2 August 2013 – Only an estimated 40 million Nigerians have access to electricity (in whatever way access is defined) meaning that the remaining 120 million people in the country have no access. This alone indicates how far there is to progress in the country’s electricity sector.
In addition, a series of power sector polls conducted by NOI Polls in the second quarter of 2013 has revealed that an average of 47% of Nigerian adults had poor electricity supply which went from bad to worse in some cases. The results also showed that about eight out of 10 of those interviewed generate their own power supply through alternative sources to compensate for irregular power supply.
The polls further revealed that a combined average of 69% of Nigerians have experienced an increase in their spending on alternative power supply compared to a year ago. The NOI power sector poll was introduced in April 2012 to monitor trends in the sector to ascertain the perceptions of Nigerians regarding the power sector reforms. NOI Polls, owned by the Minister of Finance and Coordinator for the Economy, Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, is a Nigerian opinion polling and research organisation, working in technical partnership with the Gallup Organization (USA). The polls related to the power sector monitor the hours of power supply received daily and expenditure on alternative sources of power compared to a year ago, and plans to release quarterly reports on the findings of the polls.
A breakdown of the results showed that 22% of Nigerians say power was very bad and turned worse, 25% say it remained bad, while 33% of Nigerian adults saw some improvement in power supply.
The NOI Power Sector Polls Project was introduced to help monitor the performance and trends in the country’s power sector in the wake of the unbundling of the Power Holding Company of Nigeria (PHCN) under the Electric Power Sector Reform Act (EPSRA) 2005.
The key findings came from responses from over 3,000 phone-owning Nigerian adults aged 18 years and above throughout the country.
The findings from the poll appear to contradict the claims by the minister of Power, Chinedu Nebo, who said while presenting the scorecard of his ministry’s performance during the 2013 ministerial platform that most Nigerians are currently enjoying an average of 16 hours of uninterrupted power supply nationwide.
He said with the installed generation capacity of about 9,920 MW since the beginning of the year, and available generation capacity of about 6,522 MW, the plan by his ministry was to consolidate on the performance and improve the available power supply to between 16 and 24 hours per day for all Nigerians by 2014.