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Nig. to boost power capacity from 4500-6000MW

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By Mercy Kelani

This initiative aims to enhance the nation's energy infrastructure.

Adebayo Adelabu, the Minister of Power, announced plans to increase the country’s power supply capacity from 4,500 megawatts to 6,000 megawatts in just six months. This initiative aims to enhance the nation’s energy infrastructure and provide more reliable electricity to its citizens. During a meeting with power sector officials, it was revealed by Mr. Adelabu that there exists a backup supply strategy for regions impacted by power outages caused by either disruptions in the electricity infrastructure or vandalism.

The power sector in Nigeria has always struggled to function efficiently, but the current decrease in electricity supply is exacerbated by continuous attacks on the country’s transmission lines by criminals, causing widespread disruptions for consumers across the nation. The minister, Adebayo Adelabu, convened a meeting with the heads of agencies in the power sector to address the ongoing challenges and find a way forward. Confronted by the sector’s persistent issues, he sought solutions through collaboration and discussion. It is crucial that the distribution companies are restructured at the state level in order to create more manageable entities, as he emphasizes.

Consumers struggle with blackouts due to severe weather conditions.

He disclosed that the majority of Generating companies, specifically 22 out of 27, do not have guaranteed minimum payment for gas. So far this year, not only have gas lines delivering fuel to thermal power plants been disrupted, but there have also been targeted attacks on facilities operated by the Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN), resulting in negative impacts on innocent consumers. Numerous consumers are struggling with blackouts due to the severe weather conditions, making their situation extremely difficult to bear.

Accusations have been made regarding intentional efforts to sabotage electricity transmission lines in various regions of the nation. The Nigerian energy supply crisis remains unresolved as the power sector struggles to meet the increasing demand for electricity from both households and industries, despite the country’s booming economy, abundant coal, oil, and gas resources, and its position as the top oil producer in Africa. Nigeria faces a major energy crisis with just 45% of the population having access to the energy grid.

Many Nigerian businesses and households rely on diesel generators.

Furthermore, the country struggles with power outages around 85% of the time, leaving some regions with little to no electricity. On average, residents can only expect about four hours of electricity a day, and there are instances where several days pass without any power at all. Many Nigerian businesses and households rely on diesel generators to compensate for the unreliable electricity supply, if they have the means to afford them. From 2005 onwards, Nigeria has been working on privatizing its power generator and distribution assets, as well as promoting private investment in the industry.

While the government retains control over transmission assets, efforts have been made to establish a regulatory framework that appeals to international investors. There has been slight improvements in the average daily power supply. Following the reforms, the government still owns and runs the transmission network, which is identified as the most vulnerable part of the power supply chain. The transmission lines are deteriorating and are on the brink of collapsing on a daily basis. Despite the potential for increased power generation, the transmission network lacks the capacity to handle any extra power load.

Related Article: Unreliable Power Supply Affect Businesses

Additionally, the daily breakdown of power lines is a common problem due to a peak capacity range of 3,000 to 3,500MW. Additionally, maintenance issues and security challenges in various areas further complicate the situation. Nigeria relies on a variety of energy sources including natural gas, oil, hydro, and coal. The country’s energy sector heavily leans on petroleum for producing electricity, hindering the progress of other renewable energy options. In Nigeria, the majority of energy resources utilized – coal, oil, and natural gas – are associated with a rise in greenhouse gas emissions. Among them, coal stands out as the biggest emitter.

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