The year 2016 will likely go down as one of the worst in terms of power supply for Nigerians. Nigerians of all generations are probably used to power cuts but this year has been particularly notorious for longer periods of power outages.
More annoying is the fact that power cuts became incessant just as the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) announced an increase in electricity tariffs back in February 2016. Add that to the high cost of diesel and fuel and you can understand how pained a lot of Nigerians are.
Ironically, Nigerians are not alone in disgust. Distribution companies (Discos), Generation Companies (Gencos) etc. are also not happy. Despite the increase in tariffs, power generation has dropped meaning that revenue projections made before the tariff was increased are clearly not going to be actualized.
What is to blame for all this? The chart below clearly indicates where the problem lies
Nigerian depends a lot on gas to power its plethora of thermal generating power plants. As such, the more gas we have the more power the country is able to generate and vice versa. From above, it’s obvious that the drop in power generation coincided with the drop in gas supplies.
Nigeria’s epileptic power generation began at the end of the third quarter of 2016 when power generation dropped to as low as 534 mmscfd. In fact, reports suggest Nigeria recorded zero power generation on March 31, 2016. Power generation as at June 2016 is currently at 327 mmscfd with gas supplies at 1483 MW.
With the continued unrest in the Niger Delta and more force majeures being announced, it is unlikely that power generation from the Gencos will improve. Currently, the slight improvement in power supply in some parts of the country is mostly attributed to the increase in generation from Hydro (Dams). Power Generation from Nigeria’s thermal plants typically increase around the summer period when it rains more.