20 March 2012, Sweetcrude, ABUJA – A recent report by the Energy Commission of Nigeria (ECN) indicates that electricity demand would rise to 15,730 megawatts (mw) in Nigeria by 2015, according to director-general of the commission, Prof. Abubakar Sambo.
Sambo disclosed that the figure expected in 2015 represents a 173.76 per cent growth in the 2010 demand figure, which he put at 5,746mw.
He said in a keynote address titled at the 2nd Summit on Energy and Sustainable Economic Growth in Abuja that the country’s current available electricity generating capacity was about 3,500mw.
In the address entitled, “Energy Indicators for Sustainable Development,” Sambo predicted, based on the recent ECN study, that electricity demand in the country would rise to 28,360mw by 2020.
He stated that unless investments in the power sector were raised, Nigeria might be unable to meet its power needs in the nearest future.
Nigeria currently has the capacity to generate over 6,000mw, but achieving this has been impossible due to the poor state of the power generating plants and, recently, inadequate gas supply to some newly built gas plants across the country.
Authorities have indicated that gas supply hitches can also jeopardise the goverment’s plan for generation of about 10,000mw by the end of 2012.
Hinting on the need for the nation to explore other sources of energy, maintain and improve existing infrastructure and eliminate constraints to modernisation and investment in new facilities, he said these were the only sure ways to meeting the huge power demand in the future.
“Results of the Energy Indicators for Sustainable Development analysis show that many aspects of the Nigerian energy system and practices do not conform to sustainability goals.
“In line with United Nation’s declaration of 2012 as the year of sustainable energy for all, Nigerians saddled with the responsibility for energy planning should fully utilise the outputs of EISD analysis to significantly strengthen the energy sector.”
Speaking at the event, Prof. Ita Ewa, Minister of Science and Technology, said energy was central to improved social and economic well-being and was indispensable to most industrial and commercial wealth generation.
He stated that for Nigeria to become one of the 20 most developed countries in the world by 2020, the country would require adequate and reliable energy services at affordable costs in a secure and reliable energy services at affordable costs.
The minister further said: “The country requires adequate and affordable energy services, which are critical for its economic development and transition from subsistence agricultural practices to modern industrial and service oriented societies without degrading the environment.”