LAGOS: Nigeria’s electricity distribution companies reported “a total system collapse” on Thursday, causing widespread blackouts across Africa’s biggest economy.
Power generation fell to zero in the early hours of the morning and had risen to just 273 megawatts (MW) by 1030 GMT, still well below the daily average of 4,100 MW, data from the Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN) showed.
TCN did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Grid power supply is erratic in Nigeria, despite the fact that it is a major oil and gas producer, forcing households and businesses to use diesel and petrol generators.
The grid collapsed at least four times in 2022, which authorities blamed on technical problems.
Nigeria has 12,500 MW of installed capacity but produces about a quarter of that.
President Bola Tinubu has promised to improve supply in the country of 213 million by allowing state governments to build their own power plants in a bid to help spur sluggish economic growth.
Oil-rich Nigeria for decades has been beset by corruption under successive administrations, but outright oil theft is also a problem.
About 8% of the oil produced in the country is stolen, studies have shown. The Nigerian Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative said that between 2009 and 2020, the country lost 620 million barrels of crude oil valued at $46.2 billion to theft.