Nigeria experienced a nationwide power outage Thursday after the country’s electrical grid collapsed due to technical failures, the West African nation’s electricity distribution companies reported.
The outage affected all of Nigeria’s 36 states and the capital city of Abuja. The grid has collapsed multiple times, and it was not clear when power would be restored.
The Enugu Electricity Distribution Company (EEDC), which supplies electricity to southeastern Nigeria, 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.
“Power supply shall be restored as soon as the national grid is powered back,” the Kaduna Electricity Distribution Company, which supplies power to parts of northern Nigeria, said in a statement Thursday.
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.