The Minister of Power, Aliyu Abubaka, yesterday, revealed that vandals were responsible for the interruption of power transmission between Akwa Ibom and Cross River states, a development that resulted in the breakdown of the country’s electricity grid twice within three hours.
The grid, which has collapsed about six times this year, went down at about 6:30 pm on Friday and crashed again at about 8:30 pm.
Most Distribution Companies (DisCos) at about 6 pm, yesterday, informed Newsmen that the grid was still not stable.
Abubakar in a press release signed by an assistant, Isa Sanusi acknowledged that the grid collapse resulted in power outages in many parts of the country.
“While a detailed investigation into the immediate and remote causes of the recurring grid failure is currently ongoing by the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission and System Operator (the operator of the national grid), the process of restoring supply is ongoing with some sections of the national grid already energized, and supply restored to consumers,” Abubakar said.
Explaining further on the development, the statement continued: “Further to our earlier press release, we wish to apprise the general public that the immediate cause of the national blackout (system collapse) was an act of vandalism on a transmission tower on the Odukpani — Ikot Ekpene 330kV double circuit transmission line thus resulting in a sudden loss of about 400MW of generation. This consequently led to a cascade of plants shut down across the country.
“We wish to notify the public that power on the grid is being restored sequentially by the system operator as other on-grid power plants are being dispatched to cover the lost generation capacity from the Calabar power plant owned by the Niger Power Holding Company Ltd.”
Read Also: Another power grid collapse again
While promising Nigerians that the Federal Government was working diligently to deliver on the much-needed reforms and investments, including SCADA that are crucial to improving the capacity and reliability of the national grid, Abubakar noted that the move was in line with the president’s order on closing infrastructure lacks in critical sectors of the Nigerian economy.
The Abuja Electricity Distribution Company in a statement, late yesterday informed the public that the power off being experienced was as a result of system failure from the national grid.
“We appeal for your understanding as all stakeholders are working hard to restore normal supply,” the statement said.
This is not the first time the power grid will break down. Since 2013 when the power sector was privatized, the grid has disappointed electricity consumers more than 130 times.
Although the Federal Government-owned Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN), which oversees the grid had at some point disclosed that grid collapse happens worldwide, the collapse of the power supply, each time it occurs, comes with a great economic loss for consumers, most especially commercial entities.