In spite of the series of reforms and investments in the power sector over the last 16 years, about 95 million people in Nigeria still lack access to electricity while about 45 per cent of the population who have access bear the brunt of huge tariffs and extensive outages all year round.
The country which has power infrastructure with a cumulative installed capacity of 12, 522 MW generates about 3,800 MW of electricity due to various inefficiencies in the power value chain.
These were the submissions of a Senior Power Sector Advisor, United States Agency for International Development (USAID), Dana Kenney on the state of the power sector in Nigeria.
In a paper tagged “Towards the Successful Transformation of Nigeria’s Power Sector” which she delivered at the National Assembly Dialogue on Economy, Security and Development holding in Abuja.
The conference organized by the National Institute for Legislative Studies in collaboration with the National Assembly. Kenney said that the power sector in Nigeria currently struggles with financial viability due to inadequate revenue collection, the suspension of the Central Bank of Nigeria ( CBN ) Stabilisation Fund as well as the ban on dollar loan transactions.
She disclosed that the sector was plagued by poor liquidity, high lending risks following the overexposure of Nigerian banks during the privatization of the sector.
According to her, the power sector was under – performing due to inadequacy of gas supplies to existing and new generation plants, inadequate distribution network, adding that there was need for a comprehensive rehabilitation of these power assets to boost the nation’s generation and transmission capacity.
Kenney whose office oversees the Power Africa programme of the United States government in Nigeria, said the programme was geared towards helping all countries in Sub- Saharan Africa to develop their power sectors through the public private sector partnership model.