Amid gas supply challenges and financial outlook, power supply across the country remained stranded over the weekend as measures by the Federal Government to improve national grid supply failed to have any impact.

Checks on national grid data posted by the Independent System Operator showed that as at 3pm yesterday only 16 of the nation’s power plants were generating to the grid at 3,530.33 Mega Watts with Nigeria’s largest power plant, Egbin Power completely off the grid.

The biggest generators were Azura-Edo IPP (420MW), Kainji Hydro (415MW) and Shiroro Hydro (275.73MW).

Gas suppliers have so far refused government entreaties to increase supply to power plants citing a debt of over $1.3 billion for past supplies.

The government had at the beginning of the year agreed to pay electricity subsidies of N1.6 trillion in 2024 to the Nigerian Electricity Supply Industry, NESI, but a budget provision of just N450 billion.

The Minister of Power, Chief Adebayo Adelabu last week confirmed that no payment has been made for the month of January, compounding the liquidity challenge facing the industry.

The Minister noted “The persistent liquidity issues coming from inappropriate tariff regime, poor collections and inadequate funding of government subsidies leading to huge debts owed to the transmission, generation and gas supply companies.

“This has restricted investments required for sustaining supply flow, capacity expansion and infrastructural improvements. It has also not only discouraged lending to the sector by financial institutions as the sectoral activities are not bankable, but has also made the sector unattractive to new investors”.

He added that some of the solutions being considered by the government include “settlement of existing sectoral outstanding debt obligations to the gas supply and power generation companies using partly cash payment and guaranteed debt instruments. N1.3 trillion is current debts to the GenCos and $1.3 billion legacy debts to the GenCos.

Following the drop in supply, electricity distribution companies, DisCos moved to pacify consumers, assuring them of improved services soon.

Abuja Electricity Distribution Company, AEDC, in a statement said: “We would like to inform you that we are aware of the unstable power supply experienced in recent times essentially caused by insufficient power allocation to us.

“This has constrained us to implement load curtailment directives across our franchise to manage the situation for grid stability. This will involve occasional temporary interruption of power supply to certain areas for a limited period. We understand the inconvenience this may cause and sincerely apologize for this disruption. We are working diligently to minimize the impact of these outages”.

Also, Ibadan Electricity Distribution Company, IBEDC, informed its customers that “the drop in electricity supply currently being experienced is due to generation shortfall as a result of gas shortage to the generating companies.

“We are working with stakeholders in the electricity value chain on a sustainable resolution. We sincerely apologize for the inconvenience and appeal for your understanding”, it added.

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