Nigerians are groaning again in darkness after the national electricity grid suffered a major failure on Wednesday, seizing power supply to homes amidst scorching weather conditions. The collapse has seen Nigeria’s electricity output dwindle to a meager 230 megawatts or less for a population exceeding 180 million. This was against 4,032 megawatts national average that was generated a day before on May 7. At least two power generation engineers who spoke under anonymity said the faults were still being traced as of Thursday afternoon, and power situation might not return to normal for another 72 hours.
The National Control Center acknowledged the crisis to electricity distributors on Wednesday evening, promising to get the system back on within a few hours. The center did not say what triggered the collapse — or how deep it was. While some distribution precincts received a few megawatts of power from the national grid that were barely enough to light a few bulbs, other parts of the country were plunged into total darkness.
Even though Nigeria generates a fraction of the energy it needs to power the country, consistent power failures have continued to assail the little progress it occasionally records in the sector. In June 2018, the country was thrown into darkness after the national grid suffered acute gas shortages to fire turbines. The TCN responded swiftly to the crisis, but it took more than 72 hours to resolve the failure.