A Review of the Nigerian Energy Industry

Political will required to grow Nigeria’s power sector – NERC

Kumle Kalejaye

11 December 2012, Sweetcrude, Lagos – The Nigeria Electricity Regulatory Commission, NERC, says the nation must muster political will as well as put in place the required regulatory services for its power sector to grow and meet international standard.

The commission also stated that the nation required a minimum of 50,000 megawatts of power, while Lagos State required 10,000MW in order to maximise its potential and attract foreign investors.

Chairman of NERC, Dr Sam Amadi, dropped the hint at the maiden edition of the Light Up Awards 2012 organised by Project Light Up Nigeria in Lagos.

“Presently, we need at least 50,000MW of power supply and Lagos needs about 10000MW of it,” he said.

“What is needed for the power sector to grow to a level which will be adequate for all is the political will, a regulatory service, which NERC has been able to give them that assurance and an offtaker who is credible, that is why the government create d the Nigerian Bulk Electricity Trading Company,” Amadi said.

He stressed that the 4,221MW which is presently produced is still a far cry from what is needed, but argued that the federal government reform will revolutionise the power sector.

According to him, “The nation did not increase in power in the last two decades because there was no market for electricity and electricity was not seen as a product. Government saw electricity as just a service which must be rendered without making a profit from it and did not charge the adequate amount. But the irony was that everybody was paying so much more than the market prize.

“The growth of the power sector started with the 2010 reform which has increased power and has made Nigeria a global market for some investors who have seen the potential in the sector.”

He explained that the annual Light Up Awards will bring about a change and the drive in government and all stakeholders in the sector.

The National Coordinator, Project Light Up, Mr. Frank Ukpabi said steady electricity, which is an important economic index would reduce crime and poverty in the country.

According to him, the project was initiated to encourage electricity generation efforts by of the three tiers of government in a competitive environment.

Governor Babatunde Fashola emerged as the Governor with the best rural electrification projects for 2012; Governor with the best energy-saving streetlight projects; and overall Energy Governor of the year.

President Goodluck Jonathan was given the award of the President that generated the highest number of electricity megawatts between 1979 and 2012.

Governor Rotimi Amaechi of Rivers State emerged as the Governor with the most steady electricity power supply state (highest power generation).

Governor Rabiu Kwakwanso of Kano state emerged as Governor with the best maintained streetlight projects.

Governor Sullivan Chime, Enugu state emerged as the Governor with the highest number of street light projects.

Zenith Bank Plc emerged the company with the highest number of streetlight projects as part of its corporate social responsibility; company with best maintained street light project; and with CSR on streetlight, emerged Streetlight Project Company of the year.

The Chairman, Ojo Local Government Area in Lagos, Mr. Yinka Durosimi, emerged as the Chairman with the best and most successful rural electrification project, and Energy Chairman of the year.

President Goodluck Jonathan was given the award of the President that generated the highest number of electricity megawatts between 1979 and 2012.

The Liight Up award was designed to recognise, appreciate and encourage public office holders, corporate entities and private citizens, who were contributing to steady electricity power supply in the country.

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  • In a country with the growth potential Nigeria posseses and the resources at the disposal of the state governments, the award tantamount to a celebration of mediocrity. Dr. Sam Amadi’s claim that the growth of the power sector started with the 2010 reform is patently false and frightfully misleading. We advise Nigerian government officials, especially appointees to spare us, the people deliberate peddling of falsehood all in a bid to please their principal. Power sector reforms were actually initiated by the administration of President Olusegun Obasanjo. Indeed it was under that administration that NERC itself and all the power projects coming on stream were created. As a matter of fact, power sector reform was actually stunted as soon as the Yar’Adua/Goodluck administration came on board through the so called review/verification initiated by the administration and the so called, self serving Godwin Ndudi House of Representatives investigation of ongoing projects.