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Forum blames old equipment for incessant national grid collapse

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• Opposes FG’s plan to borrow $3b from World Bank
The Electricity Consumer Protection Forum has blamed the incessant collapse of the national grid on obsolete power equipment across the country.

Its national coordinator, Mr. Adeola Samuel-Ilori, made the assertion in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) yesterday in Lagos.

Samuel-Ilori said the electricity end-users were worst hit by the epileptic power supply, as they had to spend their resources to seek alternative power sources for their homes and businesses.

“The frequent collapse of the grid these days is a factor of many things, including obsolete lines, materials still in place and non-investment.

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“The Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN) should be asked why such equipment were not replaced despite the intervention fund from the African Development Bank (AfDB),” he said.

According to him, the privatisation process has not yielded the desired result due to the non-performance of the transmission and distribution layers, as well as the failure to invest in equipment.

The Forum, he added, just received a complaint from a community in Ifako-Gbagada that their transformer, which recently packed up, is 30 years old.

“Yet, the distribution company is not ready to invest in another one. Such obsolete transformers can do wrong feedback, which may lead to grid collapse and we have many of across the country,” Samuel-Ilori said.

He also opposed the plan by the Federal Government to obtain $3 billion World Bank loan to upgrade power infrastructure, noting that it was not proper for the government to obtain such loans in a relatively privatised sector organisation.

For him, the move was part of the five-year power recovery programme of the former Minister of Power, Mr. Babatunde Fashola, which was unveiled in 2018, adding that when it was unveiled, the government estimated $2.6 billion for the project.

His words, “I was part of the stakeholders that the ministry requested position paper from, and in conjunction with the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC); we submitted it but was never implemented.

“In that position paper, we vehemently rejected the loan proposed to be collected on behalf of a relatively privatised sector and that such will not yield any result.

“Now it has been increased to $3 billion without explanation.”

He disclosed that the forum had decided to write a letter to the new Minister of Power, Mr. Saleh Mamman, demanding the rationale for the increase and highlight of what they intend to use the additional funds for.


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