The Chief Executive Officer, Allon Energy Nigeria Ltd, Dr Wiebe Boar has said that epileptic power supply in the country is making Nigerians to spend over $13bn annually to buy fuel and diesel for their generators.
Boar made this known at a webinar for Small and Medium Enterprises with the theme, “Managing rising energy cost in Nigeria through renewable energy: strategies for SMEs.”
The $13bn when converted into Naira based on the Central Bank of Nigeria official exchange rate of N415.87 to a dollar translates into about N5.41trn
Boar lamented that it was unthinkable that Nigeria with about 200 million people is generating just 4,000 megawatts of electricity.
He said more worrisome was the fact that even with the 4,000 megawatts, the country is still experiencing collapse of its national grid.
The national grid, which is being managed by government-owned Transmission Company of Nigeria, has continued to suffer system collapse over the years amid a lack of spinning reserve that is meant to forestall such occurrences.
Major cities across the country, including the Federal Capital Territory, experienced a blackout last Sunday following another collapse of the national grid.
The affected cities where there was an outage include those under the domain of Jos Electricity Distribution Company, Enugu Electricity Distribution Company Plc, and Eko Electricity Distribution Company, among others.
Last Sunday’s collapse is the latest in the series of breakdowns of the national grid since the beginning of the year. In some cases, the national grid collapsed more than twice in a month.
Boar stated that with poor power supply, it would be difficult for the economy to grow in a viable manner.
Boar said, “In my over 30years of living in Nigeria, there’s about $50bn spent every year by Nigerians on diesel purchase and fueling that’s a lot of money.
“As soon as electricity problem is fixed, none of that amount will be going out a year because the power sector is a very big industry and about $12bn to 13bn is spent on diesel in fueling the generator.
“The big cost is not buying the equipment but fueling the equipment.”
The Chief Commercial Officer Arnergy Solar Energy Nigeria, Omobola Omofaiye who also spoke at the event said the epileptic power supply is affecting many small scale businesses.
Omofaiye said out of the 200 million population in the country, research has shown that about 40 per cent of them do not have access to electricity supply in Nigeria.
She added that while the country has the capacity to generate about 25,000 MW of electricity, the government is struggling to generate the current 4,000 MW of electricity which is not enough to drive economic growth across Nigeria.
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