A Review of the Nigerian Energy Industry

Households experience slight improvement in power supply in 3Q – Polls

Power-Line...Oscarline Onwuemenyi

22 October 2013, Sweetcrude, ABUJA – Latest power sector poll results released by NOIPolls Limited for the 3rd Quarter of 2013 has revealed that more Nigerians experienced slight improvements in their power supply in Q3 (38%) compared to Q2 2013 (33%).

The results further revealed that about 78 percent of Nigerians still made use of alternative sources to augment their power supply; while majority of Nigerians (67%) are quite hopeful that the on-going power sector reform and privatisation process would yield some positive fruits.

Similarly, the proportion of Nigerians that experienced decline in their power supply also reduced by 5-points in Q3 to 42 percent (down from 47 percent in Q2).

Also, despite slight improvements in power supply recorded over the quarter, about 78 percent of Nigerians still made use of alternative sources to augment their power supply; marking a 3-point decline from Q2 (81%).

The opinion poll was conducted between July and September 2013. It involved telephone interviews of a random nationwide sample of over 3,000 phone-owning Nigerians aged 18 years and above, representing the six geopolitical zones in the country.

Power supply in Nigeria has been known to be of great concern for several decades. Monopoly in the supply of electricity has lingered as the major contributing factor to the in the odds. In 2005, a new era for the power sector started with the decision of the government to privatise the power sector through the approval of the Electric Power Sector Reform Act (EPSRA).

This involved a process of unbundling of government’s power plants under the Nigerian Electricity Power Authority (NEPA) into business units and regulated by the Nigerian Electricity Regulation Commission (NERC). This was in a bid to privatise, and allow public-private investments into the sector.

With the aim of monitoring the progress made so far regarding the power sector reform, NOIPolls introduced the Power Sector Polls in April 2013 to explore the perception of Nigerians towards the power sector reform, expenditure on alternative sources of power and support for the on-going reform process. The results for Q3 2013 are presented here, following Q2 results released in June 2013.

An evaluation of poll results over the three month period showed there have been no dramatic changes in power supply. There was a 3-point increase between July and September in the proportion of respondents that claim power supply has improved a little and a 5-point drop in the proportion that claim power supply is very bad and has gone worse.

Exploring the situation of light across the three months showed that in September there was a balance in the proportion of Nigerians with positive and negative experiences with power supply since an equal percentage (41% each) indicated an improvement and a deterioration of their power supply in that month.

Further analysis reveals slight improvement in the power supply to households in Q3 (38%) compared to Q2 (33%) 2013. On the one hand, the proportion of Nigerians that experienced improvements in their power supply increased by 5-points to 38 percent, compared to 33 percent in Q2. On the other hand, the proportion of Nigerians that experienced decline in their power supply also reduced by 5-points in Q3 to 42 percent(down from 47 percent in Q2); while the proportion that claimed there was no difference remained the same at 20 percent over the two quarters.

With the objective of gauging the proportion of Nigerians that use alternative sources of power supply, respondents were asked: Do you use any alternate source of electricity supply such as generators or inverters? Averages over the three months revealed that the overall majority of Nigerians (78%) make use of alternative sources of electricity such as generators to augment their supply of electricity; while 22 percent rely solely on power supply.

This finding further lends credence to a recent claim made by the HM Customs and Excise Statistics, which stated that Nigeria has been the leading importer of generators over a 5 year period from 2007 to 2012.

The results show that there has been a continuous increase in the proportion of Nigerians that use alternative sources of electricity from July to September with a total of 14-points increase within Q3 2013.

Further analysis revealed that in comparison to Q2, there was a 3-point decline (from 81 percent in Q2 to 78 percent in Q3) in the proportion of Nigerians that make use of alternative sources of power supply.

Additionally, respondents that use alternative power sources were asked: How would you describe the amount you currently spend on alternative power compared to a year ago? The three month average reveals that more Nigerians (41%) who use alternative sources of power supply experienced a drastic increase in their spending compared to a year ago. In addition, 21% experienced slight increase, 18% were of the opinion that their spending remained the same compared to a year ago, 15 percent said it decreased slightly and five percent affirmed their spending on alternative power sources decreased drastically.

Though the proportion of Nigerians that use alternative sources to generate power increased from July to September, It is pertinent to note that, the proportion of Nigerians that experienced a drastic increase in their spending on the alternative sources of power such as generators decreased by 12-points from August (52%) to September (40%).

Similarly, comparing the averages obtained from Q2 and Q3 revealed a 7-point decline in the proportion of respondents that experienced increase in their spendings on alternative sources of electricity from Q2 (69%) and Q3 (62%). On the other hand, there was a 1-point increase in the proportion of those who has experienced decrease in the amounts spent on alternative power supply in Q3 (20%) compared to Q2 (19%).

The next question sought to measure the level of awareness of Nigerians on the on-going power sector reforms by the federal government. Respondents were asked: Are you aware that the Federal Government is making efforts to reform the power sector? Overall, an average of 67 percent of Nigerians said they are aware of the power sector reforms over the three months in the third quarter. The highest level of awareness was recorded in September (73%), while the month of August (62%) recorded the lowest level of awareness. Relatively about one-third of Nigerians (33%) indicated no awareness of the on-going power sector privatisation process.

Similarly, the result for Q3 shows no marked difference between that of Q2, as there was only a 1-point decline (from 68% in Q2 to 67% in Q3) in the proportion of respondents that are aware of the privatisation process.

Finally in the bid to explore the perceptions of Nigerians on the on-going power sector reforms, respondents were asked: How do you feel about these on-going power reforms? Reactions to this question revealed that on the average over Q3, the majority of Nigerians (62%) are hopeful about the privatisation of the power sector, 20 percent remained neutral, while, 18 percent showed dissatisfaction with the on-going power sector reforms.

Similarly, it noted, the proportion of Nigerians that were generally hopeful about the power sector reform remained the same (62% each) between the 2nd and 3rd quarters of 2013.

“However, it is worth noting that the proportion of respondents that were “very hopeful” increased by 7-points from Q2 (9%) to Q3 (16%); indicating more buy-in and support for the on-going power sector reform and privatisation process,” it added.

According to the pollsters, “With a sample of this size, we can say with 95 percent confidence that the results obtained are statistically precise – within a range of plus or minus three percent.”

NOIPolls Limited is the No.1 for country specific polling services in West Africa, which works in technical partnership with the Gallup Organisation (USA), to conduct periodic opinion polls and studies on various socio-economic and political issues in Nigeria.

In this article

Join the Conversation