Nigerians in darkness as national grid collapses again

Many homes across the country was on Friday thrown into darkness as the national grid suffered any system collapse.

Recall that in May 2019, a system collapse that affected most parts of the country took about 72 hours to restore. The collapse saw power generation output drop to 230 megawatts nationwide, down significantly from the 4,032 megawatts the day before the collapse on May 8.

It was unclear when the recent collapse first occurred, but some of the earliest posts on Twitter were at about 11:30 p.m. Friday.

Users from Lagos, Abuja, Kaduna, Ile-Ife reported power failures in those cities around the same time — an indication typical of a national grid downtime. A user from Owerri, however, reported power availability as of 12:25 a.m. Saturday.

What triggered the massive failures could also not be confirmed as of 6:00 a.m. Saturday. A spokesperson for the Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN) did not immediately return a request seeking comments.

The Abuja Electricity Distribution Company acknowledged the breakdown in a tweetstorm to a barrage of complaints on its Twitter handle Saturday morning, pleading with consumers to be patient.

The outage marks the later reminder that the Nigeria’s power infrastructure remained largely precarious, despite decades of huge investments and policy revamps. At least eight major collapses that plunged substantial parts of the country into darkness have occurred in 2019 alone.

The TCN said the outage was unavoidable at the time and promised a better management of the electricity infrastructure that would prevent future collapses. But several outages have been reported since then.

Meanwhile, Eko Electricity Distribution Company, EKEDC has blamed ‘national system failure’ for the outage being experienced by electricity consumers in the Lagos area since Friday.

After two days of blackout, EKEDC supplied power up till about 9pm on Friday night but went off since then.

In an e-mail to its customers on Saturday, the electricity distributor said: Dear valued customer, Present outage is due to a National system failure, supply will be restored as soon as available. Thanks. EKEDC”.

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