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Electric power restored nationwide after blackouts

High-tension electrical power lines at the Azura-Edo Independent Power Plan

Nigeria experienced significant disruption in power supply as the country’s electricity distribution companies reported a “total system collapse” on Thursday due to a fire incident on a major transmission line.

The fire, which caused an explosion on the transmission line connecting the Kainji and Jebba power plants in north-central Niger state, led to the grid’s tripping, according to Adebayo Adelabu, the Minister for Power.

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While Adelabu assured that the fire had been contained and over half of the connections were restored.

Initial power generation plummeted to zero before gradually recovering to 1,341 megawatts (MW) by 1400 GMT.

Still significantly below the daily average of 4,100 MW, as per data from the Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN).

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The country has long grappled with erratic grid power, compelling households, businesses, and even critical sectors like oil firms and manufacturers to rely on diesel and petrol generators.

The removal of a fuel subsidy in May adds the financial burden of fueling generators for many, impacting businesses’ bottom lines.

Frequent grid collapses have further highlighted the country’s power supply challenges.

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Despite an installed capacity of 12,500 MW, Nigeria typically produces only about a quarter of its capacity.

In response to the outage, Dickcion Bolodeku, an executive at Bayelsa Tech Hub, a technology firm in the southern oil-producing Bayelsa state, expressed concerns over the rising costs of generator fuel.

The nationwide blackout surprised some residents in Lagos, although the Lagos-based Eko Electricity Distribution Company, one of Nigeria’s largest distribution companies, confirmed the gradual restoration of grid power.

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