In geography, students learn that for some months, there are longer days and shorter nights and for some other months, there are shorter days and longer nights. For Nigerians, it’s always nights! Power generation continues to nosedive year in, year out and everyone has to deal with it. This pathetic situation has cost the country a lot in finances, health, and even goodwill. Do you know how many Nigerians abroad would love to come back home, but cannot deal with the costs of erratic power supply?
According to a Guardian article by Femi Adekoya, “Gas supply needed to boost generation dropped to 17,464 million standard cubic feet (mmscf) within the last 24 days in March, as against 21,521 mmscf recorded in February.” These are damning figures that make a mockery of statements by the Minister of Power, Babatunde Fashola. The Minister in a speech said that some states in Nigeria have 24 hours of power supply, but Nigerians ask themselves, “Which states?” To further buttress the mood of annoyance, Senator Shehu Sani jokingly suggested perhaps the states Fashola was referring too are on Mars and Saturn.
Beyond parody, Nigerians understand that the power sector is doing the country and its investors a great disservice. Nigerians cannot enjoy power in their country, and investors plying their trade in the sector lose billions by the day. The power sector is one where no one is safe from the long arms of inefficiencies precipitated by various levels of corruption. The sector is the proverbial snake that bites the consumers and also strikes the wealthy investors with its tail. What then is the Minister of Power doing when he cannot protect the interest of consumers and investors?
Data from the Office of the Vice President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, showed that in February and March, Nigeria’s privatized power sector lost a total of N44.38 billion and N39.45billion respectively in revenue. Why?
While some industry analysis blame grid unreliability, some others accuse NNPC of continuous gas shortage. Nothing substantial, just blame games.
Concerning gas shortage, the industry data indicated that volume of gas supplied by the NNPC to various gas power generation plants in the country for the period (February, March) has continued to drop by at least 24 percent. Who is to blame? NNPC? Vandalism?
No matter the case, the government through its agencies like the NNPC has a responsibility of developing the country. What better ways to do this than constant power supply?
The government cannot claim to be serious about power generation and supply when its central power plants continue to perform below 50% of installed capacity. That is an impossibility except for countries where Ministers think that Pizza is ordered from London to Nigeria through British Airways. Nigeria must be solution-oriented. Making supposedly outrageous remarks about 24hrs of power supply in some Nigeria States is not the way to mitigate the situation. Telling investors that “The Distribution companies (Discos) bought these (power) assets with their eyes open and they must compete to deliver or exit,” is not the best way either.
Industry data shows that Egbin generated 410.96MW during the period as against its installed capacity of 1320M while ASCO and AES did not generate anything during the period. Are these the DISCOs that will offer 24 hours of electricity to states in Nigeria? It appears the only thing to power this country 24 hours are the lies of the Buhari administration.