Stakeholders in Nigeria’s power sector have warned that the sector faces imminent collapse as a results of a myriad of challenges.
Speaking with journalists yesterday, they highlighted the acute foreign exchange shortage in the country as a major challenge affecting the sector. This, according to them was because almost all the materials in the sector are being purchased in foreign currency, adding that the cost of maintaining their facilities is also in dollars.
“We hardly get enough dollars to be able to meet with the maintenance of our equipment and other obligations. This is one of the reasons the sector has been facing all manner of challenges and blackouts in recent time,” one of the stakeholders who pleaded to remain anonymous said.
The federal government had at the weekend explained that the drop in electricity generation was a result of the partial shutdown of the Oben gas plant for the repair of critical gas processing equipment.
It had also disclosed that the 14 reactivated independent power plants (IPP) across the country would produce off-grid electricity of 1,000 megawatts.
“We wish to notify the general public that the current dip in electricity generation is a result of the partial shutdown of the Oben gas plant to address the repair of critical gas processing equipment.”
“The incident, unfortunately, occurred at a time when other power plants on other gas sources are undergoing planned maintenance and capacity testing.
“We wish to notify the public that Seplat Energy Plc has mobilised equipment, material, and personnel to the site to expedite the restoration of normal gas supply to the affected power plants.
“We have been assured that the repair work would be concluded this weekend and normalcy will be restored. While pleading with electricity consumers with the current state of supply, we wish to assure the general public that efforts are being made for a sustained improvement of supply across the country,” the government had explained.
Another of the power sector stakeholder also warned that the lack of adequate forex was precipitating more crisis in the sector, saying that if urgent measures are not taken to make forex available, collapse is imminent.
The Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN) recently appealed to the federal governments to protect industries from collapse due to the erratic power supply in the country.
The Chairman Kwara/Kogi branch of MAN, Bioku Rahmon, called for expedited rescue of players and investors from the imminent orgy of unemployment and mass closure of companies that is imminent due to the energy crisis. He expressed concern that the manufacturing industry was yet to fully recover from the monumental strangulations occasioned by COVID-19 pandemic, while describing the subsisting energy crisis as the exact antithesis of what the industry can’t contain at this time.
He lamented that electricity generated from the national grid had recorded no improvement and was hampering the activities of manufacturers.
“Foreign Exchange scarcity has worsened significantly, even as industry players continue to experience a sharp and growing shrink in the forex windows. This has led to major downturns and stress in the purchase and acquisition of foreign components for production,” MAN said.