Stoke’s Clash With West Ham Delayed After Power Failure

PHOTO: GIUSEPPE CACACE / AFP

Stoke’s Premier League clash with West Ham was delayed on Saturday after a “major power outage” at the bet365 Stadium.

Mark Hughes’s side were scheduled to kick off against the Hammers at 1500 GMT, but with less than half an hour to go before the match, it was announced the start would be delayed.

Parts of the stadium were plunged into darkness, while fans were forced to remain outside while the problem was addressed.

“Kick off will be delayed due to a major power outage. We will make a further announcement after 3.00pm,” a post on Stoke’s official Twitter account said.

“A power surge has affected both club generators and the mains supply.”

Stoke were finally able to restore power, with the kick-off rescheduled for 1600 GMT.

AFP

Power Failure To Be Ameliorated Soon, Fashola Assures Anambra Citizens

power_ministerThe Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Mr Babatunde Fashola, has assured citizens of Anambra State that power failure would soon be a thing of the past as the Federal Government is doing all to improve its supply across the country, as well as all other irregularities being experienced.

This is in response to several protests in some areas in Anambra state over the prolonged power failure as well as the outrageous bills being slammed on citizens by the power operating company, Enugu Electricity Distribution Company (EEDC).

Residents of Ngozika Housing Estate, Awka, and the Awka North and South Association of traders dominated the protesting group, claiming that they were adversely affected by the prolonged power failure and outrageous exploitation of citizens through the billing system.

Their grouse with the EEDC, included prolonged power failure in their areas which they claim started since 2013 and the outrageous bills between 7,000 and 8,000 Naira slammed on them monthly by the electricity company despite the blackout.

Furthermore, it was alleged that the management of the EEDC never responded to the complaints and accusations levelled against them.

They appealed to both the State and the Federal Government to intervene in the matter and also enforce the distribution of pre-paid meters as it would help stop the Estimated Bill practice.

Mr Fashola, who was on a working visit to the State Governor, Willie Obiano, however gave a comprehensive detail of the events of the power sector including the three pronged plans of the government and issues of gas sabotage that had dwindled power generation causing a loss of 3000 megawatts.

He stated that activities of the Niger Delta Militants were part of the problems which led to the country losing about 3,000 megawatts on the western axis of the Niger Delta.

“Our strategy is a three pronged approach; short term, medium term and long term.

“In the short term, what we want to achieve is incremental power, the power is not enough.

“Unfortunately as we are gaining power in some places, we are expanding transmission and the transmission grid can now take 7000 megawatts but we are losing the power generation to gas sabotage and vandalism.

“So today, when we can evacuate 7000 MW we don’t have the fuel to fire the turbines because of the conflict in the Niger Delta.

“We are working to resolve those conflicts, you saw the Vice President during his Niger Delta visit, trying to generate peace so that we can resume production.

“More fuel also means more gas, and more gas means more power but if you follow what we have been doing, we are completing transmission lines, awarding new ones over the last seven or eight months, some of the power plants too are going to be finished this year, Gurara will be finished this year, Kaduna will be finished this year, Kashim Bila will be later in the year or early 2019.

“We are working to deliver some solar initiatives also to penetrate communities that have not seen power.

“These are some of our continuing plans for incremental power and also to address the liquidity issues in gas generation and also in distribution.

The former Lagos State Governor, announced an upcoming nationwide power audit to ascertain consumer power consumption rate and crosscheck the corresponding tariff to ensure its suitability so as to ensure that consumers do not pay more or less tariff and as such no one is being cheated.

He gave the assurance that the Federal Government would also address the metering system, having observed the agony people are subjected to with the estimated billing practice.

 

“When the census is being done, stay where you live, don’t move home to the village because that’s where we will know where you need power. If we don’t know how many people that need power, then we will never give enough.

“We are addressing metering issue with the DISCOs too, we know your experience with estimated billing, but it takes time to get to each house, we need to do a power audit and know the kind of consumption you are making, because there are different classes of consumers, there’s the R-one, a very basic consumer, vulnerable people, their own tariff has not changed, it is N4 per kilowatt hour.”

On solar initiatives, the Minister reiterated that in order to penetrate remote communities that had been in darkness all their lives, the idea was in the medium term plan when there would have been an increase in power generation and distribution.

Privatisation is 101 Per Cent Solution To Power Problem – Onofowokan

The Managing Director of Power Systems Limited, Mr Bimbo Onafowokan has said that the privatisation of Nigeria’s power sector is the answer to the problem of power failure, adding that the sector will eventually meet the people’s needs of electricity.

Speaking as a guest on Business Morning on Tuesday, he said “if we have been doing something for over 50 years and it hasn’t gotten us to our desired place, why don’t you try something else? I don’t believe it will get worse, it can only get better”.

Comparing the situation in the power sector to that of the telecommunications when it was newly privatised, Mr Onofowokan expressed hope that just as the telecoms industry faced and conquered its challenges, the power sector would do same.

“I believe we would see repeat in the power sector where the regulators would have a lot of challenges to bridge the gap between the desires of the consumers and those of the operators,” he said

Speaking about the controversy surrounding former staff of the power holding company that were paid off, Mr Onofowokan said “change has to happen.”