New aggregated power poll results released by NOIPolls for the first quarter of 2017 revealed a decline in the state of power supply to Nigerian households to 30 percent in Q1, 2017 from the 37 percent obtained in Q4, 2016. The lowest power supply to households in Q1, 2017 was observed in the month of January 2017 at 21 percent. The drop was attributed to the shortage of gas to the power generating companies and low water levels at the hydro power stations. However, in February 2017, there was a surge in the power supply as it rose to 35 percent and it was also attributed to the increased amount of power supplied to the power generating companies.
For Q1 2017, the monthly average cumulative hours of power supply experienced was recorded as 7.5 hours in January which was the lowest, it went up to 9.8 hours in February which was recorded as the highest. The results obtained from the poll also revealed that for Q4, 2016, average daily power cumulative supply was 9.6 hours, while in Q1, 2017, it dropped to an average of 8.9 hours daily, indicating a 0.7-point decrease.
A cumulative power supply of 8.9 hours per day is a far cry from the standard 24 hours power supply which Nigerian households ought to be experiencing, thus further buttressing the issues inherent in Nigeria’s power sector. The Federal government had embarked on several power sector interventions in the past, which have failed to yield any sustained positive impact. Still in the bid to revive the power sector, the Federal Government in collaboration with the World Bank recently set out guidelines for the power sector recovery plans to create a viable sector that is privately run. While this is a welcomed strategy for the revival of the sector, it is imperative that the in the execution of the plan, constant evaluation with visible milestones within specific time frames are maintained. These are some of the key findings from the aggregated power sector poll conducted by NOIPolls for Q1, 2017.
It is no longer news that power generation and supply has continued to pose challenges to the economic and social lives of Nigerians. Although there are evidences of concerted efforts to make the power sector work at optimum level, the sector is still riddled with vast problems ranging from generation to distribution. Industry watchers have blamed majority of the crisis bedeviling the power sector on the monopolistic nature of the hydroelectric generating systems. Nigeria is blessed with diverse natural resources which developed nations use to generate abundant electricity but less attention has been paid to those options.
Nigeria is one of the least electrified nations and its current power generation, which continues to hover between 3,000 and 5,000 megawatts, cannot keep up with the population growth. According to a World Bank report, about 75 million Nigerians lack access to adequate electricity and Nigeria was ranked highest among the countries with electricity access deficit when energy access, efficiency and renewable are on the rise in many developing nations. It is against this background that NOIPolls conducted its quarterly survey to assess electricity distribution to Nigerian households in the first quarter of 2017.
Nationwide Monthly Tracking of Power Supply
Monthly analysis of the state of power supply between January and March 2017 revealed that 35 percent of Nigerians reported an improvement in power supply to their household in the month of February. This state of power was maintained with a slight 1-point decline in March 2017 at 34 percent. Overall, the lowest power supply recorded in the first quarter of 2017 was experienced in the month of January, at 21 percent.
Monthly Tracking of Power Supply by Geo-political Zones
Results revealed that for Q1 2017, according to geo-political zones, the South-East region experienced the least improvement in power supply in January with 6 percent while the North-West region had the highest improvement in both February and March with 70 percent respectively.
Nationwide Average Quarterly Trend of Power Supply
Quarterly analysis of the state of power revealed 9 percentage point dip in power improvement in Q1, 2017 at 30 percent from Q4 2016 at 37 percent. Therefore, this result reveals a decline in power supply to households in the first quarter of 2017.
Nationwide Monthly Average Cumulative Daily Power Supply
February 2017 accounted for the month with the highest average cumulative daily power supply in the first quarter of 2017. Nigerians surveyed confirmed that they had an average of 9.8 hours cumulative daily power supply in February, while the lowest average cumulative daily power supply in Q1, 2017 was seen in the month of January at 7.5 hours.
Quarterly Average Daily Cumulative Power Supply
On a quarter-to-quarter basis, the average daily cumulative power supply to households in Q1, 2017 declined to 8.9 hours when compared with the 9.6 hours obtained in Q4, 2016. This represents a 0.7-point decrease and shows that Nigerians enjoyed more power supply averagely in Q4, 2016.
In conclusion, these results show that despite decades of efforts by successive administrations to tackle the many challenges of electricity in Nigeria, they have yielded little or no sustained improvements. In Q4, 2016, 37 percent of Nigerians reported that power supply to their households has improved but in Q1, 2017, it reduced to 30 percent, representing a 7-points decrease. Also, the results revealed that the average cumulative daily power supply enjoyed by the individual households was highest in the month of February with 9.8 hours and this slightly declined to 9.4 hours in the succeeding month of March 2017. Although Q4, 2016 had 9.6 hours as the average cumulative power supply, this declined to 8.9 hours in Q1, 2017.
Finally, it is important that the power sector is revamped as many stakeholders have been clamoring over the years. If the country could dwell on the availability of adequate sunlight in the country and build solar powered energy hub and also bank on the availability of the large deposit of natural gas and build more natural gas plants to generate electricity, the country’s power problems will not only be resolved but the power sector would thrive and generate a lot of jobs which would in turn improve unemployment in Nigeria.