Electricity plays a significant role in the socioeconomic and technological development of every modern nation and has become the backbone of modern industrial society, with its versatility as a source of energy. Commercial electricity was first introduced in Nigeria as far back as 1896 in Lagos, and that was only fifteen years after a similar introduction in England. In spite of this long history, however, improvement in Nigeria’s commercial electricity has remained slow.
Power in Nigeria addresses the several challenges that commercial electricity faces in Nigeria and presents an alternate view, in addressing the challenges of power in Nigeria. This work purposefully, is to find a way forward to develop Nigeria in general, and in particular, the power sector and in doing so, mitigate the massive unemployment situation that is more than certain to explode soon.
Key Quotes from the Book
“If history repeats itself, and the unexpected always happens, how incapable must man be, of learning from experience.” – George Bernard Shaw
The only significant source of funding the public treasury is the conversion of the petrodollars into Naira at the foreign exchange market to meet government’s obligation of salaries, overheads and pay for contracts.
Glaringly, it is becoming evident that only enormous energy necessary for higher industrial outputs will stimulate interest in investors to finance the power sector.
Even if Nigeria has an adequate power supply today, the seeming level of the apparent adequacy in power is unsustainable until Nigerians start to patronise made in Nigeria goods in great quantity to support a higher installed capacity of the local factories.
Of most interest to this book is the use of petrol for over 58 million petrol driven private generators that litter the country’s landscape, put to use because of the no-light situation.
Inability of most Nigerians to afford the reflective cost tariff of electricity as a result of the country’s low per capita; thus electricity reflective cost demand is low to stimulate investment in the power sector.
The effect of importation on domestic products that lowers the installed capacity utilisation of local producers, thereby reducing cost reflective demand for commercial electricity that could attract investment into the power sector.
Being unable to put electricity into storage like oil in a drum, it must be consumed immediately it is produced. Therefore, cost reflective demand must be in place before supply; otherwise the producers of electricity will incur losses.
Against the backdrop of over 12,000 megawatts of installed capacity generation of electricity, only less than 4,000 megawatts of electricity, daily, is sustainably delivered because of low reflective cost demand to avoid incurring losses by the key suppliers in the sector.
Free enterprise means unless government intervenes in closing the gap between the cost of providing commercial electricity and what the majority of Nigerians can afford through subsidy, the logjam in public electricity supply may continue as investor will continue to shy away from the sector.
Key Steps to the Solution to Power
The gap between the cost of providing uninterrupted electricity and the affordability of such supply of electricity by most Nigerians can also be achieved by greater patronage of locally made goods, which will increase the cost reflective demand of electricity by local producers, and through economies of scale it invariably will discount the household/light businesses electricity tariffs.
To kickstart the project, some maximum demand consumers may have to be disconnected from the grid initially to immediately release more hours of electricity supply to the domestic/light business users, who would accept higher tariffs. This will save on the subsidy of PMS used to fire their petrol-driven generators.
Then shift the saved subsidy of pms used by the over 58 million petrol-powered generators to offset the gas or diesel bills of local producers disconnected from the grid. This gestation period will help build higher share of their products in the market as well as increase their competitiveness of their products against imports.
This narrative is to attack the electricity logjam in Nigeria from the consumer angle as against the supplier angle and it would be accelerated and bolstered by providing credit scheme for the purchase of made in Nigeria goods only by
The issue of capacity building in the power sector will attract investors as Nigeria’s industrial output increases, and the seeming returns on investment will sustain growth in the power sector and as a bargain provide uninterrupted power supply in Nigeria.
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