For millions of Nigerians who had no electricity on Christmas Day, a possible official reason has been provided. The Nigeria Electricity Supply Industry, NESI, disclosed that about 12 power stations could not produce electricity during off-peak period during the holidays including on Christmas Day. According to the News Agency of Nigeria, statistics from the National Control Centre, Osogbo, showed that Afam IV-V, Geregu Gas, Alaoji National Integrated Power Project (NIPP), and Olorunsogo Gas plants could not produce a single megawatt (MW) on December 25, 2016. Others that could not produce a single megawatt (MW) on December 25, 2016 include Odukpani NIPP, Okpai, Ibom Power, ASCO, AES, Omoku, Rivers NIPP and Gbarain power plants.

The twelve plants have a combined capacity of 2,035 MW of Nigeria’s total installed power output of 11,165MW. The Transmission Company of Nigeria, TCN, said that on Wednesday December 4, it wheeled out about 3,959 megawatts of generated electricity to the 11 distribution companies as the country’s power supply gradually stabilized.

The power generation data was obtained from daily forecast on the Nigerian Electricity System Operator (SO) website. SO, is a section of the TCN, it showed that power generation gradually improved during the festive season with a peak generation of 3,959 megawatts from the national grid. The website also showed that the country’s power generation also recorded its lowest generation of 3,366 megawatts within the same period.

According to the NESI operational report for January 3, the power sector hit a peak generation of 4,959 megawatts as against 3,321 megawatts recorded on December 2. NESI, a subsidiary of the TCN, said that the sector recorded highest system frequency of 51.52Hz and lowest system frequency of 48.85 Hz. It also said that the highest voltage recorded was 372KV, while lowest voltage recorded on the same day was 300KV. Meanwhile, NESI, on January 3 disclosed that over N534 billion of revenue was lost by the power sector in 2016.

Among the reasons for the loss are shortages in gas supply, frequency, line limitations, and water levels management constraints that led to several cases of electricity outage in the country. NESI, which put the average daily revenue loss at N1.5 billion, said gas constraint remained one of the major challenges facing the electricity sector. It explained that the N534 billion amounts to the value of electricity lost on account of the challenges, part of which could have been used to bridge the liquidity gap in the power sector, estimated at N1trillion.

Already, the sector is finding it difficult to access more loans from Nigerian banks due to their inability to meet the payment obligations for previous debts.The situation will also affect the capacity of the power firms to improve on electricity supply to consumers for domestic and industrial uses. NESI said in its daily statistics on energy losses that the industry lost N1.525 billion on December 24, 2016 alone.

Johnson Alabi
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