Posted by News Express | 13 May 2022 | 223 times
Vice President Yemi Osinbajo has announced the Federal Government’s intention to decentralize the national grid as part of the Federal Government’s measures to deal with its persistent collapse. The Vice President also announced other policy measures, including tackling the lingering security situation, improving broadband connectivity, reducing the incidence of multiple taxation, over-regulation of business as well as establishment of a technology economy, to make life more meaningful for Nigerians. Vice President Osinbajo who spoke in a speech he delivered to mark this year’s International Workers Day in Abuja on May 1 seized the occasion to appeal to the Leadership of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) to embrace dialogue with the government in resolving the crisis that led to the disruption of academic activities in the country’s public universities.
“We will crack the power conundrum, (the “up NEPA” thing will stop) by decentralising the national grid system, and by providing alternative grids with private sector investments”, the Vice President said.
This is a welcome development. Even if coming late, it is better late than never. This year alone, the country had witnessed four major grid collapses. Indeed, it is on record that the country’s power sector witnessed about 219 grid collapses between 2010 and 2019. According to TheCable, these included 146 total and about 73 partial collapses. These disruptions to power supply take a heavy toll on industries and small scale businesses.
Decentralization of the grid is not an entirely new idea. Prof Barth Nnaji, a former Minister of Power had mooted the idea as far back as November 2019. Nnaji, in a lecture titled “Let there be light: Solving Nigeria’s Electricity Puzzle for Sustainability” at the Second Distinguished Guest Lecture of Dominican University, Ibadan, recommended decentralization of the grid as a way out of its frequent breakdowns in order to improve electricity supply in the country. According to Nnaji, the chairman of Geometric Power Limited, the national grid should be made into smaller chops for regional supply of electricity with each being “autonomous for better control and invested in by different groups and not one national grid, although there will still be national control that aggregates power and gets power supply from one end of the country to another. With this, each grid will be able to control itself and there will not be system collapse as we always have it now,” he said.
Also, the House of Representatives at its plenary on March 1 passed a bill to allow states to generate, transmit and distribute electricity in areas covered by the national grid, and for related matters. The bill was voted for 298 to 2.
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