Despite claiming to be the GIANT of Africa and being home to the world’s seventh largest natural gas reserves, NIGERIA cannot provide its over 140million inhabitants with light. Isn’t this a shame! Billions of dollars have been spent by successive governments to provide adequate 24/7 power supply within a stipulated timeline without success due to corruption within and outside of government, It seems to me that there are forces outside the corridors of power, maybe i should refer to them as a powerful Generator-cabal who could be out of business if Nigeria is lighted up by its natural gas.
Even the small amount of irregular power supply we get is not evenly distributed. The corruption of local PHCN district officials knows no bound. Since every area can’t get power supply at the same time, it is meant to be rationed evenly, but these officials receive bribe from one area and give them light for weeks, even months without the other areas getting even a blink because they have not done what is now seem to be normal, bribe or what they have given can’t measure up to that of the other area. Isn’t this injustice in the highest order?
The most annoying action or inaction of the PHCN, is the way they cut off power supply for days, weeks and months in some instances without caring to inform residents, if possible through the media on why power has been cut off and what is being done to restore it.
The major problem with power in Nigeria isn’t generation but distribution. The Rivers State Government claims PHCN evacuates only a small fraction of its generated power. The major oil companies like Agip and Shell have gas turbines in their premises and much of these can be supplied to its host communities but it won’t work because PHCN claims a constitutional monopoly on distribution of power. No wahala. the Goodluck Jonathan Administration has decided to privatize the PHCN despite the threat of its employees that had slowed down the process. But with that over now, the Bureau for Public Enterprises BPE has confirmed that 152 potential investors had been sent transaction documents and bids are expected to start coming in.
Nigeria plans to sell off 11 distribution and 6 generation companies. This will make power generation and distribution a private affair just like the GSM companies in Nigeria. The entire country is united in support of GEJ on this. With the privatization and government as the regulator, we expect investors from within and outside Nigeria to come in. Nigeria is such a large and business friendly country that no investor will regret investing on.
I believe with power supply out of the control of the government in terms of generation and distribution, there will be efficiency and regular power supply. If you doubt it then come to Rivers State where i live. The areas which get electricity from the Rivers State gas turbine enjoy an almost 24/7 POWER ON. Sadly it is only a minute fraction of the state.
The BPE said the preferred bidders of the 17 companies will be announced by October.We anxiously and patiently look forward to that time. President Goodluck Ebele Jnathan should not and cannot fail on this.