ABUJA, Nigeria (AP) — Nigeria experienced a nationwide power outage for about 10 hours Thursday after the country’s electrical grid collapsed due to a fire, authorities and the nation's electricity distribution companies reported.
The grid has collapsed multiple times in recent years, and the latest outage affected all of Nigeria’s 36 states and the capital city of Abuja before electricity was restored in most parts of the country.
A fire in one of the country’s power plants led to “sharp drops in frequency” that resulted in grid failure early Thursday, Adebayo Adebulu, Nigeria’s minister of power, said on X, formerly known as Twitter.
“The fire has been fully arrested, and over half of the connections are now up and the rest will be fully restored in no time,” Adebulu said Thursday afternoon.
The Enugu Electricity Distribution Company (EEDC), which supplies electricity to southeastern Nigeria, earlier issued a statement announcing a “total system” collapse. “Due to this development … we are unable to provide service to our customers,” company spokesperson Emeka Ezeh said.
Such power failures are common in Nigeria which battles with dilapidated energy infrastructure that has caused frequent power outages.
Oil-rich but energy-poor Nigeria generates a daily average of 4,000 megawatts of electricity — some of which it is unable to distribute — for a population of more than 210 million people, far from the 30,000 megawatts a day authorities have said it needs.
The inadequate power supply leaves millions of residents relying on gasoline-powered generators for electricity. However, gasoline prices have more than doubled this year after the government ended decades-long subsidies, and many households and businesses have struggled to find an alternative source of power supply.