Stakeholders reveal complexities behind Nigeria’s electricity challenges
During the WorldStage Economic Summit 2023, experts shed light on the complexities behind Nigeria’s electricity challenges, highlighting the role that various levels of officialdom play in the failure of consistent electricity supply in the nation.
The panel discussion, held on November 16th, 2023 at the Event Centre of the Nigerian Exchange Limited in Lagos, provided a platform for stakeholders to delve into the multifaceted issues impacting the power sector.
Speakers at the summit, which was sponsored by Shell Nigeria, Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), Nigeria LNG Limited (NLNG), Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), and Zenith Bank Plc, and moderated by Professor Olufemi Saibu from the University of Lagos, highlighted the diverse factors contributing to the electricity crisis.
Mr. Johnson Akinnawo, representing Dr. Nnamdi Nnemeka, the MD of Nigerian Bulk Electricity Trading PLC, emphasized the scarcity of investors as a significant challenge in the power sector. He underscored the necessity for substantial investment to address issues such as gas supply for power generation, advocating for a robust framework to attract investors.
Additionally, Mr. Gabriel Idahosa, Deputy President of the Lagos Chamber of Commerce & Industry (LCCI), represented by President Dr. Michael Olawale-Cole, pointed out the complications arising from the government’s refusal to allow electricity distribution companies the right of transmission. This restriction has hindered their ability to operate profitably, contributing to the overall strain on the power sector.
Furthermore, the representative of Mr. Dele Kelvin Oye, National President of the Nigerian Association of Chambers of Commerce, Industries, Mines, and Agriculture (NACCIMA), Mr. William, emphasized the challenges faced by electricity generating companies due to inadequate infrastructure. He called for government intervention to rectify these issues and bolster the sector.
The panelists also delved into the implications of the 2023 Electricity Act and its potential impact on addressing power generation challenges. They emphasized the need for a sustainable electricity pool, emphasizing the importance of maintaining a balance in gas supply for power generation and creating an enabling environment to attract the right investments to the sector.
In his opening remark, the President/CEO of WorldStage, Mr. Segun Adeleye said the idea of a national dialogue on electricity came when his organisation thought about the immense gain that can accrue if the major stakeholders in the Nigerian Electricity Supply Industry are brought under the same roof to frankly speak on their challenges and expectations.
“You will agree with me that we cannot stop talking about electricity supply everyday, either when power supply is frequently withdrawn or when we have have to lament the high cost of alternative power that we generate at our homes and businesses,” he said.
“The issues in the Nigeria’s power sector are inexhaustible. What we hope to achieve from this dialogue include how to meet power transmission needs; A sustainable electricity pool; Enforcing Technical Standard & Regulation, Inspection, Testing and Certification; Meeting the Nation’s needs across entire spectrum of energy value chain; Maintaining balance in gas supply for power generation; Meeting the Electricity Transmission Needs; The renewable energy option; An enabling environment for power generation; Sustainable tariff for electricity supply; Sustainable power supply with PPP; Achieving Energy Sufficiency With Equitable Local Content; Consumer protection; Attracting the right investments to the electricity sector, among others.”
He said it is unacceptable Nigeria currently has the lowest access to electricity globally, with about 92 million persons out of the country’s 200 million population lacking access to power.
The WorldStage boss said without prejudice to what the discussants will agree on at the summit, the President Bola Tinubu administration should shed more light on the state of agreement with the Siemens of Germany to help increase Nigeria’s electricity generation to 25,000MW in six years.
“The $2 billion deal is already behind schedule as it was structured to take the country’s grid operational capacity from less than 5,000MW to 7,000MW by 2021; increase the capacity to 11,000MW by 2023 and achieve total operational generation and national grid capacity to 25,000MW by 2025,” he said.
“As the country is endowed with abundant renewable energy resources, the significant ones being solar energy, biomass, wind, and small and large hydro-power with potential for hydrogen fuel, geothermal and ocean energies, the exploitation and utilization of renewable energy resources should also be a priority of the government.”