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‘Why Nigeria suffers perpetual outages despite abundant oil, gas resources

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A former Vice Chancellor of the Abubakar Tafawa Balewa University (ATBU), Professor Abubakar Sani Sambo, has blamed the persisting power outage in the country on Federal Government’s attitude towards electricity generation and distribution.

He lamented that despite Nigeria’s huge oil and gas resources, the country continues to experience perpetual darkness due to what he described as “a faulty non-effective reform of the power sector,” among other systemic defects.

Sambo, who is also a member International Energy Foundation (IEF), was guest lecturer at a knowledge sharing seminar on “Alternative Energy Resources for Sustainable Energy Mix in Nigeria” sponsored by the Royal Academy of Engineering (RAEng), United Kingdom.

The seminar was organised in partnership with the Federal University of Petroleum Resources Effurun (FUPRE), Delta State through the Higher Education Partnerships in sub-Saharan Africa (HEP-SSA) programme.

He wondered why other African countries with lesser resources like Ghana, Egypt and Angola have resolved their power issues while Nigeria still lagged behind.

Sambo said Ghana had attained constant electricity because the President took the issue personally and directly supervised the transformation of the sector, compared to Nigeria where the Federal Government allowed private energy companies to take over the sector without a track record of performance and effective monitoring.

He said Nigeria needed about 60,000MW of electricity for everything to run smoothly, but that all that is produced presently is a paltry 4,500MW, which he said was a far cry from what is required to make any impact.

“We need to expand the electricity generation base, because the level of electricity available is too small for 200 million people and 4,500MW is a nonstarter.

“At the moment, Nigeria needs 60,000MW, if we can generate about 30,000megawatts businesses will boom, but we should aspire to 60,000 to resolve the power crisis in Nigeria,” he said

Sambo stressed that the major challenges of the Nigerian power sector and its reforms was the level of electricity supply of 3,000-4,000MW, which he said was too low for the nation to liberalise the NESI as at 2005 and privatise it in 2013.


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