Why is Nigeria's national grid always collapsing?
Collapsing grid

On the 12th of June, democracy day, Nigeria’s electricity grid collapsed again.

One of the things you can count on about Nigeria is that the grid will surely collapse. And collectively, Nigerians are tired of it.

Key takeaways:

  • This year alone, the national grid has collapsed more than five times, and the most recent collapse happened on democracy day. Our shaky power situation is a significant hindrance to our development.

  • Technical issues affect the grid's stability, but the power sector's commercial problems are arguably more significant. From gas supply shortages to metering and payment problems, the commercial issues are a significant roadblock to solving the technical issues.

  • Even though cost-reflective and service-based tariffs are yet to fix the commercial problems, the key to reliable electricity in Nigeria lies in resolving our commercial dilemmas.

The power sector has been through a series of reforms—from Nigeria Electricity Power Authority (NEPA) to the Power Holding Company of Nigeria (PHCN) to the current privatised system with eleven distribution companies. But, it seems like the only thing that has changed is the name, which is debatable given that we all still call it NEPA.

It’s sad because our spotty electricity situation holds us back from so much growth and development. Sectors like manufacturing can never grow beyond a certain level because electricity is still a significant hindrance. Even small business owners are affected, with electricity access being the second biggest issue for businesses after access to loans.

There is a need to get to the root of the issue. Why does Nigeria’s electricity grid keep collapsing? We’ll break down the reasons in 13 charts and hope it inspires effective solutions. First, let’s look at how bad the electricity supply is in Nigeria.


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Noelle Okwedy

Noelle Okwedy

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