessary capital to turn the sector around with the necessary investments.

The Minister however revealed the Ministry’s plan to generate 6000MW in the next few years, urging the senators to provide the necessary support to ensure that this is achieved.

“I appeal to the Committee to put pressure on the Federal Government to offset these debts to enable us achieve the target” he said.

On the challenges confronting the effective operations of the Transmission Company, the Minister attributed the ugly situation to vandalization of electricity infrastructures across country most especially in the North East and South East, and funding.

He said about 120 TCN projects have been stalled for over 20 years because of lack of funding and the pending projects in most parts of the country have been vandalized.

According to him, less dependent on national grid is necessary, and implores State governments to leverage on the recently enacted Electricity Act to make investment that would support the national grid.

Adelabu further revealed the ongoing collaboration between the TCN and the World Bank on a project that will build an efficient SCADA system, which is anticipated to be a two-year solution to the grid collapse.

On their part, the Senate Committee on Power led by Senator Enyinnaya Abaribe, the Chairman of the Committee, complained about the Incessant electricity grid collapses which have become a culture in the Nigeria’s power sector.

Senator Abaribe noted that the issue of poor supply of electricity to Nigerians as well as the reasons for the consistent collapses of the national grid necessitated the oversight visit to the Ministry.

The Chairman of the Committee ceased the moment to disclose plans to hold an Investigative Hearing on 29th April 2024, on the issue of tariff hike without the relevant stakeholders in the sector.

Senator Abaribe who gave reference on how other African countries makes mockery of Nigeria as a generator country, said for over 20 years, supply capacity has been inconsistent as it continued to fluctuate around 5,000MW.

He said, “We are here, to hear directly from TCN what the problems are and are there anything we can do using the law to make Nigeria one of the countries that don’t have to pretend on their own installed capacity. You can see the number of senators that are here which shows that everyone is concerned.

In his response, the Managing Director, Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN), Engr. Sule Ahmed Abdulaziz, highlighted some causes of grid collapses to include vandalization, funding and the absence of Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition (SCADA), a computer-based system for gathering and analyzing real-time data to monitor and control equipment that deals with critical and time-sensitive materials or events.

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