Poor Electricity Power Supply in Nigeria; Causes, Effects and Solutions: Power supply is basically devices providing electric power to fund electronic equipment. In Nigeria, the electricity sector is in charge of supply electricity to the whole of Nigeria. However, the megawatts of Electric power supplied by the Electricity sector is less than what is standard, what should be obtainable in a country like Nigeria.
In Nigeria, electricity is generated from fossil fuels, especially gas. Initially, a body was in charge of distribution of power in the whole of Nigeria; known as NEPA, . In 2014, this public sector was privatized and bits were sold to private investors charged with the responsibility of doing the former obligations of NEPA.
However, even with the privatization of NEPA, there is still lack of power supply in most places in Nigeria. People still complain of high electricity rates, and lack of steady supply of electricity.
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Causes of Poor Power Supply in Nigeria
The following are the causes of lack of power supply in Nigeria, and they will be discussed in seriatim:
1. Lack Of Trained Personnels: One major issue plaguing Nigeria is the lack of employment and corruption. This is evident in positions held in mostly public sectors as it is more of appointment than employment. People are employed on a standard of who they know and not basically what they know, or what they have been trained to know in the University.
Thus a banker could be seen working in the electricity sector, not in his capacity as a banker, but as an engineer.
The mere fact that this is happening in Nigeria, is one of the reasons there is lack or poor power supply in Nigeria.
2. Migration: The standard of living is very low in Nigeria, Poverty and unemployment plagues the country and it is only normal for people to seek greener pastures.
In the bid to seek greener pastures, it was warranted loss of trained human resources. This is because the more dissatisfied the people are, the more the migration to other countries, hence the country losing its well trained personnel.
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3. Poor Governance: A country with good governance and accountability is a country that is bound to grow and develop and unfortunately, Nigeria seems to be lacking a lot of it. There is the need for free and fair elections to be granted in Nigeria, the need for the confidence of the people to be returned, the need for the rule of law to reign sovereign.
This is because rule of law allows for accountability of government, checks and balances; that is, the three arms of government working independently and concurrently, checking each other’s excesses and not one silencing the other like the executive arm of government is to the judicial arm of government in Nigeria.
4. Lack Of Transparency: Lack of transparency is one major cause of poor electricity in Nigeria. This is because the people involved in the distribution of electricity are not transparent and could even dirty their hands in the process with bribery and corruption.
Take for example, we have alternative means of generating electricity, like solar energy, generators etc. A simple nudge to slow down in the process of distributing energy for monetary gains will go a long way in ensuring that there is lack of electricity supply in Nigeria.
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5. Lack of Finance: Lack of finance is another cause of lack of electricity in Nigeria. A project ensuring that electricity is introduced and maintained in every part of the whole of Nigeria, considering the size of Nigeria as a place, will cost a whole lot of money.
The question becomes, “Does the country have that amount of money?” if yes, the next question to follow is, “Is the country willing to spend such amount of electricity?”
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Effects of Lack of Electricity in Nigeria
1. Pollution: People have due to lack of electricity, diversified and sought other means of generating electricity, one of which is the use of generators. In present Nigeria, almost every home owns a generator. This might look like a good idea, but in actual sense constitutes air pollution. In the long run, the effect to the eco system will be disastrous.
In addition to the air pollution, the sound generated from these generators also constitute nuisance in the society and they were usually very loud.
2. Poor Business Performance: The average business person does not rely on the power supply being generated in Nigeria. He already has it at the back of his mind that the electricity supply is not stable and could go off at any minute. While some stock up on fuel or other alternative means of generating electricity, the average business person without such funds can only pray that the electricity does not go off. Such is the reality of most business people in Nigeria.
This goes a long way in reducing the efficacy of their services. Take for instance, the hairdresser who was blowing the hair of her customer when the light goes off, and has to wait till it is back on to continue the work; the dry cleaner who was washing clothes with the washing machines when the light went off, and has to wait till the light is back, before continuing the washing.
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3. Health Challenges: The oxide from generators is very dangerous to human health. When it is inhaled severally, it could even go as far as killing the person or harming the organs of the individual in question.
Sadly, when the electricity supply cannot be relied on, people despite knowing the risks involved, face it anyway because it is next alternative.
4. Poverty: Electrical power funds almost every aspect of the human life today. We need electricity to wash our clothes, to cook, to bathe and even engage in our businesses. The sad reality becomes the business person, or individual spending more on alternative means of power supply, or eating into the profit due to lack of electricity. This is one major cause of poverty.
Take for example, a doctor wanting to conduct surgery and using generator was an alternative means of power supply is bound to charge more than the normal amount to the patient. The act of the patient paying more than normal reduces his income.
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5. Discomfort: Electricity comes with a certain comfort. For example it feels good to have a fan blowing over your head when you feel hot; the hair dryer drying your wet hair instead of just waiting for the hair to dry on its own which could take hours; barbing your hair with a clipper without stopping at intervals due to lack of constant power supply, the baker baking with her ovens without having to interrupt her baking sessions, or looking for an alternative source of power supply that could actually power the oven etc.
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Solutions to Poor Electricity power Supply in Nigeria
1. Allocations of Funds: Funds should be allocated by the government to the power sector ensuring that a new project be created and enforced. One that involves the sector ensuring that power gets to every nook and cranny of Nigeria as a whole.
2. Credibility: People should be employed in the power sector based on their experience and capabilities, and not due to nepotism and corruption. Whoever tries to buy his or her self into an office should be dealt with and punished accordingly.
3. Incentives: Incentives should be provided for hardworking workers in a bid to encourage them to work harder. It could be in a form of bonuses, gifts, promotions. This will go a long way in reducing the number of trained and quality professionals migrating from here to other countries.
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4. Good Governance: In a country with quality governance, there is present in the citizens, faith in the government and system. Hence, corrupt office holders are easily fished out.
The reverse is the case when the leaders themselves are corrupt. Like the saying goes, “the fish spoils first from the head, and the other parts follow”. The leaders first have to live by example.
5. Adequately Trained Personnels: In saner countries, after employment, the employees are trained in order to acquaint themselves with the manner in which things are run in the establishment. The number of the personnel is also important as a short staffed organization is one likely to have angry, overworked, under paid workers.
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In conclusion, Nigeria is lagging behind when it comes to power supply. There are a thousand and one places without power supply in Nigeria, and even in communities with power supply, the supply is either not constant enough, or it is too expensive. Nigeria needs to do better.
Edeh Samuel Chukwuemeka ACMC, is a Law Student and a Certified Mediator/Conciliator in Nigeria. He is also a Developer with knowledge in HTML, CSS, JS, PHP and React Native. Samuel is bent on changing the legal profession by building Web and Mobile Apps that will make legal research a lot easier.