Electricity consumers in Nigeria may be in for another bout of darkness as the generating companies (Gencos) announced shutting down of some of their plants as from Sunday.
More than nine of the 15 plants will be affected, whereas the Gencos are said to owe more than $500 million, as internal and international debts.
Other reasons adduced for the shutdown, included scarcity of gas, and high cost of getting dollars to buy spare parts for the plants that are due for servicing.
The implication; if Federal Government fails to come to the rescue, more days of darkens will be witnessed as power generation, which rose to 3,5 megawatts in August is expected to come down to all time low of 1.6 MW.
Lagos which consumes the highest volume of energy is to be the worst affected, said a source.
Some of the affected plants already hit by the sad development include the Olorunsogo II in Ogun State and Trans-Amadi in Rivers State, with their installed generation capacity put at 625 megawatts and 25MW, now completely out of service.
Already, residents of Alimosho Local government area in Lagos said they had been without electrify in the past one month, while other parts of the state said they were being served high or low voltages, both of which had caused irreparable losses to their home and industrial appliances.
When contacted, an aide to Babatunde Fashola. Minster of Power, works and Housing confirmed that there were some ongoing turn around maintenance across the major plants.
He said there were other proragmmes that would see Nigeria embrace other attentive means of generating power, naming the Chinese-backed solar power system expected to generate more than 3.5MW in 2019, as one.
The Egbin power plant is currently below its 1.5 MW capacity due to high debt profile that has hit its buyers, but it is still the main source of energy for Lagos.
Experts have said that decentralising power generation, transmission and distribution will allow each state or local council area manage their energy consumption and there lies the solution to the incessant epileptic power supply in the country.
While Ghana with about 25 million populationhas 10.5MW of electricity and Kenya, with a population of about 20 million has 14.2 MW, Nigeria with about 170 million people should have not less than 20 MW for constant supply of electricity to be guaranteed.
By Emma Eke….
RipplesNigeria …without borders, without fears