Buhari, how much should we pay for power?

By on August 2, 2016

Baridueh BADON

This week, the presidency spoke about plans to increase the power generation of Nigeria. At present we have only been able to generate 4.8mw as the highest so far in our history. The presidency said the power sector was always at about 40% loss after distribution. That figure amounts to transportation cost, theft by locals and internal sabotage by employees (of course the power ministry will not want to agree to that).

As a Nigerian, the price of power consumption will not be a problem as long as it is made available. Experts agree that stable power supply to the nation will increase our economy by more than 4%. Jobs will be created, cost of services and commodities will reduce, in fact life will be better. We can then start looking into electric cars like Senator Ben Bruce paraded during his frenzied few first days as a Senator. We Nigerian have no issues with fees, as long as we get what we want. The government should first provide stable electricity before they start asking for increase in tariffs.

There are stones which have been left unturned. What is the government doing about PHCN extortions? People are been charged for what they have not used. Is the meter tariff user friendly? Are prepaid charges expensive? What measures are the government putting in place to checkmate exploitations?

With the growing population expected to surpass that of the United States by 2050, with an economy expected to reach $1trillion by 2030, we can’t keep planting “NEPA POLES” and tapping copper wires all around and expect to make power stable. Therefore, we have to seek alternative ways of power generation.

Renewable source of energy is the way forward. Nigeria has abundance of sunlight with an annual average daily solar radiation of about 5.25kwh/m2/day, one of the highest in the world. Investing in solar energy will improve our power supply with minimal cost and logistics. How about windmills? Communities with ample wind supply can power themselves using wind mills. Coal that is abundant in eastern part of Nigeria can power more than half of the nation. Nigeria has always been a diabetic country: always suffering in the mist of plenty. We have no excuses to give. If this government wants to have their footprints in the sands of time, one of the ways to achieve that is through adequate power generation.

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