By Sebastine Obasi
Consumers in Nigeria et only 50 percent of generated power, a former Minister of Power, Prof. Barth Nnaji, told the Senate ad hoc Committee on Power.
He said: “Even when you have installed capacity of 12,000 megawatts, you cannot release the same amount of megawatts to the end users. Nigeria can generate 7,000MW and make it available for consumption should there be no constraint in transmission where we have inefficiency in distribution.
“Out of the amount of power that is distributed to the distribution companies, only about 50 per cent of it gets to the consumers. It is an incredible inefficiency in the power system that must be cured.”
Nnaji, who superintended the deregulation of the nation’s power sector and the unbundling of the Power Holding Company of Nigeria, PHCN, in November 2013, said that despite huge resources channeled into the sector over the years, Nigerians are yet to get adequate electricity supply.
According to him, the inadequate power supply could be attributed to poor transmission, which he noted was as a result of inefficient regulation by the concerned government agency.
Nnaji explained that since the government was not producing power any more, only 5,500 megawatts out of the 12,000MW installed capacity of power generating plants in the country was getting to the consumers. For instance, he said the gas being delivered for power generation was a fraction of the installed capacity, and cannot affect the quantity meant for export through the Liquefied Natural Gas.
He however expressed optimism that the new Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Mr. Babatunde Fashola, being a proven administrator and manager, would effectively discharge the functions of managing the ministries assigned to him without affecting the power sector.
Nnaji said: “I know that Fashola is an excellent administrator and manager. I can imagine what Lagos State used to be like before he became the governor and what it is now. It comes with dedication and that is what we need in this country.
“It is a very large area to cover but the ministry of power is no longer what it used to be when I was a minister because the entire generation is out. It is no longer going to be the manager of power generation, except to supervise.”