By Ononye VC
Several Nigerian cities including the Federal Capital Territory were thrown into darkness Friday after the national grid collapsed again.Electricity distribution companies announced the breakdown, the fifth this year after prolonged hours of outage experienced in some parts of the country.The Kaduna Electricity Distribution Company said, “Dear Esteemed Customers, the management of Kaduna electric regrets to inform you that the current outage being experienced in our franchise states is due to a collapse of the national grid.”“The collapse occurred at about 18:29 pm this evening.Normal power supply shall be restored as soon as the grid is restored.“We sincerely apologise for all inconveniences,” the spokesperson of the company, Abdulazeez Abdullahi said.The Abuja Electricity Distribution Company confirmed the collapse on Twitter late Friday Night.“Please be informed that there has just been a national grid collapse causing an outage in our franchise areas. We apologize for the inconvenience caused and appeal that you bear with us while we await restoration from the TCN. We regret all inconvenience caused,” it said.The Jos Electricity Distribution Company said the collapse happened at 6:30 p.m. across its distributing states of Bauchi, Benue, Gombe and Plateau.“Dear customers, there was a loss of supply as a result of the system collapse of the Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN) about 6:30 p.m. across all our franchise states of Bauchi, Benue, Gombe and Plateau,” it said.The Eko Electricity Distribution Company said, “Dear Esteemed Customers, a planned outage has been scheduled by our TCN partners for Saturday, April 9, 2022 between 9am and 3pm. This is to enable the TCN crew repair a wounded conductor between Tower #9 and #10 on the Ajah/Alagbon 330kV Line.”The private distribution companies directly supply electricity to consumers and so have the responsibility to let their customers know the reason(s) for the power blackout.PREMIUM TIMES reported that a similar grid collapse occurred twice in March 2022 at a time when the country was in a severe fuel crisis. The others happened in January and February this year.The Minister of Power, Abubakar Aliyu, blamed the constant collapse on poor maintenance and shortage of gas. He, however, said the government had upgraded four power plants as part of efforts to improve the sector.Aside from the grid collapse, however, Nigerians witness insufficient electricity supply with millions of homes in darkness. This is because the nation generates less than 20 per cent of the electricity it needs and can’t even transmit and effectively distribute the little it generates.The previous Goodluck Jonathan administration privatized the power sector with the claim it would make it efficient but that has yet to be the case.