Nigeria’s worsening power sector has beat Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) to become the country with the highest number of citizens that lack access to power.
World Bank Group Practice Manager, West and Central Africa Energy, Ashish Khanna, disclosed this in his presentation during a virtual engagement with power reporters in Abuja on Wednesday, April 21.
“Nigeria now has the largest number of unelectrified people globally and the trend is worsening; of the electrified, the supply is very unreliable with widespread blackouts, ” he said.
“Electrification, which was growing at 1.1% yearly since 2010, has not kept pace with the population growth of 3% yearly. This has increased the deficit by 3 million people to 85m which is 57% of the population. Nigeria now has 25% more unelectrified people than DRC.
“The power sector is operationally inefficient with unreliable supply exacerbated by high losses and lack of payment discipline. Businesses in Nigeria lose about $29 billion annually because of unreliable electricity while Nigerian utilities get paid for only a half of the electricity they receive,” he added.
Khanna also added that 6 in 10 registered electricity customers in Nigerians are not metered. This means that a large percentage of power distribution can not be transparent or clear.
The document further stated that only 51 percent of installed capacity was available for generation, as an average Nigerian consumed four times less electricity than her counterpart in a typical lower middle-income country.