93 million out of Nigeria’s 170 million (54.7 percent) people lack access to electricity, according to International Energy Agency’s (IEA) Africa Energy Outlook.
Nigeria, despite being Africa’s largest economy has been unable to solve its energy problems. Like several other countries in sub-Saharan Africa, many Nigeria’s national electrification rate is poor at 45 percent, compared to South Africa’s 85 percent and Egypt’s 100 percent.
IEA however notes that fixing the energy sector in sub-Saharan Africa, a development Nigeria should be heralding, is key to the region’s socio-economic development.
“Economic and social development in sub-Saharan Africa hinges critically on fixing the energy sector,” said Fatih Birol, IEA Chief Economist. “The payoff can be huge; with each additional dollar invested in the power sector boosting the overall economy by $15.”
The report says urban electrification in Nigeria is 55 percent, while rural electrification is 35 percent.
Looking further into the future, the IEA report shows that there are actions that could boost the economy of Nigeria and sub-Saharan Africa as a whole, by a further 30 percent in 2040, and deliver an extra decade’s worth of growth in per-capita incomes. These actions are an additional $450 billion in power sector investment, reducing power outages by half and achieving universal electricity access in urban areas, deeper regional co-operation and integration, facilitating new large-scale generation and transmission projects and enabling a further expansion in cross-border trade, as well as better management of energy resources and revenues, adopting robust and transparent processes that allow for more effective use of oil and gas revenues.
As part of the transformation agenda of the administration of President Goodluck Jonathan in the power sector, privatisation of power assets has been effected to ensure improved power supply in the country.
The present last week flagged-off the first phase of the $1 billion Azura-Edo power plant, the first fully privately financed independent power plant (IPP) in the country, located in Ihovbor/Orior Odemwende communities of Edo State.
Speaking at the sod turning event, Jonathan noted that the federal government was “maintaining our policy push for increased diversification of our energy, expanding investments in large hydro power projects through public-private partnerships, and the provision of necessary support to accelerate the exploitation of our coal resources.”