April 18, 2024

Obi decries Nigeria’s deplorable power situation

Peter Obi

By John Alechenu

The presidential candidate of Labour Party in the 2023 general election, Peter Obi, has bemoaned the perennial power situation in the country.

He said the collapse of the national grid a record 141 times in 11 years called for urgent, pragmatic solutions.

Obi noted that Nigeria had only 13,000mw, while the demand is about 200,000mw.

He explained that even with the 13,000mw, only about 3,500mw was available for homes and businesses, noting that the situation placed Nigeria as having the lowest per capita wattage in the World.

In an article, titled: “The Collapsing Electricity Sector”, the LP standard’s bearer said:  “The Nigeria electricity supply industry faces real and present danger of collapse, despite the efforts made in more than two decades to initiate a reform of  NESI.

“It is sad today that we suffer periodic and routinized system collapses that are attributed to such avoidable situations as fire outbreaks at critical transmission lines across our major cities.

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“It is absolutely distressing and a story of a low level of managerial capability that the entire nation can be plunged into total darkness for a reasonable period because networks go out because of a lack of diligent attention.

“It should worry any Nigerian patriot that the total installed capacity for a country of more than 200 million people with an aspiration to become a global medium economy power is a mere 13,000.

“Worse still, only about 3,500mws are available for homes and businesses from the grid. Sometimes, it grinds to less than 2,500mws. This is unacceptable.

“We can contrast the available supply of electricity with competitor countries in Africa like Egypt and South Africa with respective populations of approximately 112m and 59.6m people supplying about 60,000mw and 58,000 respectively.

“This difference in energy wattage has massive implications for human development and economic growth.

“Nigeria today has the world’s lowest per capita wattage in the world, interesting lower than those of most of our West African neighbours. It is really sad that whereas our energy demand is above 200,000mws,

“We have only 13,000mw installed capacity and can only deliver regularly less than 4,000mw.

“After speaking with experts in the sector I have realized that the crisis of power supply in Nigeria relates to two major sectors: (1) generation, and (2) transmission and distribution.”