Thursday, March 16, 2006

Tired and pissed off

Nigeria’s power situation declines like a wilting flower. We are down to a daily output of between 2600-2900MW per day (the figures are disputed). To put these stats into perspective, the UK, with between a half and a third the population, produces around 50 times more electricity each day. Even pampered Maitama where I live is currently experiencing heavy load-shedding. This week, there has been a blackout from 7pm-3am every night. It is impossible for foreigners unused to 30+ degrees of night-time heat to sleep (hence why I am up at 4:30 am having not slept a wink). Since the end of military rule, the power capacity for the country has declined year on year. The Ministry of Power and Steel (popular parlance replaces the last two words with ‘to Steal’) promises a brighter situation by 2010, with Chinese and Indian investors rubbing their hands. Four years is a lot of lost sleep and lost opportunity.

Worse, the strategy going forward seems to be locked in the past – coal and gas Independent Power Plants aplenty. There is no innovation towards developing for example a local solar energy industry, or partnering with alternative energy expertise from India or elsewhere. In a vast country that benefits from year-round sunshine, this is stupid. The vested interests are clear to see: people with money will continue to be forced into buying expensive and expensive to run/maintain generator sets (yet it’s getting more and more difficult to buy the increasingly expensive diesel needed to run them in Abuja at present). The fact that there isn’t any serious joint-venture with solar energy companies from overseas in a country crying out for such can only provoke suspicion. There are rays of hope, with energy efficiency solutions emerging for specific industry sectors, but the outlook for the private or small business electricity consumer whether in Lagos, Abuja or elsewhere in Nigeria for the next few years remains bleak.

6 comments:

Imnakoya 5:57 am  

I was reading somewhere that Prez OBJ says it would take 25 years before Nigerians can start enjoying uninterrupted power supply...yet "dem dey yap about foreign investment" all the time!

Nkem 6:34 am  

Indeed, it has always baffled me that Nigerian hasn't taken greater advantage of solar power. It is the easiest short term solution to Nigeria's power needs. And better still, it is an easily localised solution, which would get rid of the problem of scale if a national programme was being rolled out.

Nigeria has never had visionaries, so this comes as no surprise. Methinks some entrepreneur who sees a money making opportunity might be the spur.

Kemi,  12:04 pm  

Very True.

I think all we need to do is present to the public how much money can be made, and some greedy person will get the ball rolling.

Where money-making is concerned, you'd be shocked at the ingenuity of the average Naija person.

Disseminate information about money-making potential. The bandwagons will miraculously appear out of thin air.

Anonymous,  9:04 pm  

Nkem i was reading your message and i agreed on several remarks you stated. the problem is not lack of visionaries or ideas the thing i think is the implementation how do you set up such in a place where the gov does not even know its population. i believe things like this would be a thing of the past anyway. nkem why dont you be that entrepreneur.

Anonymous,  9:05 pm  

Nkem you can be that entrepreneur.

miky.......

CyBlug 6:28 am  

Hi Jeremy,
I recommed lots of cold fluids at night.

Initially generating your own power e.g Solar was illegal in Nigeria.
(this was supposedly done to protect certain entities)So that kind of progressive thinking was not encouraged.

In recent years though solar energy companies have sprung up all over the country on the sly , Like everywhere else the initial investment is expensive but in the long run it pays off....

It is a very smart solution , but since when have ..................

Contact these guys for more information.
PV Systems

Siemens Ltd.
N’djamena Crescent, Wuse II, Abuja, Nigeria
Tel: 234 9 52 361 33
Fax: 234 9 23 427 44
E mail: bwitt@hyperia.com

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