• en

Onikoyi: Nigeria Transmits Only 4000MW of Power Despite Needing 50,000MW Because It Hasn’t Extended Network in 40 Years 

“The government of Nigeria has added no value to our electricity system,” says former Rivers State power consultant Onikoyi.

Former Consultant to the Rivers State Government Ministry of Power, Lateef Onikoyi has criticised the Nigerian government for not improving the power system in the country, asserting that the transmission network has not been extended in almost 40 years, thereby reducing its efficiency to less than 30%.

Onikoyi in an interview with ARISE NEWS on Thursday, said out of the basic 40,000 to 50,000 megawatts needed by Nigerians, only 4,000 megawatts is available to them.

“The government of Nigeria has not added any value to our electricity system, even with Obasanjo. We have a situation. Egbin is almost 40 years old and is operating at less than 30% efficiency and that is the biggest power plant we have in Nigeria. I am aware that even the national transmission network since 1982 has not been extended. It has remained static since 1982. They have not extended it in terms of transmission and we are talking about improving electricity.

“If you look at the basic need in terms of electricity in Nigeria, we need at least 40,000 to 50,000 megawatts, not considering industrialization. A family of six needs at least 5 kilowatts. The installed capacity of the generation station in Nigeria is just about less than 12,000 megawatts. But the available is just about 4,000. Compare that to 40,000 to 50,000 megawatts and that is just about 10%.”

He also indicated that the recent collapse of the grid was a partial collapse rather than a total grid failure saying “We have not been having complete grid failures in Nigeria. If we had, it would take much longer to restore. The quick restoration this time means it was a partial collapse.”

Onikoyi also criticised political promises, suggesting they often overlook the complexities involved in actual implementation.

He said this following the President Bola Tinubu directive to increase Nigeria’s on-grid electricity capacity from 4000 to 6000mw within six months, after describing Nigeria’s power generation capacity at 4,500MW on Thursday, as shameful.

“Only If the president decides to declare a state of emergency on electricity and give out funds to bring in the generator. But it is not as easy from the practical point of view. Most of the designs are not on shelf designs. They have to be designed, manufactured, before you bring them in and it takes time and you have to queue before you get it. Politicians will tell you we will do this but the reality is if it is possible. I don’t know what magic the president expects.”

Addressing the issue of corruption and inefficiency, Onikoyi argued that engineers are unfairly blamed for systemic failures.

“Corruption is synonymous with Nigeria. if I have to be running every time to try to stabilize a system that is supposed to have been upgraded and you say I am incompetent because I am not giving out the value, that is very unfair.”

He also mentioned the problem of resource misallocation, where equipment like transformers are left redundant in some areas while desperately needed in others.

“We have a lot of redundancy. In this country we work with patronage. We want this for my community despite the fact that there are other communities that need it more than your community. We have some transformers somewhere that are redundant whereas, transformers are blowing up in other places.”

Chioma Kalu

Follow us on: