World Bank lauds Nigeria's power reforms

Ugandan electricity worker11 February 2014, Lagos – A World Bank energy specialist, Mr Erik Fernstrom, on Monday lauded the ongoing reforms in the Nigeria’s power sector, urging the federal government to stay focused.

Fernstrom told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja that the roadmap in the sector acknowledged the need to develop the nation’s renewable sources.

“The roadmap actually acknowledges that to a certain extent but the country can do a lot better in developing all the three top resources (domestic gas, hydro and solar) we see for the future in Nigeria.

“That means domestic gas can do a lot better; it can be more efficient; it can be more affordable and I think we still have a lot of hydro resources in Nigeria.

“But, we also have very good solar resources, especially in the North; both can be developed in quite affordable way.”

The expert said that the target to make electricity stable in the country was possible, noting that the government was doing the right thing by implementing the reforms.

He said it was not possible to focus on supplying energy to a sector that was broken, where utilities were not given good services and electricity bills were not paid.

According to him, electricity will be stable in the next five years if the efforts of the Federal Government are sustained by implementing the roadmap.

“What we should be focusing on is how many hours of stable power supply the country is getting.

“It is not the megawatts that matters but it’s how often many hours of electricity is available.

“I think, that target is between 12 hours and 18 hours for most Nigerians that are connected to the grid; the target is very feasible in the next three to five years.”

He also urged the government to focus more on renewable energy, saying harnessing the renewable energy resources of the country would boost the economy.

Fernstrom, however, urged Nigerians to see renewable energy as part of the solutions that were available to solve their personal and community needs.

“Nigeria is blessed with abundant renewable energy; technology development has made those resources available and affordable in different ways.

“You should not just think about big hydro plants or solar panels for your roof in your house.

“It is really a wide variety of solutions; everything from the small solar lantern to the big power plant and everything in between.

“So renewable is something every Nigerian should think about as part of solutions that can be available to them to solve their personal or community needs.”



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