24 October 2014, Lagos – Nigerians spend about N796.4 billion annually on petrol and diesel to fuel their electric generators in order generate their own electricity due to inadequate power supply, Programme Director of Community Research and Development Centre (CREDC), Godfrey Ogbemudia, has revealed.
Ogbemudia, who made this disclosure in Benin City, Edo State capital, on Wednesday during the official launch of the Nigeria Renewable Energy for All project in the city, explained that the figure equalled the federal government’s budget of N796.7 billion capital expenditure for the 2009 fiscal year for the 36 states of the federation.
The programme director who lamented that in spite of the various government policies to revive the energy sector, nothing had really been achieved, added that many Nigerians still get as low as four hours electricity supply per day, hence the need for Nigerians to embrace solar energy as a viable source of power.
He said CREDC had been playing a key role in the deployment of renewable energy to rural communities since 2006, part of which, according to him, was the installation of stand-alone solar systems for no fewer than 550 households in the state.
Ogbemudia further explained that the solar project, also known as Nigeria-REAP, is aimed at improving access to sustainable and interrupted electricity supply using renewable energy in collaboration with Schneider Electric.
“Nigeria-REAP is also targeted at individual homes and corporate organisations which require regular and improved electricity compared to the current rate of supply,” he said.
The director therefore urged Nigerian electricity consumers to take advantage of solar power as the most economically viable alternative to generate their own electricity.
Among other advantages which he noted about the solar power as a renewable energy, was that it saved the consumer the burden of paying electricity and maintenance bills, a benefit he stated was unavoidable when using the conventional means of power supply.
“A 2009 study on electricity distribution among the six geo-political zones in Nigeria shows that some Nigerians enjoy only four to six hours of power supply.
“Also Nigerians spend about N796.4 billion to fuel their electric generators to provide electricity for themselves.
“But with renewable energy, there are no electricity bills, the system can be upgraded to meet your increasing energy demand, no pollution and no maintenance cost. Anybody who wants to remain in business needs sustainable power supply,” he said.
Also speaking, the acting Director of the National Centre for Energy and Environment, University of Benin, Professor Martins Ogbonmwan, said the centre, through the Energy Commission of Nigeria (ECN), had developed and tested a wide range of renewable energy technologies for use in the South-south geo-political zone and the entire country.
– This Day