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Peter Obi Warns of Looming Disaster in Nigeria’s Power Sector, Highlights Urgent Need for Pragmatic Solutions

Peter Obi says Nigeria’s power crisis can be traced to generation and transmission issues, including gas supply challenges and vandalism.

Peter Obi

Presidential candidate of the Labour Party (LP) in the 2023 general election, Peter Obi, has expressed deep concerns over Nigeria’s deplorable power situation, saying a sector that has recorded 141 national grid collapse in 11 years calls for urgent pragmatic solutions.

Obi, who noted that Nigeria has only 13,000mw of installed capacity while the demands were about 200,000mw, said even with the 13,000mw, only about 3,500mw were available for homes and businesses.

He lamented that the situation put Nigeria with the lowest per capita wattage in the world.

In a statement titled, “The Collapsing Electricity Sector,” he 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 the NESI.

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

“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, interestingly 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 less than 4,000mw.

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

“The major challenges of the generation sector are the lack of a regular supply of gas arising from the failure of the government in the last eight years to provide adequate gas infrastructure facilities, weak commerciality of gas to power and failure to control the restiveness of angry youths leading to vandalism.”

Chuks Okocha

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