Nothing reminds you that you live in a third-world country quite like how frequently the national grid collapses. Nigeria’s electricity grid failed for the second time this year on March 14, 2022. And that’s already half of the four times it collapsed in 2021.
There are many reasons why the national grid collapses, including natural causes like the weather and man-made issues like Nigeria’s village people blowing too much air into the voodoo doll. The only people smiling to the bank during national grid blackouts of this nature are phone charging centres and filling station owners.
For the rest of us enduring another collapse of the national grid, these are the greatest annoyances:
Generators have Grammy-winning performances during this period
Since generators have become a national symbol in Nigeria, someone should put them on the coat of arms. Nigeria has an estimated 22 million gasoline generators scattered around the country. The collapse of the national grid means more generators are working around your neighbourhood, putting in more daily hours than Buhari does at the Presidential Villa.
Generators are lifesavers, unlike Buhari, but they are way too loud and bad for your personal health and the environment — just like Buhari. This means any time the national grid collapses is not the best time to be a Nigerian.
Fuel queues get longer
The latest collapse of the national grid has the worst timing. It’s happened right in the middle of a nationwide fuel scarcity that’s lasted over one month since someone slept on their job and allowed bad fuel into the country. To power your generator, you need fuel. This means more people are turning up at filling stations and the queues are getting longer.
Cost of doing business rises
Generators, fuel queues and all attendant issues that come with blackouts will stress your business and your life. If you run a small business in Nigeria, your profits just got smaller. No dorime for you this weekend.
Productivity inside the mud
It’s not that you don’t want to be productive o, but how can you function properly when you have to worry about how to get through all the special issues an electricity blackout creates?
There’s still that heat issue
Yet another reason why the latest national grid collapse is mistimed is that it’s happening when it already feels like someone forgot Nigeria on a gas cooker. Dealing with heat is harder when there’s no electricity to power your cooling devices. Watch out for that heat rash.
It never ends
The most important lesson to learn from Nigerian history is it’ll always repeat itself. The national grid has collapsed more than 130 times in the past eight years. While in the middle of one, you’re already expecting the next. It’s not healthy for anyone, but that’s the price to pay for living in a third-world country where problems are recycled.
The good news is a bill was passed by the National Assembly on March 1st, 2022 proposing to decentralise power generation, transmission and distribution and make them the responsibility of state governments. If the bill becomes law, it could mean the end of national grid failure. Until that happens, strap in for your quarterly national grid disaster.