26 March 2016, Lagos – As if to call the bluff of President Muhammadu Buhari’s pronouncement to generate 10,000 megawatts, MW, by 2019, output from the generating plants dropped to as low as 2,841MW by mid-day, yesterday.
Data from the Nigerian Systems Operations Department of the Transmission Company of Nigeria, TCN, website, www.nsong.org, indicated that the situation had gone even worse with generation dropping again to 2,841.90MW as at 12:42pm, yesterday.
The President’s declaration, Tuesday has attracted a lot of scepticisms from various stakeholders, who argued that it was a mission impossible given the current state of the Nigerian power sector, which is characterised by weak and obsolete system.
They noted further that 10,000MW was not a new power target, considering that former President Olusegun Obasanjo had also touted the same capacity target for 2010, which never came to pass till date.
Specifically, they argued that 2019 was exit period of the current administration and, therefore, the President would not be held responsible in the event of failure to achieve the 10,000MW.
They added that to achieve the set target by 2019, will mean generating at least 3,333MW every year over the next three years.
The challenges in doing this, they noted, include the weak transmission network, which cannot wheel that amount of power, given that the much talked about transmission grid has not been constructed. The transmission system in Nigeria comprises 330 KV and 132 KV circuits and substations and the highest maximum daily energy wheeled nationwide was the one-off 109,372MWH, which was attained when generation output hit a record 5,074MW on February 2, 2016.
Also, except new capacities come on stream, all the existing power plants in Nigeria cannot generate 10,000MW, while the 11 existing distribution companies, DISCOs, cannot accommodate the 10,000MW due to weak tools and equipment.
Although the Systems Operations did not give any reasons for the drastic drop, or which plant generated what, it, however, indicated that the 1,580.6MW were distributed to the 11 electricity Distribution Companies, DISCOs, as follows: Ikeja – 426.29 MW; Abuja – 326.82 MW; Eko – 312.61 MW; Benin – 255.77 MW; Enugu – 255.77 MW; Ibadan – 369.45 MW; Jos – 156.30 MW; Kano – 227.35MW; Kaduna -227.35 MW; Port Harcourt – 184.72 MW; and Yola – 99.47 MW. Accordingly, analysts argued that except a miracle happens, the 10,000MW target will remain a mirage.