By Sebastine Obasi and CALEB AYANSINA, Abuja
Electricity supply in Nigeria, worsened in the fourth quarter (Q4) of 2013, at the peak of the privatisation process, power poll results just released by NOIPolls Limited have shown.
The report said that although power supply to households worsened in Q4, nevertheless, majority of Nigerians (70 percent) were hopeful about the ongoing reform in the power sector.
The report also said that an average of 46 percent of Nigerians received between 1-4 hours of continuous power supply daily, while 17 percent said they have received absolutely “No Light” in their households.
The Poll however, noted that in Q4, the Nigerian power sector saw an achievement of a milestone as the privatisation process, initiated to reform the power sector was taken to the next level.
This involved the final hand over of 11 power distribution and five generation companies, created out of the Power Holding Company of Nigeria (PHCN), being regulated by the Nigerian Electricity Regulation Commission (NERC), to their private owners on behalf of the Federal Government.
Consequently, under the new era, privately owned generating companies will sell directly to distribution companies, which in turn supplies electricity to consumers for domestic and commercial uses.
According to the report, a review of the state of power for the year 2013 (12 months), showed that power was best in Q1 and worse in the Q4.
This is evident in the fact that Q1 recorded the highest proportion of respondents who gave a positive report (40 percent: 33 percent plus seven percent), and Q4 has the highest proportion of respondents (which also represents the majority) that gave a negative report (45 percent: 31 percent plus 14 percent) on power.
A further trend analysis showed a 4-point decline in the proportion of respondents that claimed power supply improved very much from Q3 (seven percent) to Q4 (three percent). There was also a 5-Point increase in the proportion that claimed power supply remained bad from Q3 (26 percent) to Q4 (31 percent).
Furthermore, a regional appraisal of power in 2013 revealed that the North-East zone is the most affected area with poor power supply, as it recorded the highest proportion of respondents that claimed power supply remained bad for three quarters; Q1(39 percent), Q2(61 percent) and Q4(59 percent).
While the South-East zone had the best power report in the first two quarters, as it recorded the highest proportion of respondents who experienced an improvement in Q1 (46 percent) and Q2 (41 percent). The South-South zone had the best in the last two quarters, as it recorded the highest proportion of respondents that experienced an improvement in supply in Q3 (47 percent) and Q4 (43 percent).
The zones were split equally along the lines of bad and improved power supply. South East (43 percent), North-Central (41 percent) and South-South (41 percent) are the zones in which majority witnessed improvements in power supply over the 12 months.
While the North-East (51 percent), North West (46 percent) and South-West (46 percent) are where majority reported bad/worsened power supply.
The report also said that on an average, the majority of Nigerians (46 percent) received 1-4 hours of continuous power daily. Another 20 percent who claimed they received between 5-9 hours of continuous power and 17 percent who reported they received no power supply at all. Furthermore, the month of December (49 percent) recorded the highest proportion of Nigerians that received 1-4 hours of continuous power supply daily.
It noted however that the last phase of the privatization process has stimulated great expectations about the power sector reforms among the majority of Nigerians. Due to past and current challenges faced in the power sector, the total reformation may be a gradual process with a succession of milestones to be achieved. One of which would be the increase of total power currently being generated which will directly result in improved power supply to households.
The opinion poll was conducted over a 12 month period covering January to December 2013. It involved telephone interviews of a random nationwide sample of 12,000+ phone-owning Nigerians aged 18 years and above, representing the six geopolitical zones in the country.