Nation in Darkness – Nigeria’s Power Crisis

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Typical Generator used in Nigeria
Typical Generator used in Nigeria

For those in Nigeria, the power crisis is nothing new at all. I think for most babies, their first words might have been “UP NEPA!!!” to exclaim in joy when the power comes on – power that’ll probably last no more than 6 hrs. For as long as I can remember power has been an issue in Nigeria. President after President, Governor after Governor, one Local Goverment Chairperson after another, everyone has promised to fix the power problem, but all everyone does is chop the money and move on. Everyone and their mamas have generators, and government offices and industries spend millions on generators each year. How can the government be using generator to supply power to its citizens. What sense does that make? To think that we’ve spent over $16 billion on a power project over the past 8 years and there is nothing to show is just heart breaking. $16 billion…. I mean that went straight into someone’s pockets, or at least a group of people.

Some interesting stats (borrowed):
Nigeria currently generates less than 1000MW which is down from 3500MW in 2008. The government wants to generate 6,000MW by the end of 2009. In 12 years it wants to be able to generate 20,000MW. The country would need 100,000MW to become an industrialized economy – which it plans on doing by 2020. According to the ex-president Obasanjo six power stations that begun under the last administration have not been completed. An estimated $16bn has been spent on the power sector since 1999

Recently Yar’ Adua fired the major PHCN (used to NEPA) officials, and as much as I think that’s a good move, it definitely wont change anything if they are replaced by more rogues. I can go on and on about this power crisis in Naija, but it wont make too much of a difference until the mentality of our leaders change. I personally think the power sector in Nigeria should be privatized. Create some competition, and whoever is slacking in their power supply will lose customers which will cost them financially. But hey, what do I know? I’m not an economist. I just want my damn power, even if you have to tap from Ghana.

Anyways… here is a video by Channels TV on the power issue in Naija… kinda short but a good watch.

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