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Consumers groan as system collapse worsens power supply

By on June 21, 2013

Electricity consumers have condemned the worsening power situation in the country and blamed the Power Holding Company of Nigeria for gross inefficiency.

They lamented that power supply had become poorer in recent times and warned that the situation was no longer acceptable, especially as they were still being forced to pay ‘crazy bills’ by PHCN.

The Chairman, Akoka Community Development Association in Lagos, Mr. Segun Adesanya, who spoke with our correspondent, bemoaned the poor power supply to his area, saying consumers barely enjoyed electricity for 20 minutes daily.

He explained that the situation had got worse in recent times, and urged PHCN to improve on the situation.

Adesanya said members of the CDA had concluded plans to protest at the Ikeja Distribution Company to drive home their displeasure about the poor power supply in the country.

The Assistant Secretary General, Tijani Bello Resident Association, Ojodu, Lagos, Ms. Murna Danmadami, also lambasted PHCN for poor power supply, saying the situation had gone from bad to worse.

“Poor power supply is disturbing our businesses, livelihood and our personal lives. You go out in the morning and work very hard, but when you come back home, you don’t have peace and quietness because of so many generators making a noise,” she said.

Mr. Adewunmi Oluwole, who lives at Ipaja Estate in Lagos, said power supply in his area had become poorer lately, adding that PHCN had resorted to load shedding amid irregular supply.

While consumers continue to groan, PHCN officials, who did not want to be named, attributed the situation to system collapse, which had become a regular occurrence in the power sector.

Contrary to the claims in government quarters that the country generates at least 4,500 megawatts of electricity daily, our correspondent gathered that the figure was significantly lower than that.

PHCN statistics showed that the last time the country generated 4,500MW of electricity was on December 23, 2012.

This means that all the power generation plants in the country have not generated up to 4,000MW since January 2013 due to consistent system collapse.

For instance, power generation dropped to 3,118.4MW on Sunday, June 16, 2013, though the peak demand forecast as of that day was 12,800MW.

This was 1,370MW lower than the highest peak generation of 4,517.6MW achieved on Sunday, December 23, 2012.

Generation picked up again on Monday, June 17, 2013 to 3,720.50MW, but dropped to 3,507.90MW the following day.

The country had, in the past five months, recorded more than 15 power system collapses.

“The high rate of system collapse in recent time, which has given rise to more than 15 collapses in the last five months, calls for a critical look,” the Minister of Power, Prof. Chinedu Nebo, said recently.

In view of this, the minister set up a 13-member Technical Investigative Panel on System Collapse to find the causes of the incessant collapse of electricity infrastructure across the country.

The country recorded a total of 24 system failures in 2012, with 15 being total and nine partial system collapses. It recorded 39 and 42 system failures in 2009 and 2010, respectively.

Power generation had dropped by 31,529MW in April, which was 33.9 per cent of the 4,517MW attained on December 21, 2012.

The Ministry of Power had attributed the sharp drop in supply to general system collapse.

Power generation had experienced a downward trend since December 17, 2012 when it dropped to 4,349.7MW amid fluctuating figures, finally declining to 2,987.6 on April 6, 2013.