Nigerian Power Situation: Are You Going To Have Light This Summer? Or Would Your Generator Still Be Your Best Buddy?
Nigeria presently has about 74 million people who are still in the dark, infact they can’t even see road because they may not even know what it feels like to turn your light switch on at night. These people I guess use more flaming torches than the people in Game of Thrones!
Nigeria is currently listed as one of the three countries experiencing more than 60 power outages every week, along with Comoros and Guinea. This is according to a 2017 report covering 140 countries by the World Bank and the International Energy Agency which provides insight on global energy affairs.
Only six in 10 Nigerians had access to electricity either from the grid or from a renewable off grid source in 2016 according to the Energy Agency
In 2016, the Living Standard Measurement Study found that 24.4% couldn’t afford the connection fee.
In 2005, electricity reforms were made which broke down the Nigeria’s Electricity Monopoly into 18 companies overseeing power generation, transmission and distribution. The State retains varying shareholding in 11 firms in the distribution stage, but solely runs the nationwide grid under the Transmission Company of Nigeria
A daily briefing site run out of the Vice-President’s office, lists 29 power plants, two of which are currently not operational. The Southern part of Nigeria is where the majority of these plants are located. As at 11 March, 2018, six did not send out any power; this number fluctuates regularly based on various constraints, such as inefficiencies in gas supply and changing water levels.
Gas Thermal Plants generate about 85% of the Country’s Power while Hydroelectricity supply the rest.
Upon all the Billions supposedly spent by the Nigerian Government to revitalize our very sick power sector, reliable electricity still remains a fantasy to millions of Nigerians.
Our inadequate power supply is no doubt one of the reasons our economy keeps declining in growth and development. In January 2018, the country experienced a national black-out after a pipeline-fire crippled gas supply of several generating stations.
Nigeria’s highest power generation ever occurred on the faithful day of 25 of August 2015 when 4,811 Megawatts nationwide production was recorded. Currently an average of 3,926 MWh/h is being produced. Nigeria has an installed capacity of 12,522 MW according to the Nigeria Electricity Regulation Commission Installed capacity is the highest amount of electricity that can be produced on a very good day (a situation with the most ideal conditions).
Sadly, the average operational capacity is really far behind our maximum capacity (operational capacity refers to the electricity produced in a specific time period, like an hour or day).
The most recent data from the Nigeria Electricity Hub, a tracking portal by an advisory firm, (see “tracking portal” ) shows that Nigeria generated an average of 3,926 MWh/h in February 2018. The lowest output was on 1 February at 3,023 MWh/h and the highest 4,277 MWh/h on 15 February.
Consumers, especially manufacturers would not have a problem with higher tariff if the electricity were available, Chijioke James, the President of Electricity Consumers Association of Nigeria, told Africa Check “They are willing, ready and able to pay for services rendered,” he said “unfortunately the majority of consumers pay for services not rendered, because over 50% are unmetered. They receive estimated bills even for months when they had power supply for less than two days and they either pay or risk disconnection”.
Nigeria requires at least 50,000 MWh/h and the sector can even grow like the telecom industry and even overtake it, demand for power is really at its peak!
To be sure, Nigeria has a number of power plants in the pipeline, but these will add just over 5,000 MW to it’s installed capacity, the power plants are expressly stated below:
Azura Power Project – 459 MW which is completed and undergoing commissioning tests.
Geometric Power Project – 1, 140 MW has been completed but is not yet operational.
Zungeru Hydroelectric Power Project – 700 MW which began in 2014 and is expected to be completed in December 2019.
Mambilla Hydroelectric Power Project – 3,050 MW was signed as a contract in November 2017.
A number of Solar Power Projects targeting hundreds of Megawatts have sprung up across the country with GreenWish Partners set to invest US$280 million to build solar power plants in Nigeria.
Currently we have 197 substations as our Transmission Network is seeing a plus from 159 in 2015 to 197 at the beginning of 2018. The Transmission Company of Nigeria says actual transmission capacity stood at 7,124 MW at the end of February 2018, the company’s general manager of Public Affairs, Ndidi Mbah, told Africa Check
Are we really sure we wouldn’t be scammed again, as a Nigerian, I am tired of false promises. Personally I would encourage every Nigerian Citizen praying for steady power supply to realize that the government can’t do anything for us, sad but true. But one thing that is for sure is that we hold the keys to our progress, we should start encouraging ourselves and our younger generation to be energy creators, we are tired of saving energy its time to use and generate more and only private citizens with big dreams and a business environment of equity, a system where a graduate can leave the university and feel motivated to start his/her power production company. Imagine a country were our children would be aspiring to go into the renewable energy business and not just limit their aspirations to being ordinary Engineers, Lawyers and Employees who just get paid and return back to a residence covered in darkness and street lights dim as the streets.
Information sourced from AllAfrica