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Nigeria’s unfolding power reform programme

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Nigeria’s unfolding power reform programme

Commitment to the Power Roadmap

Nigeria’s power generation has improved considerably as a result of the implementation of what has been described as a robust Power Roadmap, which outlines the government’s plan to accelerate the pace of reform in the sector. From around 2000MW between 2009 and 1010, power supply reached 4502MW in December 2012, and the capacity has maintained a steady increase.

By July 2013, 6,000MW of power generation was achieved. Although some of these increased power generation gains have been eroded by the incessant activities of vandals and oil thieves who have deprived generating plants of gas, the successful removal of obstacles to private sector investments and bidding for the unbundled PHCN companies have been successfully attained. 

The government says the key targets it has for the power sector include increasing available generation capacity to 16,000MW by 2015; the expansion and strengthening of the transmission network to distribute 16,000MW of power by 2015; to increase electricity access to 50% of the population by 2015 and 75% by 2020 (from the current 40%); and improvements to the electricity generation mix for power security. It also intends to achieve 11,800MW from the existing and new gas-fired plants which are at various stages of completion. 

The government says it also intends to increase the average load factor in the power sector from 31% to 50% in 2015; to develop policies that will encourage the local manufacture of material inputs for the sector; to achieve billing and revenue collection efficiencies of 95% and 80% respectively for power consumed, by 2015; to finalise arrangements for the development of coal-fired power plants; and to enhance energy security by commencing the development of large hydro-electric power plants such as Mambilla and Zungeru hydro dams. 

The government insists it is also committed to achieving a 10% contribution by renewable energy to the nation’s power generation mix by 2025. Plans are advanced for a 20MW contribution from wind energy by 2015. Also envisaged is the first phase of a project to generate electricity using Nigeria’s vast coal reserves, which has already been initiated by an indigenous company.

It is anticipated that, at least 30% of Nigeria’s energy requirement will be provided by coal once the project is initiated. The government also insists on the use of clean coal technology that meets global standards. One of the sector’s active donor agencies, the Japanese International Co-operation Agency (JICA), has concluded plans to fund a solar powered plant that will generate electricity for water treatment. This is just one of several rural electrification projects that they have embarked on in Nigeria.

Some estimates suggest that over 2,000 communities in Nigeria are without electricity. Under an initiative titled “Operation Light-up Rural Nigeria”, President Jonathan commissioned solar powered electricity in January in two locations. Durummi and Shape are both located near the country’s capital but are not connected to the national grid.

Under the rural electrification programme, being led by the Rural Electrification Agency, rural communities are to be powered by solar energy. A 10MW wind energy generation farm has also been constructed in the northern state of Katsina, though wind energy has not come on stream yet. 

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