Transmission Company of Nigeria crashed Nigeria’s power generation from a peak of 4,829.5 megawatts to as low as 43 megawatts as a result of the one-day strike recently embarked upon by the workers of the company. This was gathered from the data obtained from the Federal Ministry of Power on Sunday.
In protest against a compulsory promotion interview for principal managers, unpaid entitlement among other issues, National Union of Electricity Employees, shut down the country’s power grid last Wednesday, throwing businesses and other power consumers into darkness. This crippled the country’s power supply for several hours before the intervention of the Federal Government.
As the workers turned off the power stations one after the other during their industrial action on Wednesday, electricity generation on the grid eventually collapsed to 43MW.
It was further observed that as the grid restoration process commenced, power generation moved up to 215MW, which was the off-peak generation figure on Thursday, while peak generation on same day was put at 4,476.2MW.
The Federal Government had confirmed on Wednesday that the action by the electricity workers resulted in a collapse of the country’s grid.
In a statement, the government disclosed that: “Following the industrial dispute declared by the two in-house unions at the Transmission Company of Nigeria, the national electric power grid has been shut down by union functionaries – even as unfettered effort was being made to resolve the issues upon which the action was called.”
The statement added, “The incident occurred at 15:01hours today (Wednesday) after several 330kV transmission lines and 33kV feeder-lines across the power system network had been switched off by the union members, resulting in generation-load imbalance and multiple voltage escalations at critical stations and substations.
“Regrettably, this is coming weeks after we had emerged from a hectic grid management regime, precipitated by paucity of generation, which we grappled with for a couple of months.”
Power consumer groups lambasted the Federal Government, TCN and NUEE for plunging the entire country into darkness for several hours due to the internal dispute at the transmission company.
The National Secretary, Network of Electricity Consumers Advocacy of Nigeria, Uket Obonga, said that the government displayed its weakness, stressing that the action of the union members was appalling.