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A Nation in Darkness – Tribune Online

A Nation in Darkness - Tribune Online

For the umpteenth time, the national epilepsy grid collapsed over the weekend again, knocking out power in most of the country. A brief statement from the Department of Energy attributed the collapse to “the partial shutdown of the Open Gas Plant to address the overhaul of critical gas processing equipment. Unfortunately, the accident occurred at a time when other power plants at other gas sources were undergoing planned maintenance and capacity testing.” You can’t go wrong with this empty logic, right? This has been the story of Nigeria’s power supply and things are unlikely to change. In the past we have been looking forward to the rainy season because it generates a temporary moment of stability in electricity generation. It is possible that this year some supernatural forces have stopped the flow of water in all dams, especially now that diesel is sold at around 800 newtons per liter.

Energy generation is a major issue with regard to the social and economic development of any country. But in Nigeria, successive governments have used it for political gain, realizing the importance Nigerians attach to it. Thus, in 2015, when the convention was demanding votes from the electorate, the General Progressive Congress stated:

Infrastructure: APC will:

Generation, transmission and distribution from 5,000 – 6,000 MW currently to at least 20,000 MW of electricity within four years and increasing to 50,000 MW with the aim of achieving 24/7 power supply within ten years, while ensuring the development of sustainable/renewable energy at the same time . “

– Statement of the Progressive General Conference (APC), presented to the people of Nigeria in the wake of the 2015 general election.

Seven years later, the electricity situation was no better, if not worse. For example, I have never tried the electricity supply in my town since I was born, because we are not connected to the national grid at all. In fact, the entire Ondo South Senatorial area was disconnected from the network about twelve years ago although attempts are underway to reconnect. Many towns and villages like my hometown, are blocked from any form of development whatsoever, yet we are classified as oil producers.

The impression conveyed to us by our leaders in power is that it is practically impossible to obtain a stable and permanent source of energy; that we do not have the resources to build the necessary power plants that will meet the needs of all Nigerians; That we must accept generators as second nature, if we are to work and survive as a people. Churches, banks, schools, small businesses, factories, ministries, government departments, police stations, courts, and even Primary Health Care (PHCN) themselves depend on generators. In fact, a story was once told that the president was about to operate a newly built power plant and a generator had to be hired to run the commissioning ceremony. It’s that bad.

Electricity is included in the Constitution’s exclusive legislative list, implied that only the federal government can deal with energy-related issues, although it has been discovered that off-grid developments are not covered by this exclusive design. Over the years, the sole business of the federal government has been to legislate, regulate and provide electricity, with the debilitating effect of bad management, bureaucratic bottlenecks, corruption, incompetence and sheer greed, all of which have led to the decline of this powerful sector. We have been told many tales of billions of dollars being poured into the energy sector, with little or no results, leading Nigerians to conclude that there must be some devils and the Emirates, holding the energy sector in the valleys. It is one of the many nuts that this administration has not been able to resolve.

The average experience of those who depend on public power supplies is utter frustration, resulting from no supply at all, erratic supply, low voltage, high voltage, loss of loads, constant blackouts, extortion by employees of the companies involved and corruption Shame. This in turn has led many to believe that there is some kind of collusion between regulators, transmitters and power distributors, with generator importers and marketers, diesel marketers and suppliers, candle manufacturers and importers of rechargeable solutions in general, to milk us to dry.

Having cornered all the exclusive rights over the energy sector, the federal government was expected to do everything in its power to meet the demands of citizens regarding energy consumption. Across Earth, power cables and conductors are lined up in space, some loose, some frayed, and some too weak to even transmit available power. In some tragic cases, these exposed cables fell on innocent bystanders, causing instant electrocution.

To deliver electricity to the consumer, there must be a transformer, to which the energy is transmitted and then distributed to individual consumers. These transformers are in most cases old, outdated, inefficient and unable to bear the burden of electricity consumers. So, what happens in most cases is that the fuses attached to these transformers blow due to the overload, while some are completely stolen, causing a blackout. In some other cases when the fuses are not working optimally, there is the problem of low or high voltage, which affects valuables and sometimes damages them, sometimes resulting in fire accidents that lead to many deaths. The Electricity Sector Regulation Law grants players absolute immunity.

To overcome these frustrations, you have to develop an alternative means of supplying power yourself, the most common of which is a generator. The generator must run on fuel or diesel and must be constantly maintained for your service. The generator comes with its own health risks, such as noise pollution and dangerous fumes that have led to the death of many people. The overall Nigerian experience then is that the generator has become the primary source of power supply, while the general supply is more of a standby option. The alternator is all over the country, in small “I’d better cross my neighbor” units or larger diesel units. You need huge financial capacity for generator maintenance. Since Nigeria is a tropical region with a very hot temperature, you will likely need an air conditioner to survive in our climate, which would require a fortune to maintain it with a generator.

The absence of basic infrastructure fuels corruption and is a disincentive to dedicated service, since our leaders in office, after tasting the allure of a stable power supply through Commonwealth-financed generators, will want to perpetuate their luxury lives when out of office, and so use this as an excuse to indulge the public treasury to accumulate Sufficient resources to help them secure and sustain basic infrastructure when they are out of the office, all of which are beyond the reach of the common man. A stable energy supply is critical to life and existence, vital to economic growth and development and the foundation upon which all other development initiatives can thrive. We cannot survive without strength.

It was the terrible scenario that the GPC promised to change when it sought votes in 2015, but now, after seven years in office, all we get is one story or the other, leading to the usual blame game of failing previous regimes. From the APC statement, the federal government was to generate at least 5,000 megawatts of electricity annually, with equal capacity to transmit and distribute it.

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