By Emma Una
CALABAR – STEADY power supply in Nigeria will continue to be elusive until the tariff paid by consumers is reviewed upwards to sustain high revenue inflow to power production and distribution companies.
Engineer Adekunle Mokuolu, President of Nigerian Society of Engineers, NSE, stated this in Calabar on Wednesday while speaking at the 3rd memorial lecture in honour of Engineer John Egbe, a former national vice chairman of the Society.
He said power distribution companies have to undertake estimated billing of customers in order to raise revenue to keep them afloat.
‘Standards in this country are bastardised so the distribution companies are using that to break even because the overhead cost for the production and distribution of electricity is very high while the tariff is very low so the distribution companies which deal directly with the consumers have to rely on estimated billing to increase their revenue”.
Engineer Mokuolu said electricity production and distribution companies are business enterprises and not humanitarian organisations so there is need for power sector policy review to update existing laws and policies in the sector to engender efficient power supply.
“The Challenge with power sector in Nigeria is not principally with the engineers but the problem is on how we manage the various components that make up the sector like the finance, policy, management and infrastructure and what we intend to do is begin a dialogue with stakeholders to review and update the power sector policies”.
The NSE President stated that what Nigerians want is clean electricity supply and are willing to pay for it but the outdated power sector policies cannot deliver the quantum of electricity Nigerian consumers need at the moment.
Delivering the lecture which is on the topic, Provision of Sustainable Power Supply in Nigeria- the way forward, Engineer Otis Anyaeji stated that the 4000 megawatts power generated currently in Nigeria is far below what is required by Nigerians to engender economic growth compared to other countries of the world.
He said rather than witness an increase in the power supply production, what is being observed is a fall in the yearly power generation which is grossly inadequate for any meaningful development in the country.
“In 1999, we had 1,975 megawatts power produced and this rose to 6,000 in 2012 and by 2014 we had 7,000 megawatts but today what is being produced is just 4,000 megawatts and when you compare that to South Africa which produces 52.08 megawatts with a population of 67. 72 million and Egypt 42 megawatts you will agree that Nigeria with a population of 190 million is not where near the expected target”.
He called for the maintenance of electricity supply facilities, revamping of moribund power stations and exploration all available avenues to produce electricity components in Nigeria.
“Federal Government in addition to Order Five, should promulgate an act which directs all companies supplying electricity facilities to establish production lines in Nigeria and that policy part from creating employment with ensure quality assurance for power infrastructure”