It’s four days to Christmas, and Nigerians are experiencing yet another national blackout.

This time around, a three-day maintenance work at Egbin Power Station, one of Nigeria’s largest thermal stations, is to blame. In August, the federal government, through the Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN), announced that the country’s power grid operated without any major disruption or system collapse for 400 consecutive days. But that announcement seemed to have jinxed it all as the country recorded its first grid collapse of 2023 in September.

As Nigerians across the country await the restoration of power supply, we highlight the three times citizens have grappled with nationwide blackouts this year.

September 14

Nigerians across the country woke up to darkness on Thursday, September 14, after the country’s national grid system, managed by TCN in Osogbo, collapsed. Distribution companies issued statements clarifying the matter to their customers.

Eko Electricity Distribution Company (EKEDC) said, “Kindly be informed that a system collapse occurred today at 6:41 a.m. This has resulted in a total loss of supply across our network.”

Enugu Electricity Distribution Company PLC (EEDC) said

the blackout was a result of “a total system collapse” which occurred at 12:40 a.m. on Thursday.

By Thursday evening, Nigeria’s minister of power, Adebayo Adelabu, announced that the grid was back on and fully operational. “I am delighted to announce the successful restoration of the national electricity transmission grid, thanks to the diligent efforts of our skilled engineers.”

September 19

Barely five days after the national grid was restored, the system collapsed again, putting Nigerians through another round of darkness. This time around, the EKEDC, in an X post said: “Kindly be informed that following today’s system collapse at 11:31hrs, there’s a total loss of supply across our network. We’re currently engaging our partners at the National Control Centre as we await further updates on restoration status.”

On Tuesday evening, the distribution company informed customers that the problem had been fixed and “power supply would be restored soon.”

December 11

Ahead of preparations for the yuletide season, the national grid suffered its third collapse on Monday, December 11. The general manager of TCN, Ndidi Mbah, confirmed it but also maintained that the system was restored by TCN engineers.

“The grid experienced a collapse today (Monday). Presently, it (supply) has been restored except for the Jos axis, which will soon have supply within the hour. The collapse happened by 13:49 p.m. this afternoon. It is now fully restored by 18:51 p.m.”

When will the power supply be restored?

Nigeria suffered a total of 46 grid collapses between 2017 and 2022. The three incidents in 2023 ramp the figure up to 59. It’s important to note that while previous national blackouts were a result of the grid system collapse, the current outage is due to ongoing maintenance work. 

The Egbin Thermal Power Station maintenance kicked off on Monday, December 18, and Nigerians are expecting to have electricity restored on Thursday, December 21. At the time of writing this report, the nation is still in darkness.



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