Nigeria: Water Scarcity Leads to Nationwide Blackout

Nigeria’s Minister of Power, Abubakar Aliyu, on Thursday, said low water levels at the hydropower stations are to blame for erratic power supply in the country.

Though Africa’s most populous nation is beset by frequent power outages, the country has experienced an increase in erratic power supply, especially in the capital Abuja and the commercial nerve centre, Lagos State, a development the power minister blamed on water scarcity.

He said, “With the reduction in water levels at the hydropower stations during the dry season, the need for an additional load to be taken up by gas plants and the challenges in repairs currently being done on generators are responsible for the load shedding and power outages.”

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The majority of Nigeria’s power supply is generated by hydropower dams located in Kainji, Shiroro, and Jebba.

In an address to the media at the State House, Abuja, the minister said the government is doing everything to ensure optimum gas supply to ensure a fast restoration of power.

During his discussion of various power sector initiatives by the federal government, Aliyu noted that right-of-way issues had slowed down projects.

He said, “We are engaging with state governors through the Nigerian Governors Forum to drive a holistic solution to these lingering issues. Critical projects held up by right of way are the Benin to Osogbo 330KV line which is 250 kilometres long and the Ikot Ekpene to Ikot Abasi also 330KV line, which is 68 kilometres long. Another is the Kano-Katsina 330KV line, also 180 kilometres long.”

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He said the power sector is receiving “unprecedented attention” under Muhammadu Buhari’s administration

“Since the inception of the present government, it has turned its attention to our infrastructure and the attention this government is giving in my own view, is unprecedented.

“The enormity of the decay in the sector is what we are battling with to ensure we overcome challenges associated with electricity delivery in the country,’’ he stressed.

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