Why Power Sector Crisis won't End Soon - Electricity Workers

Indications Point to Prolonged Power Supply Crisis, Say Electricity Workers

The persisting power supply crisis in the nation shows no signs of abating soon, with Electricity Distribution Companies (DisCos) and generation companies (GenCos) grappling with numerous challenges. Issues such as outdated networks, inadequate equipment maintenance, and aged generation machinery are hampering optimal capacity utilization, leading to a prolonged crisis.

Similarly, the Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN) is facing hurdles stemming from technical and socio-political factors. Investigations reveal a myriad of issues afflicting the sector, including low generating capacity, poor maintenance, vandalism of installations, policy enforcement lapses, surging demand, transmission infrastructure underinvestment, and technical losses impeding DisCos from fully utilizing TCN's capacity.

The ramifications of inadequate power supply are widespread, impacting households and businesses alike. Both small and large businesses are bearing the brunt, resorting to costly diesel and fuel-powered generators, leading to economic setbacks and collapse.

Addressing these challenges, Dominic Igwebike, the acting General Secretary of the National Union of Electricity Employees (NUEE), highlighted technical and socio-political factors as key contributors to system collapses. He explained the need for more generation capacity, infrastructure maintenance, and rigorous training for system operators.

The involvement of the political class increases the sector's woes, with vested interests prioritizing revenue over resolving issues, in addition the concerns raised by stakeholders, including the recent tariff hike reveals the disconnect between policy decisions and public welfare.

The tariff hike, justified by the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) as targeting only a fraction of consumers, raises broader economic concerns. Such increases disproportionately affect consumers, stifling economic growth and increasing poverty.

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