Grid collapse: ‘We need alternative power supply’
It is no longer news that the country’s national grid of electricity is susceptible to frequent collapse, leading to power outage across the country with attendant impact on businesses and the economy. Although at least N1.7 trillion was sunk into maintenance of facilities in the sector in the past three years, the huge outlays have had minimal effect in curtailing frequent collapses year-in year-out. In this issue, some Abuja residents, who spoke to Chuks NZEH and Edrina EMMANUEL, weighed in on the need for alternative power arrangement to substitute the national grid. Excerpts:
OLUMHENSE AKHIGBE: recent cases of collapse of the national grid that resulted in nationwide power outage are completely shameful to Nigeria. How can a nation blessed with enormous amount of both human and material resources be battling with something as basic as power supply? To have a collapse even once is shameful. Talk more of several collapses as experienced in the past weeks.
The major reason why this will keep happening is because of lack of plans, maintenance culture, and corruption, to mention but a few.
How can a nation with a growing population not plan for resources to accommodate its increasing population? We know that the grid cannot carry the new load; but not alternative was provided or expansion, making the collapse unavoidable.
Nigeria has to start planning for the future especially with regards to population increase as projected by the National Population Commission, and other relevant international agencies, so as to factor them in the developmental plan of the country. Most importantly, the country needs to plan its infrastructures to accommodate its population when it arrives just like developed climes.
I think our grid structure is extremely outdated and that is why it is constantly collapsing. We should have alternative grids. Or else, how can the main source of power of the whole nation collapse often? Our power sector should get the right power infrastructure and personnel to maintain the system properly.
ATANEH PECULIAR OLOHITAI:our national grid collapsed as a result of poor maintenance and lack of proper investment on infrastructure to generate power in Nigeria. So many places need electricity but there is no proper facilities and resources to distribute power, and so the grid collapsed.
ONOTO ENDURANCE KEVWE:when I was attending secondary school in Lagos, we went for an excursion to a power plant. I can't really remember the name of that plant. But we were told that the plant supplies electricity to Ghana. These countries we supply electricity to have constant light, but we the owners don’t.
So what could be the reason? Sometimes the facilities are just there without maintenance. We neglect the facilities. Just like Nigeria and oil; we export crude to other countries to refine and sell back to us. Isn't that foolishness? They see repairing Nigeria refinery as one big task.
Electricity is vital to the growth and development of any economy. It is of huge significance to infrastructure and a range of socio-economic activities. So, electricity impacts on the country's standard of living. This means that transportation, communication, construction, and other facilities depend on electricity to function effectively.
Power outages can cause long-term damages to your equipment. An outage cause computers to short down unexpectedly. Any file you are working on could be lost or corrupted. Also, if power outages occur frequently, they can damage your hard drive and reduce its lifespan.
Due to power outage, production targets may not be met, equipment might be damage due to fluctuation of power supply, and could lead to increase in cost of production, unemployment, reduced efficiency, poor planning, wastage of materials, loss of manpower, discomfort of personnel, and poor quality products and services.
Power outage leads to stunted economic growth, reduced leisure time as well as heightened criminality and insecurity in the country. Power supply difficulties has also crippled the agricultural, industrial and mining sectors and impeded the nation’s economic development.
Regular power supply is the prime mover of industrial, economic, technological and social development. There is hardly any enterprise or indeed any aspect of the economy that does not require energy in one form or the other.
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