The entire country was plunged into total power blackout in the early hours of today Saturday 07/10/2017 as the power sector witnessed yet another total system collapse. This situation occurred at 07:18hrs (07:18am) of today, resulting in complete loss of electricity supply in the entire national grid in the country.
This will be the 15th time in this year alone when the country has experienced such situation. The last of such collapse occurred in September as recorded by the Nigerian Independent System Operator, the body responsible for the operation, monitoring and control of the national grid in Nigeria. The cause of this latest system emergency is not yet known as at the time of filling this report. The system is however being restored back to normalcy gradually as critical sections of the high voltage interconnected grid as well as major substations such as Ikeja-West 330/132KV station in Lagos have been energized since 0822 hrs, that is over one hour after the shutdown..
Reacting to these unfortunate incidents in the power sector, the President of the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria, Dr. Frank Udemba, laments the persistent occurrence of system collapse as a major setback for the country in terms of economic and social security. Incidents of sudden power interruptions and prolonged blackouts are unhealthy for the nation’s economy as more and more companies are resorting to self power generation. As this situation continues to haunt the industrial zones, there occur production shortfalls and increase in costs, with manufacturers increasingly relying on self generation on their own to the tune of 13,233 megawatts. According to a recent study conducted by Adeola Adenikinju, a professor of economics at the University of Ibadan and funded by European Union and government of Germany, a total whooping sum of N220 billion has been spent by manufacturers to procure alternative power supply for their production business.
The vast majority of Nigerians, especially small-scale entrepreneurs, have remained helpless as the nation continues to experience worsening electricity supply amidst clamour for tariff increase by the industry operators since the privatization of the sector in November 2013. Recently too, SERAP published a 65-page comprehensive report detailing the extent of monumental corruption in the power sector as one major issue that must be seriously investigated to arrest further rot in the sector . How soon the country will begin to experience improvements in this most critical sector of the economy is however not yet clear to many of the stakeholders.