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Adequate power supply is an unavoidable prerequisite to any nation's development, and electricity generation, transmission and distribution are capital-intensive activities requiring huge resources of both funds and capacity. In the prevailing circumstances in Nigeria where funds availability is progressively dwindling, creative and innovative solutions are necessary top address the power supply problem. Nigeria has an estimated 176 trillion cubic feet of proven natural gas reserves, giving the country one of the top ten natural gas endowments in the world and the largest endowment in Africa. Natural gas is a natural occurring gaseous mixture of hydrocarbons gases found in underground reservoirs. It consists mainly of methane (70% -95%). With small percentage of ethane, propane, butane, pentane and other heavier hydrocarbons with some impurities such as water vapour, sulphides, carbon dioxides, etc.
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Electricity Generation and the Present Challenges in the Nigerian
Power Sector
A. S. Sambo, B. Garba, I. H. Zarma and M. M. Gaji
Energy Commission of Nigeria, Abuja-Nigeria
Email: assambo@yahoo.com ; bgarba2002@yahoo.com; ismailzarma@yahoo.com;
engrmmgaji@yahoo.co.uk
Abstract
Adequate power supply is an unavoidable prerequisite to any nation’s development, and
electricity generation, transmission and distribution are capital-intensive activities requiring huge
resources of both funds and capacity. In the prevailing circumstances in Nigeria where funds
availability is progressively dwindling, creative and innovative solutions are necessary top
address the power supply problem.
Nigeria has an estimated 176 trillion cubic feet of proven natural gas reserves, giving the country
one of the top ten natural gas endowments in the world and the largest endowment in Africa.
Natural gas is a natural occurring gaseous mixture of hydrocarbons gases found in underground
reservoirs. It consists mainly of methane (70% - 95%). With small percentage of ethane,
propane, butane, pentane and other heavier hydrocarbons with some impurities such as water
vapour, sulphides, carbon dioxides, etc.
1.0 INTRODUCTION
Nigeria is a vast country with a total of 356, 667 sq miles (923,768 sq km), of which 351,649 sq
miles (910,771 sq km or 98.6% of total area) is land. The nation is made up of six Geo-Political
Zones subdivided into 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT). Furthermore, the
vegetation cover, physical features and land terrain in the nation vary from flat open savannah in
the North to thick rain forests in the south, with numerous rivers, lakes and mountains scattered
all over the country. These national physical and political attributes themselves present
challenges for the effective provision of power needs to all nooks and crannies of the country.
To provide adequate power to ensure that Nigeria is among the industrialized nations, three
critical activities must be effectively achieved.
Adequate power must be generated;
The power must effectively be transmitted to all parts of the country; and
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Finally be efficiently distributed to the consumers.
Since development and population growth in any country are highly dynamic, these three
activities must also be carefully addressed in a dynamic, creative and logical manner.
Adequate power supply is an unavoidable prerequisite to any nation’s development, and
electricity generation, transmission and distribution are capital-intensive activities requiring huge
resources of both funds and capacity. In the prevailing circumstances in Nigeria where funds
availability is progressively dwindling, creative and innovative solutions are necessary top
address the power supply problem.
The administration of President Umaru Musa Yar’adua has already unveiled a mission, setting an
agenda of industrializing Nigeria by 2020, which is in the next 10 years. This conference is
therefore one of the highest and administrative governing structures that must consider and
proffer practicable solutions to the power supply problems in order to achieve this priority goal
of the Nigerian Government.
This paper therefore presents a brief history of the attempts and efforts to supply power to the
nation. It also briefly reviews the current status of energy resources, energy demand and supply,
power generation, transmission and distribution, power sector national policy, summary of the
major challenges and the way forward.
2.0 OVERVIEW
To discuss the power sector in Nigeria in a realistic and practical context, some brief review is
necessary to give an insight into the sector since independence.
Electricity supply in Nigeria dates back to 1886 when two (2) small generating sets were
installed to serve the then Colony of Lagos. By an Act of Parliament in 1951, the Electricity
Corporation of Nigeria (ECN) was established, and in 1962, the Niger Dams Authority (NDA)
was also established for the development of Hydro Electric Power. However, a merger of the two
(2) was made in 1972 to form the National Electric power Authority (NEPA), which as a result
of unbundling and the power reform process, was renamed Power holding Company of Nigeria
(PHCN) in 2005.
The Nigerian power sector is controlled by state-owned Power Holding Company of Nigeria
(PHCN), formerly known as the National Electric Power Authority (NEPA). In March 2005,
President Olusegun Obasanjo signed the Power Sector Reform Bill into law, enabling private
companies to participate in electricity generation, transmission, and distribution. The government
has separated PHCN into eleven distribution firms, six generating companies, and a transmission
company, all of which will be privatized. Several problems, including union opposition, have
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delayed the privatization, which was later rescheduled for 2006. In February 2005, the World
Bank agreed to provide PHCN with $100 million to assist in its privatization efforts.
The Nigerian government has made an effort to increase foreign participation in the electric
power sector by commissioning independent power projects (IPPs) to generate electricity and
sell it to PHCN. In April 2005, Agips 450-MW plant came online in Kwale in Delta State. The
NNPC and Joint Venture (JV) partners, ConocoPhillips and Agip, provided the $480 million to
construct the plant. IPPs currently under construction include the 276-MW Siemens station in
Afam, Exxon Mobils 388-MW plant in Bonny, ABBs 450-MW plant in Abuja, and Eskoms 388-
MW plant in Enugu. Several state governments have also commissioned Oil majors to increase
generation including Rivers State, which contracted Shell to expand the 700-MW Afam station.
The Nigerian government also approved the construction of four thermal power plants (Geregu,
Alaoji, Papalanto, and Omotosho), with a combined capacity of 1,234 MW to meet its generating
goal of 6,500 MW in 2006. In addition fourteen hydroelectric and Natural Gas plants were
planned for kick-up but yet to commence since then. Chinas EXIM Bank Su Zhong and Sino
Hydro have committed to funding the Mambilla (3,900-MW) and Zungeru (950-MW)
hydroelectric projects. In addition, Sino Hydro proposed that it should construct the two power
projects. Also, NNPC, in a JV with Chevron are to construct a 780-MW gas-fired thermal plant
in Ijede, Lagos State. The project is expected to be constructed in three phases, with the first two
phases expected to have capacity of 256 MW each. The plant is expected to be operational in
2007 but yet to commence construction.
While Nigerians development of the Oil sector has been good for the country’s economy, oil
sector development has had an adverse impact on the country’s environment. Oil extraction in
the Niger Delta region has caused severe environmental degradation, owing to the legacy of oil
spills, lax environmental regulations, and government complicity during military regimes that
once governed the country. Although the situation is improving with more stringent
environmental regulations for the oil industry, marine pollution is still a serious problem. Air
pollution from Natural Gas flaring, exhaust emissions from the explosion in car ownership, and
electricity generators continue to leave Lagos which is the most industrialized and most
populated city shrouded in smog. The use of solid biomass, such as fuel wood, is prevalent and
constitutes a major energy source for rural Nigerians. The production and consumption of
commercial renewable energy in Nigeria remains quite limited. With Nigerians population
continuing to increase, the pressure on the country’s environment appears likely to increase as
well, even with the added focus on cleaning up the Niger Delta and tightening environmental
laws and regulations.
3.0 ENERGY RESOURCES IN NIGERIA
Nigeria is Africa's energy giant. It is the continent's most prolific oil- producing country, which,
together with Libya, accounts for two- thirds of Africa's crude oil reserves. It ranks second to
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Algeria in natural gas. Most of Africa's bitumen and lignite reserves are found in Nigeria. In its
mix of conventional energy reserves, Nigeria is simply unmatched by any other country on the
African continent. It is not surprising; therefore, that energy export is the mainstay of the
Nigerian economy. Also, primary energy resources dominate the nation's industrial raw materials
endowment.
Electricity energy production in Nigeria over the last 40 years varied from gas –fired, oil – fired,
hydroelectric power stations to coal-fired with hydroelectric power system and gas – fired
system taking precedence.
This is predicated by the fact that the primary fuel sources (coal, oil, water, gas) for these power
stations are readily available. Nigeria’s coal reserves are large and estimated at 2 billion metric
tonnes of which 650 million tonnes are proven reserves. About 95% of Nigeria’s coal production
has been consumed locally; mainly for railway transportation, electricity production and
industrial heating in cement production.
Nigeria has an estimated 176 trillion cubic feet of proven natural gas reserves, giving the country
one of the top ten natural gas endowments in the world and the largest endowment in Africa.
Natural gas is a natural occurring gaseous mixture of hydrocarbons gases found in underground
reservoirs. It consists mainly of methane (70% - 95%). With small percentage of ethane,
propane, butane, pentane and other heavier hydrocarbons with some impurities such as water
vapour, sulphides, carbon dioxides, etc. [10]. Apart from the export potential of the Nigerian gas,
local demand opportunities are power generation, cement industry, iron and steel plants. The
largest single consumer of natural gas in Nigeria is PHCN and it accounts for about 70% used to
operate electricity generating gas plants at Afam, Ughelli, Sapele and Egbin.
4.0 ENERGY DEMAND AND SUPPLY SCENARIO
Electricity plays a very important role in the socio-economic and technological development of
every nation. The electricity demand in Nigeria far outstrips the supply and the supply is
epileptic in nature. The country is faced with acute electricity problems, which is hindering its
development notwithstanding the availability of vast natural resources in the country. It is widely
accepted that there is a strong correlation between socio-economic development and the
availability of electricity.
The Energy Commission of Nigeria (ECN) was established by Act No. 62 of 1979, as amended
by Act No. 32 of 1988 and Act No. 19 of 1989, with the statutory mandate for the strategic
planning and co-ordination of national policies in the field of energy in all its ramifications. By
this mandate, the Commission which is the apex government organ empowered to carry out
overall energy sector planning and policy co-ordination. As part of its contribution to the
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resolution of the problems of the electricity sector along the line of its mandate, the ECN has
been collaborating with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) under an IAEA
regional project titled “Sustainable Energy Development for Sub-Saharan Africa (RAF/0/016)”.
The project entails capacity building for energy planning and the determination of the actual
energy demand and the strategies for supply for each participating country over a 30-year time
horizon. The implementation of the project requires the establishment of a Working Team (WT)
and a Country Study Team (CST) both of which include the major public and private
stakeholders in the energy sector of the country. The working team consists of technical experts
that directly implement the project and reports to the CST, which serves as the steering
committee for the project on a regular basis. Members of the WT were trained on the use of the
IAEA models and have computed the Nigeria energy demand and supply projections covering
the 2005-2030. The project involves the use of the following IAEA Energy Modelling tools:
• Model for the Analysis of Energy Demand (MAED)
• Model for the Energy Supply Strategy Alternatives and their General Environmental Impact
(MESSAGE).
Energy Demand Projection
The energy demand projections were computed using MAED with the key drivers of energy
demand, namely demography, socio-economy and technology. The application of MAED
requires detailed information on demography, economy, energy intensities and energy
efficiencies. This information is first assembled for a base year which is used as the reference
year for perceiving the evolution of the energy system in the future. Selection of the base year is
made on the basis of availability of data, assessment that the data are representative of the
economic and energy situation of the country.
MAED allows the breakdown of the country’s final energy consumption into various sectors and
within a sector into individual categories of end-uses in a consistent manner. The breakdown
helps in the identification of the social, economic and technical factors influencing each category
of final energy demand. In modelling the Nigeria’s energy case, four economic scenarios were
developed and used as follows:
¾ Reference Scenario - 7% GDP Growth;
¾ High Growth Scenario - 10% GDP Growth;
¾ Optimistic Scenario I – 11.5% GDP Growth; and
¾ Optimistic Scenario II – 13% GDP Growth (based on Presidential Pronouncement for
the desire to be among the first 20 economies by 2020).
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Economic growth and structure of the economy are the major driving parameters in the four
scenarios. Projected electricity demand has been translated into demand for grid electricity and
peak demand on the bases of assumptions made for T&D losses, auxiliary consumption, load
factor and declining non-grid generation. Table 1 shows the electricity demand projections for
the scenarios. It must be emphasized that the demand indicated for 2005 represents suppressed
demand, due to inadequate generation, transmission, distribution and retail facilities. Suppressed
demand is expected to be non-existent by 2010.
For the 13% GDP growth rate, the demand projections rose from 5,746MW in the base year of
2005 to 297,900MW in the year 2030 which translates to construction of 11,686MW every year
to meet the demand. The corresponding cumulative investment (investment & operations) cost
for the 25-year period is US$ 484.62 billion, which means investing US$ 80.77 billion every five
years within the period. In conducting the studies, all the available energy resources in the coun-
try were considered in order to broaden the nation’s energy supply mix and enhance its energy
security.
Table 1: Electricity Demand Projections per Scenario, MW
Scenario 2005 2010 2015 2020 2025 2030
Reference (7%) 5,746 15,730 28,360 50,820 77,450 119,200
High Growth (10%) 5,746 15,920 30,210 58,180 107,220 192,000
Optimistic I (11.5%) 5,746 16,000 31,240 70,760 137,370 250,000
Optimistic II (13%) 5,746 33,250 64,200 107,600 172,900 297,900
Presidential
Pronouncement
Energy Supply Projection
The total energy supply were computed using MESSAGE and utilizes the projected energy
demand as an input to produce a supply strategy. MESSAGE is an energy supply model,
representing energy conversion and utilization processes of the energy system (or its part) and
their environmental impacts for an exogenously given demand of final energy. It is used for
development of medium-term strategies, the planning horizon being in the order of 30 years. The
time scope is limited due to uncertainties associated with future technological development. The
energy system dynamics are modelled by a multi -period approach. It is an optimization model
which from the set of existing and possible new technologies selects the optimal in terms of
selected criterion mix of technologies able to cover a country’s demand for various energy forms
during the whole study period.
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MESSAGE takes into account demand variations of various final energy forms during the day,
week and year, as well as different technological and political constrains of energy supply. It is
an energy and environmental impact model, enabling the user to carry out integrated analysis of
the energy sector development and its environmental impacts. The application of the MESSAGE
model results in a least-cost inter-temporal mix of primary energy, energy conversion and
emission control technologies for each scenario. For the computation of Nigeria’s Energy Supply
the same scenario that was used in MAED are used. The result for the electricity supply
projections is shown in table 2.
Table 2:
Scenario 2005 2010 2015 2020 2025 2030
Reference (7%) 6440 15668 28356 50817 77450 136879
High Growth (10%) 6440 15861 30531 54275 107217 192079
Optimistic I (11.5%) 6440 15998 31235 71964 177371 276229
5.0 KEY SECTOR INDICATOR
Nigeria currently has 14 generating plant, which supply electric energy to the National Grid. Of
the 14 generating plants, 3 are hydro and 11 are thermal (gas/steam). The national grid is made
up of 4,889.2km of 330kV line, 6,319.33km of 132kV line, 6,098MVA transformer capacity at
330/132kV and 8,090MVA transformer capacity at 132/33kV.
Due to the importance of the sector, President Umaru Musa Yar’Adua, immediately after he was
sworn in on may 29th 2007, recognized the urgency of the emergency on the Sector by
specifically addressing the problems of the Sector in an urgent and immediate basis and
eliminating the usual bureaucratic time wasting procedures of treating issues of the sector, while
ensuring that Due Process is not compromised.
Accordingly, a program of action is currently being formulated to address the problems of the
Sector in the Short term, Medium term and Long term. In the next nine months in the Short
Term (2005), it may be realistic to concentrate mainly on the effective and efficient utilization of
the existing generation and transmission infrastructures as well as completing the NIPP. The
following should be achieved:
Maintaining and sustaining a minimum generation of the available capacity of 5,800MW;
Reduce Transmission and Distribution power outages by at least 75%;
Reduce Transmission and Distribution technical losses;
Increase revenue collection in PHCN by 50%;
Improve on Customer Service Delivery in the Distribution and Marketing section of
PHCN; and
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Improve on Health, Safety and Environmental measures in generation, transmission and
distribution of electricity.
To achieve these, the issues that must be addressed in generation, transmission, distribution and
marketing are as follows;
Generation
The Total Installed Capacity of the currently generating plants is 7,876 MW (Table 3), but the
Installed available Capacity is less than 4,000MW as at December 2009. Seven of the fourteen
generation stations are over 20 years old and the average daily power generation is below
2,700MW, which is far below the peak load forecast of 8,900MW for the currently existing
infrastructure. As a result, the nation experiences massive load shedding.
Through the planned generation capacity projects for a brighter future (Table 4); the current
status of power generation in Nigeria presents the following challenges:
i. Inadequate generation availability;
ii. Inadequate and delayed maintenance of facilities;
iii. Insufficient funding of power stations;
iv. Obsolete equipment, tools, safety facilities and operational vehicles
v. Inadequate and obsolete communication equipment
vi. Lack of exploration to tap all sources of energy form the available resources; and
vii. Low staff morale.
TABLE 3: EXISTING POWER GENERATION CAPACITY IN NIGERIA
S/N PLANT PLANT
TYPE
LOCATION
STATE
AGE
(YEARS)
INSTALLED
UNITS
INSTALLED
CAPACITY
(MW)
UNITS
AVAILABLE
1 Egbin Thermal Lagos 22 6 1320 4
2 Egbin AES Thermal Lagos 6 9 270 9
3 Sapele Thermal Delta 25-29 10 1020 1
9
4 Okapi Thermal Cross River 2 3 480 2
5 Afam Thermal Rivers 25 20 702 3
6 Delta Thermal Delta 17 18 840 12
7 Omoku Thermal Rivers 2 6 150 4
8 Ajaokuta Thermal Kogi Na 2 110 2
9 Geregu Thermal Kogi 1 3 414 3
10 Omotosho Thermal Ondo New 8 335 2
11
Olorunsogo/
Papalanto
Thermal
Ogun
New
8
335
2
SUB-TOTAL (THERMAL) 93 5976 44
12 Kainji Hydro Niger 38-40 8 760 6
13 Jebba Thermal Niger 24 6 540 6
14 Shiroro Thermal Niger 22 4 600 2
SUB-TOTAL (HYDRO) 18 1900 14
GRAND TOTAL 111 7876 58
SUMMARY
%
Thermal
84 76 76
%
Hydro
16 24 24
TABLE 4: PLANNED TOTAL PRESENT AND FUTURE ELECTRICITY
GENERATION INFRASTRUCTURE IN NIGERIA
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S/N POWER STATION TYPE STATE CAPACITY
(MW)
STATUS
1 Egbin Thermal Lagos 1320.00 Existing
2 Afam Thermal Rivers 969.60 Existing
3 Sapele Thermal Delta 1020.00 Existing
4 Ijora Thermal Lagos 40.00 Existing
5 Kainji Hydro Niger 760.00 Existing
6 Jebba Hydro Niger 578.40 Existing
7 Shiroro Hydro Niger 600.00 Existing
8 Delta Thermal Delta 912.00 Existing
9 Orji Coal Rivers 20.00 Existing
10 Geregu Thermal Kogi 414.00 Ongoing
11 Omotosho Thermal Ondo 335.00 Ongoing
12 Papalanto Thermal Ogun 335.00 Ongoing
13 Alaoji Thermal Abia 504.00 Ongoing
14 Omoku Thermal Rivers 230.00 New IPP
15 Rain/Ube Thermal Bayelsa 225.00 New IPP
16 Sapele Thermal Delta 451.00 New IPP
17 Eyaen Thermal Edo 451.00 New IPP
18 Egbema Thermal Imo 338.00 New IPP
19 Caliber Thermal Cross River 561.00 New IPP
20 Mambilla Hydro Taraba 2600.00 New
21 Zungeru Hydro Niger 950.00 New
22 AES Thermal Lagos 300.00 Commissioned
IPP
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23 AGIP Okpai Thermal Delta 480.00 Commissioned
IPP
24 Omoku Thermal Rivers 150.00 Approved IPP
25 Obajana Thermal Kogi 350.00 Approved IPP
26 Ibom Power Thermal Akwa Ibom 188.00 Approved IPP
27 Ethiope Energy Ltd 2800.00 Approved
Licenses IPP
28 Farm Electric Supply
Ltd
150.00 Approved
Licenses IPP
29 ICS Power 624.00 Approved
Licenses IPP
30 Supertek Ltd 1000.00 Approved
Licenses IPP
31 Mabon Ltd 39.00 Approved
Licenses IPP
32 Geometric Ltd 140.00 Approved
Licenses IPP
33 Aba Power Ltd 0.00 Licensed
Distributor
34 Westcom Tech &
Energy Service Ltd
1000.00 License
Granted IPP
35 Lotus & Bresson Nig
Ltd
60.00 License
Granted IPP
36 Anita Energy Ltd 136.00 License
Granted IPP
37 First Independent
Power Co Ltd
95.00 License
Granted IPP
38 First Independent
Power Co Ltd
150.00 License
Granted IPP
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39 Hudson Power Station
Ltd
200.00 License
Granted IPP
40 Ibafo Power Station
Ltd
640.00 License
Granted IPP
41 Shell Distribution Coy
Ltd
100.00 License
Granted IPP
42 Agbara Shoeline
Power Co Ltd
1800.00 License
Granted IPP
43 Index thermal power
Ltd
1800.00 License
Granted IPP
TOTAL 24,106.00
Transmission
The transmission system in Nigeria system does not cover every part of the country. It currently
has the capacity to transmit a maximum of about 4,000 MW and it is technically weak thus very
sensitive to major disturbances. In summary, the major problems identified are:
i. It is funded solely by the Federal government whose resource allocation cannot
adequately meet all the requirements;
ii. It is yet to cover many parts of the country
iii. It’s current maximum electricity wheeling capacity is 4,000 MW which is awfully below
the required national needs;
iv. Some sections of the grid are outdated with inadequate redundancies as opposed to the
required mesh arrangement;
v. The Federal government lack the required fund to regular expand, update, modernize and
maintain the network;
vi. There is regular vandalization of the lines, associated with low level of surveillance and
security on all electrical infrastructure;
vii. The technologies used generally deliver very poor voltage stability and profiles;
viii. There is a high prevalence of inadequate working tools and vehicles for operating and
maintaining the network;
ix. There is a serious lack of required modern technologies for communication and
monitoring;
x. The transformers deployed are overloaded in most service areas;
xi. In adequate of spare-parts for urgent maintenance; and
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xii. Poor technical staff recruitment, capacity building and training programme.
Distribution & Marketing
In most locations in Nigeria, the distribution network is poor, the voltage profile is poor and the
billing is inaccurate. As the department, which inter-faces with the public, the need to ensure
adequate network coverage and provision of quality power supply in addition to efficient
marketing and customer service delivery cannot be over emphasize. In summary some of the
major problems identified are:
i. Weak and Inadequate Network Coverage;
ii. Overloaded Transformers and bad Feeder Pillars;
iii. Substandard distribution lines;
iv. Poor Billing System;
v. Unwholesome practices by staff and very poor Customer relations;
vi. Inadequate logistic facilities such as tools and working vehicles;
vii. Poor and obsolete communication equipment;
viii. Low staff morale and lack of regular training; and
ix. Insufficient funds for maintenance activities.
5.0 POWER SECTOR NATIONAL POLICY
A liaison office in the Corporate Headquarters of the PHCN which coordinates activities of the
unbundled companies pending their full privatization was also set up, with a plan that by
December 2006, all these 19 companies would take off and PHCN would be phased out.
Presently, a Chief Executive Officer can operate independent of any other unbundled company
heads each unbundled company. They all, including the Coordinator in the liaison office,
receive funds for their day-to-day operations from the market operator who disburses the funds
according to certain laid down criteria. Each company is also empowered, through with
limitations to operate as a commercial company. It is currently planned that each of the successor
companies shall operate as a fully commercialized company. The PHCN structure shall also be
retained to oversee the activities of the Managing Director/CEOs of the successor companies.
This structure should operate for a limited period of 5 years, which should be adequate time to
enable the companies to be privatized.
In addition, to restructuring NEPA Government through the NIPP and PHCN also made attempts
to develop the infrastructure in generation, transmission and distribution on fast track basis. The
aim was to improve power supply to consumers. In order to achieve that, the Federal
government in collaboration with state Government embarked on the implementation of new
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generation, new gas pipelines, a new transmission and new distribution networks in 2005, using
the excess crude account. The projects were estimated to cost N1.23 Trillion out of which about
N361 billion was released.
7.0 MAJOR CHALLENGES
From the above brief presentation, the following are some of the most critical challenges of the
power sector responsible for the generation short falls, transmission bottlenecks, and distribution
problems in Nigeria:
i. Poor utilization of existing assets and deferred maintenance;
ii. Delays in the implementation of new projects;
iii. Lack of sustained, sound and practicable relationship between the Federal Government
and other stakeholders particularly the JV international oil companies and the
Independent Power Producers (IPP);
iv. Inadequate power evacuation at newly completed and fictionalized power plants;
v. Erratic supply of gas domestic resources for power generation;
vi. The National Grid is yet to cover many parts of the country;
vii. Vulnerable and overloaded existing transmission system;
viii. Poor voltage profile to the tail-end consumer;
ix. Current maximum electricity wheeling capacity is 4,000 MW which is awfully below the
required national needs;
x. Some sections of the National Grid are outdated with equipments in a state of poor and
inadequate maintenance;
xi. The Federal Government being the only provider of funds to expand to the National Grid
did not commit the required funds to regularly expand, update, modernize and maintain
the sector;
xii. Regular vandalization of the gas lines, and cable lines, associated with low level of the
surveillance and security on all electrical infrastructure;
xiii. High prevalence of inadequate working tools, vehicles and spare-parts for operating and
maintaining the power system;
xiv. There is a serious lack of required modern technologies or communication and
monitoring of the generation, transmission and distribution infrastructure;
xv. Low customer satisfaction (load shedding, poor voltage profile, inaccurate billing,
difficulties in paying bills, no-notice disconnections, etc);
xvi. Poor technical staff recruitment, capacity building and training programme; and
xvii. Inappropriate tariff that would enable the utility to get adequate funds to maintain and
expand the infrastructure.
8.0 WAY FORWARD
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To address the challenges listed above, a drastic and innovative strategy is required, most
especially as energy generation, transmission and distribution in Nigeria for appropriate
development is a priority issue of government.
Planning and Operations
A comprehensive review of the operation and management of Power Sector targeted at
efficiency and effectiveness is required. In that respect, the following should be undertaken:
i. A detailed national load demand study should be carried out with a view to providing
reliable information on the current practical and detailed power requirements and a
futuristic forecast for the next 25 years. (The World Bank is currently supporting some
work on this);
ii. A detailed and practicable Power generation, transmission and distribution master plan
for Nigeria for today and the next 25 years should be produced;
iii. A detailed cost implication on a phased development and operating the power supply
system on state-by-state basis is required;
iv. Strategic roles of the States and Local Governments in the implication of the National
Masterplan must be explicitly stated;
v. A cost sharing formula for all tiers of Government to fully participate in the development
of national power supply must evolve;
vi. The institutional arrangement on how the Power Sector will function with the Federal
Government as the central implementation organ, working in tandem with the States and
Local Governments should evolve; and
vii. The clear roles of the States in the energy sector, specifically required to serve as the state
monitoring facility on resource contributions, utilization and system efficiency should be
strategize.
Funding
To demonstrate the urgency and resource requirements on power supply which give the
additional power and resources required in countries that could be defined as less fortunate with
resources compared with Nigeria. While the Per Capita power generation ranges from 3kW to
6.6kW in those countries, the corresponding figure for Nigeria is 0.05. This is literally shameful
and unacceptable
It can be estimated that the average cost for adding a Mega Watt of electricity is US$1.5million.
This demonstrates the resources required in power supply to develop and particularly
industrialized any country on a sustainable manner, are large. Based on this index, it therefore
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can be estimated that from the staggering current generation capacity of about 3,000MW in the
country, Nigeria would have to invest a whopping US$150 billion (N18 trillion) to generate
additional 100,000MW, to attain the required for full industrialization of our economy by 2020
which was computed by the Energy Commission of Nigeria using a growth rate of 13%. The
financial requirement is phenomenal.
The combined determination of Mr. President to declare a state of Emergency on power supply
in the country, and the administration’s firm commitments of industrializing Nigeria by 2020
must be taken very seriously. However, it is worth nothing closely that the Federal Government
has, since independence, remained the major financier of power supply in Nigeria. This might
have followed a political history of the country since independence, where the Military
Governments that dominated the administration, institutionalized the concept of establishing and
developing the power sector as the sole responsibility of the Federal Government. Furthermore,
under the military traditions, the Military Head of State ((Federal government) had always
directly appointed the State Governors and had dictated resource allocations to the States from
the Federation Accounts and literally also tele-guided the implementation of most capital
projects executed in the States. This scenario under a democratic system of Government as
currently practiced in Nigeria is not feasible. A deliberate and proactive strategy is required to
ensure that all tiers of Government fully participate in this National Priority sector.
It is therefore opined that, in view of the vision for power to be provided on a sustained stable
basis to the entire nation, all tiers of Government, similar to the strategy deployed on the
provision of roads/highways network that we currently operate in the country.
The concept being proposed is that, in view of the large investment required for the development
of the Generation, Transmission and Distribution networks, States and Local Government should
contribute a certain percentage of the total cost similar to the concept on road-network where all
tiers of Government participate in development, maintenance and repairs.
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11. Matching Electricity Supply with Demand in Nigeria By A. S. Sambo
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Restructuring the Electric Power Utility industry in Nigeria
  • A O Cole
Cole, A.O."Restructuring the Electric Power Utility industry in Nigeria", Proc. 20th National Conference of the Nigerian Society of Engineers (Electrical Division), October6-7, 2004, pp.1-6.
Energy Commission of Nigeria
Energy Commission of Nigeria, "Energy Resources Review", vol. 4, No. 3, 2003, pp.7-10.
Thermal Power Stations in Nigeria
NEPA, " Thermal Power Stations in Nigeria ", NEPA Headquarters, Marina, Lagos, 1995, pp.38- 40. (R14)