The Transmission Company of Nigeria(TCN) has confirmed that the Power Generation in the country has fallen to an all time low of 1,580mw. For most Nigerians, the poor epileptic supply being experienced reflects the data released by the TCN.
Nigeria currently has an installed generating capacity of about 6,000 MW and is thought to require between 20,000MW and 60,000MW to guarantee 24 hour power supply. The current levels of generating therefore means we are about 74% off our current generation capacity. So why has power gotten so bad?
According to various reports in the media and industry analyst, the poor power supply being experienced can be blamed on the Labour Union. The Union has been at loggerheads with power sector companies such as the Discos and Gencos over the increase in tariffs. They have also being picketing Ikeja Disco, Nigeria’s largest disco for laying off about 400 members of their union. As part of their protest, they have instructed their members to down tools thus affecting the entire power sector value chain. There have also being pipeline vandalisation which has also negatively impacted on gas supply to the gencos but analysts believe the labour unrest is that major reason for the major cut in power supply being experienced Nationwide.
The Labour Unions have members strategically located in critical areas of the power sector supply chain. For example, the Gencos cannot generate power as union members of the Power Generation firms have basically refused to work. They also instructed members in the Tranmission Company of Nigeria to switch of lights from the grid meaning that even if the Gencos decide to generate power, transferring it to discos from the grid will be nearly impossible. And even when they transfer power to the discos, their members are also located at the injection substations where they are told to switch off light from going to the distribution transformers.
Reports in the media also buttresses claims that Labour is to blame. According to reports in the Guardian Newspaper, the Asst. General Manager (Public Affairs), SO/MO, Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN), Clement Ezeolisah, said there was no system collapse, attributing the generation slide to the on-going labour dispute in the power sector.
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With labour downing tools, power distribution to the 11 discos have dropped significantly. Here is what the latest data is.
Abuja – 181.77MW;
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Eko – 173.87MW;
Benin – 142.25MW;
Enugu – 142.25MW;
Ibadan – 205.48;
Ikeja – 234.09 MW;
Jos – 86.93MW;
Kano – 126.45MW;
Kaduna – 126.45MW;
Port Harcourt – 102.74MW
Yola Disco – 55.32MW.
The current Multi Year Tariff Order (MYTO 2015) indicates that electricity industry expects a total Power generation of 5,465. If this were complied it, then Ikeja Disco for example, would have gotten about 819.75MW instead of the 234 MW it is currently getting.
The unions in the power industry are said to be very powerful and often use their control of the Nations grid to push through their demands. For a service that is critical to businesses, health and lives of ordinary Nigerians, the government surely needs to better protect the industry from such crippling activities. Whilst the unions may have a legitimate cause should ordinary Nigerians continue to suffer, one customer told Nairametrics.
Analysts also inform Nairametrics, that whenever power supply drops below 3,500 MW, power supply to most owns hardly exceed 6 hours a day. If it drops below 2,500 MW then you can expect between 0-4 hours of light a day even if there are not faults at the distribution lines or equipment.