Power outage: A national curse
Nigeria’s electricity sector dates back to the colonial era when the electricity supply was mainly from diesel generators owned by industrial establishments, including factories and mines, as well as other institutions such as hospitals and schools.
Nigeria’s national electricity grid has collapsed many times over the years, resulting in blackouts throughout the country. The blackouts, which prevent people from meeting routine business and household needs, result in huge economic and social costs.
Power outages have remained a problem in Nigeria for decades, hindering the country’s industrial growth, expansion, profitability and the people’s wellbeing. At best, the average daily power supply is estimated at four hours. Most of the time, days go by without any power supply.
There are also health risks from the emissions of inefficient petrol generators which are widely used in Nigeria.
One of the major problems hindering the performance of electricity distribution in Nigeria is load rejection. Load rejection occurs when the distribution companies reject electricity transmitted by the transmission companies. The rejection is partly due to the poor state of the transmission and distribution network and faulty power lines.
Opportunities, however, remain in the sector for the introduction of renewable energy sources into the generation mix, seeing that the country has potential for solar power generation and other renewable energy sources. The country should also introduce more competition into the sector to improve performance.
Fatima Dauda Salihu, Bayero University, Kano.
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