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  • Students study with a small light during a power outage.

    Students study with a small light during a power outage. | Photo: EFE

Published 10 May 2019

Some areas of the country were receiving a few megawatts which powered some bulbs, while other regions experienced a total loss of power.

A major electricity grid failure in Nigeria has left the population of over 180 million people in the dark, with no expected resolution for another 72 hours.

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This is the second collapse in 18 hours, with the first instance reported Wednesday. The second collapse occurred at about 5:30 a.m. Thursday. 

The country's electricity output, which normally operates at around 4,000 megawatts, is currently nearer to 230 megawatts. The National Control Center has not specified the cause or severity of the grid collapse, although some power generation engineers have come forward and stated that deficiencies were still being traced as of Thursday afternoon. 

Some areas of the country were receiving a few megawatts which powered some bulbs, while other regions experienced a total loss of power. The consequences have proved to be detrimental for businesses as well as individuals who are purchasing petrol by the millions in order to power generators. 

Power grid collapses in Nigeria have been frequent, with this specific event marking the sixth time this has happened in 2019, so far. 

President Muhammadu Buhari has made promises to advance development efforts for power supply to homes and businesses, but little has actually been done. According to Power Minister Babatunde Raji Fashola, privatization of the power sector makes it difficult for the government to fix the problem.

Some residents, including Abuja-based engineer AY Muhammad, has called on the Nigerian power sector to declare a national disaster.

Nigeria does not currently produce the majority of the energy used to power the country and development efforts are further hindered by the constant outages.

The concerned engineer stressed that a reliable power system is imperative for the country's economic development. 

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