Association of Nigerian Electricity Distributors, (ANED) has hinted that Nigerians’ hope of enjoying uninterrupted electricity supply would continue to be a mirage unless the country has credible and accurate population census.
ANED’s Executive Director, Chief Sunday Oduntan dropped the hint in Abeokuta, the Ogun State capital during his remarks at the public hearing and stakeholders’ forum organized by the Ogun State House of Assembly on estimated billings by the electricity providers in Nigeria.
The public hearing has as its theme: “Estimated billings, Inability to Provide Pre-Paid Meters, Non-Compliance with National Electricity Regulation Commission (NERC) regulations and Erratic Power Supply in Ogun State by IBEDC and IKEDC”.
Oduntan, who absolved Power Distribution Companies (DISCOS) from being responsible for the epileptic power supply in Nigeria, emphatically stated that Nigeria’s electricity requirements stand at a minimum of 180,000 megawatts to enable the providers guarantee stable and adequate power supply.
The forum was attended by civil society organisations, electricity consumers, representatives of Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN) in Ogun State and state government representatives.
Oduntan pointed out that power generation in the country is too low and that federal government needs to step up efforts that will ensure that more megawatts are generated to satisfy the power needs of Nigerians.
He noted that South Africa with a population figure of 67 million is currently generating 48,000 megawatts against 39,000 megawatts the country needs and decried Nigeria’s failure to generate at least 20,000 megawatts.
Oduntan, who thumbed up President Muhammadu Buhari-led administration for increasing power generation to 5,150 megawatts, the highest in the country since 1980, bemoaned corruption in the power sector in Nigeria.
“Nigeria has no credible population census and you cannot distribute power without accurate census. Nigeria needs about 180, 000 megawatts for there to be adequate power supply. South Africa, with 67 million people generates 48,000 megawatts and they are now even working to increase the generation to 79,000. 5,150 megawatts was the maximum we generated since 1980. Let us be sincere with ourselves, to generate power is expensive. To do 1,000 megawatts, you will need about $1.2b”. He stated.
On meter distribution to consumers, Oduntan, disclosed that 4.1 million meter gap has been identified, adding N295b will be needed by DISCOS to provide both three-phase prepaid and postpaid meters at the rate of N73,000 per unit.
Earlier in his address, the Speaker of the State House of Assembly, Suraj Ishola Adekunbi explained the forum was organised by the House to give opportunity to various stakeholders, to air their views on the issue of electricity supply in Ogun State.