To be in the league of industrialised nations, Nigeria needs to generate 206,000 megawatts of electricity.
The country currently generates a meagre 5,615 megawatts.
The Editor-in-Chief of the African Centre for Development Journalism, Rotimi Sankore, presented the figures at a recent roundtable on data-based sub-national reporting organised by the Nigerian Guild of Editors.
For sustainable development, the standard is that a country needs 1,000 megawatts of electricity per one million citizens. Nigeria’s current capacity is a far cry from this standard.
According to Sankore, Qatar with a population of 2.9 million produces 10,000 megawatts of energy, while Singapore with a population of 5.8 million generates 12,582 megawatts.
Nigerians have for years been enduring poor power supply, caused by generation, transmission and distribution problems.
In 2022 alone, the country’s national grid has collapsed no fewer than eight times, causing nationwide blackouts and losses to households and businesses. The grid has forcefully shut down more than 140 times since the Federal Government privatised the power sector.
Many homes and businesses rely on petrol and diesel-powered generating sets for their energy supplies while incurring higher costs.
Successive administrations have failed to find a lasting solution to the electricity problem despite investing billions of naira.
Recently, the electricity workers union staged a 24- hour strike which left parts of the country in darkness, over the demands for the government to honour the terms of a 2019 agreement reached with ex-staff of the defunct government-owned Power Holding Company of Nigeria (PHCN) staff.
The electricity workers under the joint umbrella of the National Union of Electricity Employees (NUEE) and Senior Staff Association of Electricity and Allied Companies (SSAEC) agreed to suspend the strike action for two weeks, to allow for a resolution of the issues contentious.
The issues are the alleged contravention in their Conditions of Service and Career Progression, stigmatisation of electricity staff by the Office of the Head of Service of the Federation, and refusal of the market operators to fund the payment of entitlements of ex-PHCN staff as agreed in the December 2019 agreement.
“We have suspended the strike. Operations are returning to normal with immediate effect,” he said, adding, “if in two weeks nothing is done, we will resume the strike,” Joe Ajaero, an official of the power workers union said.