The failure of the Nigerian power sector for the supply of adequate power supply to domestic households and industrial producers isn’t a thing of stories to most of the people who live here. The daily power supply is estimated at four hours, thus resulting in the highly bad state of the country’s basic infrastructure, e.g. water system, health care system, petroleum product distribution, agriculture, and education.
This has also caused a stunt within the expansion of the country’s ongoing economic development. Many families and businesses in Nigeria have to run one or more diesel-fueled generators to provide them with the facility they need to either run their businesses or household as a result of this energy crisis. This has also led many industries to travel away to a way better and more suitable environment.
In this article, i will discuss with you the major causes of energy crisis in Nigeria and the perfect solution to this energy crisis that can be used to improve the power supply in Nigeria when implemented.
ENERGY CRISIS IN NIGERIA
We should also note that the country is blessed with an estimated reserve of 185 trillion cubic feet, 2.75billion tons and 35billion barrels of natural gas, coal, and crude oil, all this stated are non-renewable energy which is adequate to meet the electric power demand of sub-Saharan Africa for decades. In addition to this, Nigeria is endowed with several renewable sources of energy such as solar, biomass, and wind.
Despite all these sources of energy which can be used for energy generation, Nigeria is ranked one of the lowest electric power consumption per capita in Africa. There are also so many factors that contribute to this energy crisis faced in Nigeria.
WHAT ARE THE MAJOR CAUSES OF ENERGY CRISIS IN NIGERIA?
Before we discuss the major causes of energy in Nigeria, let’s look at a little history
In the year 1896, electricity generation started but the first Nigerian Electricity Supply Company was established in 1929. By the year 2000, a state owned monopoly, the National Electric Power Authority (NEPA) was in charge of the generation, transmission and distribution of electric power in Nigeria.
NEPA operated as a vertical integrated utility company and had a total generation capacity of about 6,200 MW from 2 hydro and 4 thermal power plants. This led to unstable and unreliable electric power supply situation in the country with people exposed to frequent power cuts and long period of power outages thus becoming a major cause of energy crisis.
In 2012, Nigeria generated approximately 4,000-5,000 megawatts of power for a population of 150 million people as compared with South Africa which is Africa’s second-largest economy generated 40,000 megawatts of power for a population of 62 million people.
In Nigeria, private generators of estimated 14-20 gigawatts of power make up for the shortfall. Thereby making 96% of industrial energy consumption produced off-grid using private generators. Now that we know a few histories, let’s go to the major causes of energy crisis in Nigeria
MAJOR CAUSES OF ENERGY CRISIS IN NIGERIA
In Nigeria, one of the major causes of the energy crisis is the poor power supply is the use of fossil fuels otherwise known as coal, gas, oil. These are non-renewable energy sources and are being used up rapidly. Combustion of these fuels produces intolerable amounts of carbon dioxide to the environment contributing to turning the Earth’s atmosphere to a greenhouse with the harmful effect of increasing global warming.
Fossil fuels take millions of years to form and with heightened global demand they may be exhausted very soon. Here is a list of the major causes of energy crisis in Nigeria.
1. AGED EQUIPMENT
From our research, we found out that the use of aged equipment is one of cause of energy crises in Nigeria.most of the power infrastructure has been built for years. For instance 36% of plants have been used for over 20 years, 48% has been used for over 15 years and 80% are over 23 years. Thus, making them wear out and become inefficient.
2. UNPROFESSIONAL AND UNSKILLED MANPOWER
This is another cause of energy crisis because in Nigeria, we have some unskilled and unprofessional people who take up the job simply because they have connection with the person in control of the power sector. This hinders the growth of energy supply due to the fact that they can’t provide the services needed from them, you can’t expect someone who studied law to manage a power plant, what does he or she know about power?
So for us to improve our power sector, we need to employ the write people to do the job. This will definitely improve the power supply to a reasonable extent. So we need the help of experts to maintain, upgrade and expand power generation systems.
3. INADEQUATE STAFF TRAINING
This is another cause of energy crisis in nigeria, that is very similar to unskilled manpower which i mentioned above. most people who work in the nigerian power sector are not trained well enough, just like what one of my physics lecturers said to me ”THEORY AND PRACTICAL ARE TWO WORLDS APART” This simply means that, for the fact that you employed a first class graduate doesn’t mean he or she have the practical experience of what is happening in the field.
please understand that am not saying we shouldn’t employ fresh graduate but whoever is employed should be trained to keep up with the practical aspect of the work in the field.
Let me give a quick example, when I was living at Onitsha, Anambra state metropolitan city, part of our house got burnt due to a wrong connection from the so-called National Electric Power Authority (NEPA) officials.
This incident affected the transformer and for about 3 weeks we didn’t have any power supply, everybody went back to their power generating set. for me then, the NEPA officials were the only cause of the energy crisis in Nigeria.
4. ABSENCE OF RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT
The world is changing everyday, and to be on this trend we have to adapt to the new system. The nigeria power sector lacks this act of adaptation, thats why we have the lowest power supply compared to other african countries like south africa, morocco etc who have started large investment in solar power system.
with adequate research and development, we are sure to improve the standard of the power supply. it should also be noted that many business have been should down due to this energy crisis in Nigeria.
Let me give you another quick example, my parent have a block industry in Lagos and the major challenge we face is power supply, we rely on power generating set all day so we can produce enough blocks to sell, these two negative effects on the Nigeria economy.
One of the negative side effects is that the price of the block will increase, the second negative effect is that business owners who cant afford to buy a big power generator will shut down or operate remotely which will also increase the number of unemployment.
5. INADEQUATE FUNDING
Funding is crucial for any sector or organization to grow, though commitment is the key. from our findings, we were able to understand that the power sector doesn’t receive enough funding from the government. An 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 manpower.
Following the country’s constant power failure which is the most annoying thing which the citizens are facing currently together with the high rate of unemployment, we need to bear in mind that its not necessarily the NEPA issue but rather lack of funds to generate enough power for the whole citizens.
EMBEZZLEMENT OF FUNDS
It’s not news that most Nigerians take government work as an opportunity to serve their pocket rather than the public which they are meant to serve, the power is not an exception. some staff can mishandle equipment in order to embezzle the funds which will be allocated to replace the equipment, this is another reason why there is always an energy issue in Nigeria.
So the government might be doing their best to ensure that its citizens get the best but embezzlement of funds remains the major cause of the energy crisis in Nigeria. there have been many cases where the appropriate funds are not allocated to the right place.
I will give you a clear scenario of such events, in my village, there was a provision for 50 poles of power line and a transformer, but the person in charge diverted about 20 poles to a neighboring village, so in this case its not necessarily the fault of the government bu the so-called NEPA officials.
POOR PRICING OF ELECTRICITY
The electricity distribution in Nigeria is poorly priced in the sense that for some reason there isn’t a standard value or price for the power supplied to each household or company or shops. for this reason, there have been lots of fluctuation and misunderstanding between the National Electric Power Authority (NEPA) and their customers.
Despite the new strategy to counter this by using a prepaid meter, but to be frank with you this strategy isn’t working to some extent because many people have found a way to manipulate the system such that the meter only reads the bulbs and other small power-consuming devices. this is another major cause of the energy crisis in Nigeria because, for the system to function properly, they need funds which as citizens are cutting off through these manipulations.
MANIPULATION OF ELECTRICITY BILLS BY NIGERIANS
It’s obvious that nobody wants to admit their bad sides but as a Nigerian and a good citizen of their our dear country, I will say that we are another cause of the energy crisis in Nigeria. from the government down to the National Electric Power Authority (NEPA) to the citizens we are all caught up here.
The use of prepaid meters was meant to address the issue of poor pricing and billing of electricity charges but Nigerians have one way or the other developed a strategy to manipulate the meter by illegal connection, some people will go as far as connecting the system to read just a small part of the power which they consume.
For us to have a constant power supply from the grid, we must play our roles responsibly, this energy crisis in Nigeria has forced many homeowners to install solar energy in their homes, though its the best choice but many Nigerians won’t endure the initial cost. I have many articles regarding the importance of solar energy in Nigeria and the world at large.
Now that we know a few major causes of energy crisis in Nigeria, let’s look at ways this problem can be solved
WHAT IS THE SOLUTION TO ENERGY CRISIS IN NIGERIA?
While the need for improved performance of the power sector in Nigeria keeps rising, the need to provide a lasting solution to the energy crisis in Nigeria becomes the priority of good Nigerians who have the country’s interest at heart.
The solution to this energy crisis is renewable energy resources, it’s not just the perfect solution to Nigeria’s energy crisis but also the best form of energy generation both for Nigeria and the world at large. if you don’t know much about renewable energy, let me give you a brief definition of renewable energy.
Renewable energy is the energy that is collected from renewable resources, which are naturally replenished on a human timescale, such as sunlight, wind, rain, tides, waves, and geothermal heat. Most times renewable energy is referred to as clean energy, and the goal here is to generate energy and provide a clean environment.
HOW WILL RENEWABLE ENERGY SOLVE ENERGY CRISIS IN NIGERIA?
Long-term investments in renewable energies like solar and wind have the potential to contribute significantly to the electricity deficiency. The Federal Ministries of Environment and power and the Energy Commission of Nigeria should apply their blueprints of renewable energy technologies, in at least direct capturing of the excess solar energy, abundant in Nigeria.
Going solar in Nigeria has become very easy ever since we standard our campaign for a clean energy future in Nigeria, and it’s going quite well, thanks to the co-operating solar energy companies in Nigeria who are installing solar power systems at the least affordable prices.
Addressing the energy crisis in Nigeria wasn’t very easy because of fake data and statements from many Nigerians who are already frustrated with the inefficiency in the power supply. So we went on research to dig deep into the real causes of these problems and here we are with the relevant information.
Renewable energy is the best solution for the energy crisis in Nigeria but due to the country’s lack of infrastructural development regarding the energy sector. Going solar remains the best choice for home ownwers.
Many Nigerians don’t actually know much about solar energy and the ones who know the benefits tend to run away due to the initial cost of installing a solar power system. Because of this naihcotech has joined hands with innovative solar company, tonyeksolar and ageless technology to ensure that you get the best solar service at the best rate.