‘Fashola may have lied about true state of power in Nigeria’
Nigerians may have to adjust to the reality of the current poor state of electricity in the country, which may be their lot for the next five years.
Managing Director of the Benin Electricity Distribution Company, Olufunke Osibodu, who painted this gloomy picture Nigerians should not expect any improvement in power in the next five years.
Osibodu stated this at the 11th Annual Founder’s Day event of the American University of Nigeria in Yola, at the weekend, adding that the nation needs at least N250 billion annually to fix the electricity sector.
Osibodu’s submission is however contrary to claims by the Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Babatunde Raji Fashola, that the nation will achieve 10,000 megawatts of electricity generation by 2019.
The power problem in the country has affected the nation’s economic development with households and businesses depending heavily on alternative sources of power, especially generators.
Mrs Osibodu said: “We need to be ready as citizens also, to accept and live with the pain that we have to go through, and allow time as our friends.
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“As Nigerians, often we are the ones that deceive our politicians. The politicians believe that the only way to go is to promise everything immediately possible. Promise that everything is possible today so that they can get elected. But when you see that it is not, so we want to give them time and use time as our friends.
“It is the same story for the power industry. When I tell my friends, that forget any improvement for the next five years, they are scared, but that is the truth. We need minimum of five years to invest before we see results.
“But very often, because Nigerians are impatient, we start pushing our governments and they start reversing good things they have done in various ways. So we need to be more patient.”
On the nation’s generation capacity, Mrs. Osibodu, said Nigeria is currently producing two percent of the total electricity it requires.
“In addition, in this country we have 32 million household population. In other words, 32 million houses by statistics. But on the national grid, only four million are officially customers of the various distribution companies.
“About 36 per cent of the power generation is lost either through commercial theft, illegal consumption, or non-payment of bills. But 14 per cent of that power is also lost through very poor network.
“In other words, the two percent that we have is even further played down. About 30 percent of the power, we all waste it, by forgetting to put out the light, many things that should not be turned on, and we pay for that wastage”, she stated.
By Timothy Enietan-Matthews…
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