BY MICHAEL EBOH
About 81 per cent or 130 million Nigerians, out of the about 160 million Nigerians, generated their own electricity through alternative sources to compensate for irregular power supply, according to the result of a series of Power Sector Polls conducted by NOI Polls Limited for the second quarter of 2013.
According to the results made available to Vanguard, a combined average of 69 per cent of Nigerians or 110 million Nigerians, have experienced increase in their spending on alternative power supply compared to a year ago.
According to the poll results, the Electric Power Sector Reform Act (EPSRA), passed in 2005, initiated the unbundling of government’s power plants under the Nigerian Electricity Power Authority (NEPA).
“They were formed into business units and regulated by the Nigerian Electricity Regulation Commission (NERC) thus paving the way for public-private partnership and consequently the privatization of the power sector.
“The privatisation process is still underway and is intended to revive the power sector and invariably the Nigerian economy, as homes and industries alike will receive adequate and consistent quality of power supply.
“In order to ascertain the perceptions of Nigerians regarding the power sector reforms, the hours of power supply received daily and expenditure on alternative sources of power compared to a year ago, NOI Polls introduced the Power Sector Polls Project in April 2013 to monitor these trends and will release quarterly reports on findings of the polls. This result release marks the first in the series,” the poll said.
Continuing, the researchers said, “Over 3000 phone owning Nigerian adults aged 18 years and above were interviewed across this three month period (April-June) and some of their responses to the poll will be analysed in this report.
“In order to measure the level of power supply to households, respondents were asked: ‘How would you describe power supply in your area in the past 1 month?’
“A combined average of 47 per cent said power supply had either remained bad (25 per cent) or had worsened (22 per cent); compared with about 33 per cent who said they witnessed some slight improvement, and 20 per cent who experienced no difference in the past month.
“Nonetheless, it is worth pointing that the poll results indicate a one-point increase between April and June (April: 31, June: 32) of respondents who saw some improvement, a 5-point drop in respondents who said it remains bad (April: 27, June: 22) and a 3-point increase in those who said it remained the same (April: 18, June: 21).
The polls have indicated a link between power supply and the president’s approval rating; as it was observed that in the months where respondents perceived that power improved, the president’s rating seemed to increase and vice versa. The month of May had the best power supply of the three months.
Figure 1 illustrates the three month trend.
”The next question sought to measure the typical number of hours of continuous power supply experienced in the household on a daily basis: ‘On the average, how many hours of continuous power supply does your household experience daily?’
“Averages across three months show that between April and June 42% of respondents claimed to experience about 1-4 hours of power supply on a typical day. There marks a 4-point decline in the proportion of respondents who received 1-4 hours of continuous power between April and June (April: 45%, June: 41%); a 7-point increase in respondents who received 15-19 hours of power (April: 3%, June 10%); and also a 2-point increase in respondents who received 10-14 hours of power (April: 9%, June: 11%).