House of Reps to investigate recurrent national grid collapse

House of Reps to investigate recurrent national grid collapse

By Femi Ogunshola, Abuja.


The House of Representatives has mandated its Committee on Power to investigate the reasons behind the recurring collapse of the national grid in the country.


The directive followed the adoption of a motion of urgent public importance, moved by Rep. Sani Bala (APC-Kano) at the plenary on Tuesday in Abuja.


In the motion, Bala said that the national grid had witnessed recurrent collapse lately, especially when there were system disturbances along the transmission lines connecting a number of power generating stations.


He said that since the 2013 when the power sector was privatised, the country had witnessed over 100 instances of national grid collapse.


Bala said that in 2022 alone, the national grid had collapsed seven times, more than the three times recorded in 2021, thereby causing national power outages, with the attendant socio-economic implications.


He also expressed concern that the latest in the series of power failures had been adjudged among the worst in the country.


He said that the development indicated that there was no framework or spinning reserve meant to forestall such occurrences.


The lawmaker said that it was incomprehensible that all the key power plants in the country, including Egbin, Utorogu, Chevron Oredo, Oben gas-fired power plants, Ughelli and Chevron Escravos power plants could all shut down at the same time.


He said that the issue of system collapse might not be unconnected with the Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN), particularly the lack of wheeling capacity, inadequate transmission lines and spinning reserves.


He said that other challenges included refusal to fast-track the construction of digital control centres, instead of the company’s current analog system.


Bala said that available statistics from research showed that if the power generation was adequately wheeled and transmitted for distribution to consumers, there would be a 30-per-cent reduction in the cost of generating power.


He said that this would lead to a corresponding reduction in the prices of utilities in the electricity supply industry.


The House, therefore, urged its Committee on Power to investigate the capacity of TCN to address the ugly trend.


The House said that this was to forestall future occurrences and protect the country’s already fragile socio-economic environment.

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