Nigeria is blessed with a vast abundance of natural resources, the largest of which are natural gas and coal. Proven natural gas reserves are up to 5 trillion cubic meters, ranked 10th in the World, a few buckets behind Venezuela. Despite this, electrical power generation in the country for those have ever experienced it, is best described as epileptic. Power cuts lasting for weeks are not uncommon and in some regions, have been taken to be the norm. The unfortunate consequence of this shortfall is the suffocating effect that this has on the socio-economic development of the nation (1).
Below are key markers of Power Generation for a few countries in comparison with Nigeria:
- In August 2012, electrical power generated in Nigeria peaked at a record high of 4,237 MW (2), which is only 35% or the predicted power demand of ~12,000 MW by 2013 (5);
- In 2012, plans to introduce nuclear power into Nigeria were being facilitated in collaboration with Russia (7);
- Also later in 2012, the bidding process for the privatisation of the Nigerian Power Sector (6) was started;
The prevalent message by the power generation company to this country’s citizens is an inability to deliver for whatever reason a basic necessity in the 21st century. More populated countries with far less resources are providing reliable power to their citizens. Smaller countries have co-ordinated their effects to meet this need so much so that Ghana, which is currently been supplied by gas from Nigeria, plans to export power back to Nigeria by 2015 (8).
So, where do we start because this just shouldn’t be? Which way forward?