On Friday, Nigeria’s power ministry said that the decision to appoint an African Development Bank (AfDB) power expert to run its electricity transmission company, is in efforts to turn around the current power situation.
Reuters reported that President Muhammadu Buhari has pledged to increase power capacity exponentially during his four-year term and meet the demands of Nigeria's more than 180 million people entirely within a decade.
This decision however, caused a stir amongst some employees. members of the Senior Staff Association and Allied Electricity Company (SSAAEC) and the National Union of Electricity Employees (NUEE), held a protest against the Minister's plans to remove TCN’s managing director, Atiku Abubakar, and replace him with AfDB’s Usman Gor Mohammed.
AfDB to drive sector transformation
Usman Gur Mohammed will be on secondment to the Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN) for 12 months from the African Development Bank, where he was the Principal Power Utility Transformation Specialist for Nigeria, the ministry of power, works and housing said in a statement.
Reuters noted that in that period he aims to set the firm "on a path of greater operational efficiency and effectiveness, and enhanced responsiveness to the needs of the generation companies and distribution companies, who are TCN's customers," it added.
Gas causes supply challenges
"Although Nigeria holds the world's ninth largest gas reserves, it reliably produces less than a tenth of the power that South Africa provides for a population which is less than a third of the size," Reuters said.
In January, the country's power generation took a dive from 4,500MW to 3,233MW in just over a week, which according to media was due to gas supply constraints.
The Guardian referenced a report by the Nigeria Electricity Supply Industry (NESI), which stated that the sector lost 2,885MW estimated at N1.385 million ($4,544) on 14 January 2017, caused by gas constraints.
The frequent occurrence of the output drop in the nation’s power sector has resulted in every home or corporate organisation depending on generators for their electricity and energy needs.