At the 23rd Monthly Power Sector Operators Meeting held on 8 January 2018, the Minister for Power, Works & Housing, Mr. Babatunde Fasola (SAN) rolled out a number of claims to suggest that electricity supply is presently more available to a good number of Nigerians than it was when the Buhari administration assumed office in May 2015. According to the Minister, the improvement is indicative of government’s efforts and commitment to revamping the power sector.
Highlighting the progress and milestones on the journey to incremental power at the meeting, the Minister affirmed that the successes achieved thus far have reassured him that the country is on the right path and these can only inspire the administration to continue with more belief.
Some of the claims include the fact that:
- Generated power has gone up to 7000 MW from 3000 MW in May 2015;
- Transmission capacity has gone up to 6900 MW from 5000MW in May 2015;
- Peak distribution now averaging 5000 MW from 2,690 MW in May 2015.
The Minister further stated that these efforts are already impacting the lives of Nigerians, saving them money and changing their lifestyles for better.
“They tell me that their consumption of diesel and petrol to run generators for power has reduced and the hours they run their generators have gradually reduced.
“This is the result of incremental power and we must get more of it. They also tell me that they are now monitoring how they use power and are turning off appliances that are not needed.
“Although this is meant to save costs, it also conserves energy, reduces waste and supports incremental power. In the last 3 months we have increased the supply of power in the dry weather and people’s experience with power was better,” the Minister remarked.
He berated those he referred to as “cynics” who he noted usually said that it is only during rainy seasons that power improves but “now see that what we have done is no fluke.”
The minister also harped on the issue of undistributed 2000 MW power stranded due to infrastructure deficit in the distribution sector.
“We are also putting together a policy position to help expand the distribution network of the DisCos and use this to distribute the 2000MW that is currently available but cannot be distributed.
“I also use the opportunity to call out to Manufacturers to let us know where they are, how much power they need, and how we can connect you because we have 2000 MW of undistributed power,” said the Minister.
He promised that the year 2018 will mark an increase in “our people’s access to meters and reduce the incidents of estimated billing as NERC concludes the Meter Regulations that will open up the meters supply and installation business.”
However, the national forecast for electricity demand in Nigeria presently stands at 20,550 MW according to the national daily broadcast issued by the National Control Center, Osogbo. Experts have questioned the veracity of this forecast considering the huge population of 190 million in the country and the large number of consumers who have resorted to self-generation due to the ills of the power sector. Manufacturers Association of Nigeria, MAN for instance has confirmed that its members use as much as 14,000 MW from self-generation alone. In South Africa with a population of about 43 million people, electricity consumption presently stands at 46,000 MW while its installed capacity is in the excess of 65,000 MW.