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Published On: Tue, Mar 18th, 2014

60% Nigerians are in darkness, says FG

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Nigerians are in darknessStories by Etuka Sunday

The Federal Government yesterday said that over 60 percent Nigerians are still without electricity, and that more than 25million households are yet to be connected with electricity.

It however assured 75% penetration by 2020 through the ongoing power sector reforms.

The Minister of Power, Prof. Chinedu Nebo made this disclosure while presenting a keynote address at the CWC 14th Nigeria Oil & Gas (NOG) Conference: Nigeria Power Forum held in Abuja.

The Nigerian Power Forum which was endorsed by the Federal Ministry of Power, the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) and the Nigerian Electricity Bulk Trading Company Plc (NBET) had key sponsors including Schneider Electrics, United Airlines, Cummins, Seven Energy, and Mantrac CAT among others.

Nebo who gave the highlight of the major achievements of the reforms so far said that a huge percentage of the populations are not yet connected to the national electricity grid.

He said, “It is however sad to note that despite all these advances, Nigeria still has less than 40% access to electricity with more than 25 million households without access.”

The minister further disclosed that government has a specific target of ensuring that almost every Nigerian has access to electricity shortly as he said, “The Federal Government is targeting up to 75%penetration by 2020.”

Nebo said it would be achieved through the ongoing National Roadmap on Access to Electricity and a comprehensive Renewable Energy Policy that will ensure massive connections through on-grid and off-grid solutions.

He canvassed for the commitment of all electricity stakeholders on achieving the target saying, “We must now work together to develop the emerging electricity market with a strong, responsive yet proactive regulator and other participants meeting all obligations including their respective business plans.”

Nebo maintained that although government and the investors are moving towards fulfilling all Conditions Precedent (CP) upon the declaration of the Transition Electricity Market (TEM), there are still face some challenges including, gas supply and security issues, transmission, and revenue collection.

He challenged participants in the forum to come up with practicable solutions (both short and long term) on some of the most critical issues necessary for the sustenance of the fragile electricity market.

Such issues Nebo said are, “Issues around market solvency, funding model for transmission, security of gas infrastructure and legacy liabilities are very critical as we migrate to a defined market structure.”

 

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