Nigeria is now experiencing a drastic drop in power generation after the Nigerian Electricity System Operator, SO, website, a sub agency of TCN, Transmission Company of Nigeria, TCN, announced that generating capacity dropped from 3,959 megawatts on January 4 to 2,662 megawatts on Sunday January 22.
It would be recalled that the country celebrated attainment of 5000MW mid 2016 as a result of the heavy rain.
Aside the relapse in power production caused by lack of rain, there is also gradual folding up of gas to the power generating companies due to inadequate gas supply for generation.
According to TCN, the total output of 2,662.20 megawatts from all the generating companies on Sunday had been transferred to the 11 distribution companies across the country.
On Sunday, in the Nigerian Electricity Supply Industry (NESI) operational report for January 4, power production hit a peak generation of 4,959MW but relapsed to 2,662.20 megawatts on January 22.
NESI said the sector recorded highest system frequency of 51.32Hz and lowest system frequency of 48.52 Hz, while the highest and the lowest voltage recorded on Sunday were 372KV and 300KV, respectively.
The Minister of Power, Fashola, on Friday, said that the sabotage of gas pipelines by militants prevented Nigeria from generating 7,000 MW of electricity.
“Today, at its most frugal, the nation’s power grid would support 6,500MW; pushed to its limit, it would carry 7,200MW.
“So it is not true when you hear that the grid capacity is not more than 5,000MW. It is growing every day and more projects are coming up.
“We have completed some and more are still coming up. So that is where we are,” Mr. Fashola said at the Nextier Power Dialogue in Abuja on Friday.
The minister said while power was out due to attacks in one axis, the expansion of either the grid or gas supply was kept alive on another axis and hydro power was also being expanded.
A recently conducted by NOIPolls for the second half of 2016, showed that power supply to Nigerian households dropped to 37 percent.
The report said there was only an average of 37 percent reported improvement in power supply, representing a 9-point decline when compared to the third quarter (Q3) of 2016 at 46 percent.
NoIPOIIs said the individual months covered in this period “revealed a constant downward trend observed from the month of October to December 2016 and the month of December accounted for the lowest (27 percent) improvement in power supply in the second half of 2016”.
Last week, Fashola also said
that the federal government will not provide further cushion funds for operators in the sector.
Some operators had been at the fore of canvassing for more money as a way out for the prevailing liquidity crisis.
But Fashola, who spoke at the monthly Nextier Power conference, said government sees the N213 billion Nigeria Electricity Market Stabilisation Fund (NEMSF) provided by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) as enough subsidy for the sector.
According to him, the Fund which he describes as “low-interest”, is already being given to some operators to upgrade their assets and services.
“Subsidy appears in different forms. When I resumed in this sector, I was made to understand there is an existing CBN fund for the market. The CBN fund comes at a low interest rate. If that does not qualify as subsidy, then I don’t know what else qualifies.”
The NEMSF started in 2014, and by 2016, 24 industry operators including three Distribution Companies (DisCos), 14 GenCos, with the National Independent Power Plants (NIPPs), a service provider, and six Gas Companies (GasCos) have benefitted from the fund.
Fashola’s showdown on further subsidy, comes a while after spokesman for the Association of Nigerian Electricity Distributors (ANED), Mr. Sunday Oduntan, In December 2016, said the shortfall in the power sector was N803 billion, saying that government could help boost liquidity by providing subsidy, giving moratorium on the CBN facility to operators, and domesticating the price of gas to ramp up declining power generation.
As at last week, Nigeria’s power generation had dropped to 1,973 megawatts (mw) from the 3,100mw earlier obtained, according to the Nigeria System Operator (NSO) updates.
The situation kept getting worse, with recent information showing three system collapses with the recent one when generation fell to 49.2mw.
There had also been reports of gas inadequacies at 23 terminals, and as at the last count, 10 power plants were said to have packed up.

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