The Federal Ministry of Power, Works and Housing earlier promised 2018 will be more lit. This promise was made based on the several power plants that have been scheduled to come on-stream by 2018. The power plants scheduled to come on-stream includes; Azura (450MW), Katsina Wind Farm (10MW), Gbarain (115MW), Kashimbilla (40 MW), Afam III (240MW), Guara (30MW) , Dadin Kowa (29MW) and Kaduna (215MW).
This proposed increase would significantly add to the country’s power generation figures. But these increased figures might not lead to a corresponding increase in power supplied to the premises of consumers. This assertion is based on the fact that the country is currently unable to transmit 2000MW of generated power to consumers. In this regards, the Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Mr. Babatunde Fashola stated that plans are on ground to finding a lasting alternative in disbursing the stranded 2000MW of power. One of such plans includes the transmission of this power to industries and other maximum demands customers. If these approaches are swiftly carried out in earnest, then we just might be on a smooth cruise to the end of the tunnel, where there is always light.
Similarly, power generation significantly increased during the last quarter of 2017 and the Ministry of Power,Works and Housing has made it resoundingly clear that they are set to up their game come 2018. Part of the Azura power plant in Edo state came on grid in the last quarter of 2017 and the other two turbines are scheduled to be fully functional by 2018. This amounted to the perceived increase in power supply across some parts of the country during the yuletide season.
These improvements was abruptly cut short by an unprecedented national grid collapse just few hours into the new year, making Nigerians think the country’s power facilities are too poor to handle the improved power supply promised by the Ministry of Power, Works and Housing. The collapse lead to total blackout in major part of the country. The first collapse was due to a fire incident, while the second collapse was to a large extent a ripple effect of the first. These grid collapses led to the shut down of six power plants, as Gas supply to these plants were down. Power dropped to as low as 5MW.
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Both National grid failures experienced on January 2nd and January 3rd, 2018 hugely dented the assurance of a lit year, to more like a blink 2018. The issue of national grid failure should by now be a thing of the past, not a situation to be recorded twice in 16 hours.
If truly there are plans for a lit 2018, then all hands should be on deck. It is not just a matter of promises made, increase in up-stream (generation) figures or the improvement in transmission facilities, the downstream (distribution) should also be carried along. It is only in this regard that consumers can benefit from the proposed plans to improve national supply.
In summary, many Nigerians are already apprehensive of the epileptic power supply experienced within the first week of the new year as against earlier anticipations of a brighter 2018. It now seems like just another year for consumers. But in reality, it might just be too quick to judge, as the only constant factor is change, and Nigerians are hopeful for positive changes in this regard. Hope is all we have left, for we have stayed too long in the tunnel, its time to see the light.