Oscarline Onwumenyi 27 August 2015, Sweetcrude, Abuja – Despite recent improvement in power supply, the country is far from meeting its electricity needs as an independent study showed that the privatised Electricity Distribution Companies, DISCOs, are still providing consumers with less than six hours supply daily.
This is even as about 17 per cent of the population is completely excluded from those enjoying electricity nationwide.
An independent report by NOIPolls Limited for the second quarter, Q2, of 2015 showed that the average cumulative power supply received per day by Nigerian households within a 27-month period (April, 2013 to June, 2015) was below six hours per day.
The survey concluded that many individuals were relying and spending more on alternative sources of power to ensure efficiency in the running of their homes and businesses.
The report maintained that despite the reforms carried out in the power sector by government, Nigerians were still facing erratic power supply as the monthly average cumulative hours received ranged from 3.9 – 8.2 hours per day; with 17 per cent of the entire population not receiving electricity at all in the period in view.
It indicated that households receiving such low periods (hours) of power supply in the 21st century is indicative of a deficiency in infrastructural development that goes beyond theoretical reforms and unbundling of assets, while also emphasising the urgent need for an entire overhaul of the sector.
The report showed further that a direct effect of the poor power supply can be seen in the number of Nigerians (77.5 per cent) who resorted to purchasing and using alternative sources of electricity for residential and business purposes, adding that this has created an additional strain on the financial burden of the households.
Similarly, the report stated that findings from previous NOIPolls power reports showed that Nigerians typically spend between 3,302 – 3,726 on actual electricity supply, while spending between 7,866 – 12,351 in running alternative sources of power supply within a 15-month period from (April 2014 to June 2015).
It maintained that owing to the lack of growth and capacity to meet demand of electricity consumers, the Federal Government initiated a series of reform projects and policies whose core objective was to ensure that Nigeria has an efficient electricity supply industry that could meet the needs of its citizens in the 21st century by providing all current and prospective economically justifiable demands throughout the country.
The report observed that due to lack of adequate infrastructure in the sector, as the last transmission line was built in 1987 and the youngest plant in 1990, average daily generation dwindled down to 1,750mw some months ago, leaving an estimated over 90 million without access to grid electricity.
Despite the attempted reforms of the sector, the report noted that Nigeria had been unable to generate more than 4,500mw for over 170 million people.
According to the report, the inability to meet current demand has led to a high rate of load shedding, which has inevitably resulted in low power and complete absence (in some areas of the country) of power supply experienced all around the nation.
NOIPolls introduced the Power Polls in 2013 to explore the perception of Nigerians towards the power sector reforms. The polls are conducted monthly to explore the amount of power supply received daily and expenditures made on power supply, as well as the state of power supply to households and its effect on consumers, especially in the use of alternative sources of power and it financial implications.
It also disclosed that the result presented is a 27-Month tracking of the usage of alternative sources of power supply by Nigerian households.