The fact that there is still no constant electricity power supply in Nigeria in this day and age is rather sad and unfortunate, in a twenty first century information age when things can be achieved in the speed of light, we continue to grapple with generating a paltry 4,000 Megawatts. This is not only pathetic; it is indeed appalling that a country which is blessed with all the resources at our disposal, both human and natural cannot produce electricity to light up the lives of its people. Even down in South Africa, they have gone so far ahead of us in terms of power supply to their citizens, generating a massive 42,000 Megawatts, about 45% of the entire electricity generated on the whole of the African continent.
Only a couple of weeks back, it was announced that we would soon start importing part of our electricity needs from Ghana. For a tiny country like Ghana that is not even up to the population of Lagos to be selling electricity to us, the self-acclaimed giant of Africa is indeed a thing of shame. Earlier on in the year, our federal government also announced plans to start importing electricity from Democratic Republic of Congo, even though the Great Inga Hydro Project in Congo that will feed us with this electricity is not slated to come on stream until 2020. So then I suppose we can safely conclude that there are no plans in place to ensure that we can start generating adequate power supply in Nigeria any time soon.
The supposed privatization of the power sector being embarked upon by the current administration does not seem to hold a sustainable solution to this pernicious inadequate power supply situation that is perpetually keeping our country in the dark. Ordinarily, with full commitment on the part of the new owners of the electricity distribution infrastructure, it wouldn’t have been too ambitious to expect that in not more than ten years from now, Nigeria can achieve constant power supply. However, with the way the entire process has been handled thus far, it might be a bit foolhardy of us to expect that our paltry 4,000 Megawatts installed generation capacity could be increased to let’s say 15,000 Megawatts in a decade’s time from now.
There is nothing on ground so far to suggest that this kind of feat is attainable given the ‘business as usual’ factors that shrouded and continues to shackle the entire privatization process. Issues of cronyism definitely played a huge role in who the DISCOs were sold to, without due consideration for the financial and technical wherewithal of the parties now in charge of our distribution companies. Now these guys are friends of the government, and PHCN assets have been sold to them. As it stands, the owners of these new DISCOs are not so much concerned about how we can significantly and drastically increase our generation capacity because they are already smiling to the bank by distributing what we have on ground to the consumers. Why do they have to be bothered when they still make money from the erratic power supply they give to us? Even though they stand to make so much more if they would only band together with sincerity of purpose to ensure that the entire power industry is truly transformed once and for all, to the benefit of all Nigerians.
After all said and done however, the blame for our inability to have constant uninterrupted power supply in Nigeria cannot lie with our government alone. One way or the other, we all have a hand in the ugly situation, because as a society at large, we’re all to a very great extent guilty of the same corruption issues that continues to cripple the entire gamut of our life, including of course our power sector. And for those of us who claim to be different from the larger Nigerian society, what definite actions are we taking, or are we willing to take to bring about a sustainable change in our country? Due to the fact that angels will not come down to help us fix our country, then we are either condemned to continue living in perpetual darkness, or we the people decide one day that enough is enough and do something to make a definite change.