Former Minister of Power, Barth Nnaji, has pinpointed cabals, including diesel suppliers and generator dealers, as the primary culprits sabotaging Nigeria’s power supply efforts.
Nnaji shed light on this pressing issue during his appearance on the radio programme, “The South East Political Roundtable” aired by Flo FM, Umuahia.
The ex-minister expressed deep concern over the continuous breakdown of the national grid, a sentiment echoed by many Nigerians.
He noted that this is especially alarming given the Federal Government’s assertion of having invested N7 trillion directly into the power sector since the privatisation of electricity generation and distribution in November 2013.
Challenges in Power Generation
Nnaji, who currently presides as the chairperson of Geometric Power, Aba, highlighted the challenges faced by those in the power generation business.
He identified diesel suppliers and generator sellers as significant impediments.
Emphasising the need for expertise, he stated, “The power sector requires professionals who truly understand the Nigeria Electricity Supply Industry.”
Nnaji addresses cabals’ influence and past Incidents
He said, “There are two main culprits when discussing cabals in the sector – the diesel suppliers and generator users. Nigeria heavily relies on generators due to our vast power needs, and those in this business naturally resist disruptions.”
Drawing from past experiences, Nnaji recounted a particularly alarming incident where individuals deliberately disrupted the power supply.
World Bank’s Perspective
The World Bank highlighted Nigeria’s power supply struggles, estimating that businesses lose approximately $29 billion annually due to this issue.
With the lowest electricity access worldwide, around 92 million of Nigeria’s 200 million population remain without power, per the Energy Progress Report 2022 by Tracking SDG 7.
Furthermore, a 2021 World Bank report highlighted that 74% of Nigeria’s power users are discontented with electricity supply.
While a commendable 93% of metered users consistently pay their bills, a staggering 78% receive less than 12 hours of electricity daily. This power deficit has escalated production costs for businesses, compelling them to rely on diesel-run generators as alternative electricity sources.
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