By Babajide Komolafe
NIGERIA has the potential to achieve 7.0 percent gross domestic product, GDP, growth rate and lift 70 million people above poverty provided there is sufficient access to electricity across the country.
Making this observation in Lagos, yesterday, Siemens Nigeria’s Chief Executive Officer, Onyeche Tifase, cited deployment of smart metering technology and sophisticated tracking systems to pinpoint illegal connections, as well as increased collaboration between power sector operators and trusted global suppliers, as factors that will determine the achievement of sufficient access to electricity for all Nigerians.
Tifase said: “International studies suggest that Nigeria could potentially achieve over seven per cent annual GDP growth, making it a top-20 economy by 2030 with GDP of more than $1.6 trillion, four times the current GDP. This translates into 70 million people being moved above the poverty line in little more than a decade. But the fact remains that this potential will never be realised without sufficient access to end-to-end electrification, which is the backbone of any thriving economy. This includes power generation, transmission, distribution and the efficient application of electrical energy through automation.”
She noted that though 60 per cent of Nigeria’s 182 million population have access to electricity, majority of the power is generated by an ageing and inefficient grid that loses 8.6 gigawatt, GW, which represent 69 per cent of the country’s 12.5 GW installed capacity.
“These substantial losses are a result of inefficient controls, monitoring technology and outdated infrastructure. Investment in proven end-to-end electrification technology will directly tackle the scourge of unemployment, poverty and inequality, creating an inclusive and prosperous Nigeria.
With uninterrupted access to electricity, businesses are more productive, hospitals provide better medical care, children receive a better education at school, and homes are safer and more comfortable,” she said.
To make electricity more easily accessible to the whole population, power generation capacity must be ramped up and streamlined,” she added.