Q2 2017: Power Supply to Nigerian Households Remains Poor – NOIPolls

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New aggregated power poll results released by NOIPolls for the 1st half of 2017 (January to June) covering Q1 and Q2 revealed a decline in power supply to Nigerian households in Q2. An average of 31 percent of Nigerians surveyed reported the decline in power supply for the first half of this year; this drop represented a 6-point decline when compared to the fourth quarter (Q4) of 2016 which stood at 37 percent. The drop could be attributed to the reported shortage of gas supply experienced by the sector several months back and the grid instability caused by weak transmission infrastructure.

Quarterly evaluation revealed that 31 percent of adult Nigerians reported that they experienced a minimal increase in power supply to their households in Q2, 2017 and this represents a 1-point increase when compared to Q1, 2017 which stood at 30 percent. Also, monthly analysis has shown that the highest improvement in power supply was in the month of March 2017 with 35 percent representation while the month of January accounted for the lowest (21 percent) improvement in power supply in the first half of 2017. 

In the same manner, an evaluation of the monthly average cumulative hours of power supply to Nigerian households for the month of February 2017 stood at 9.8 hours daily, representing the highest daily cumulative hours of power supply within the six month period. Quarterly, nationwide average daily cumulative power supply to Nigerian households in Q2, 2017 stood at 9.3 hours, these results further stress the drop in power supply when compared to Q4, 2016 which had 10.6 hours as the monthly average. This infers that the stakeholders in the power sector need to keep up the pace of working towards providing more quality electricity supply to the people. These are some of the key findings from the aggregated power sector poll conducted by NOIPolls over a period of six months (January to June 2017). 

Background

Viable electricity generation and supply in Nigeria seem indefinable over the years. Although there are times when peak increases are recorded, the amount of energy generated and distributed for consumption still does not measure up to what is actually needed. In the past years, the mounting problem in the power sector has continued to defy all solutions designed to remedy it making issues with power in Nigeria become a very peculiar situation when compared to other neighboring African States.

The conundrum in the power sector has resulted in a situation that has been damaging to the economy and infrastructural development in Nigeria for decades. Few among these challenges are unconducive environment for investors, underfunding of the power sector and lack of good regulations. Also, there is a challenge with the funding of the sector; this funding issue has even resulted in a face-off, recently, between the National Assembly and Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Mr. Babatunde Fashola. However, the non-cooperation of electricity consumers to pay for energy consumed has also posed a level of difficulty in the sector, especially in these times that the generation and distribution components are being handled by private investors. As at the time of filing this report, the National Electric System Operation (SO), an arm of the Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN), puts the general National Peak Demand Forecast at about 19,100.00MW, while recent peak energy generated hovers between just 4, 000MW and 4, 300MW and this could safely translate to unavailable or unstable power supply when compared with the energy demand.

With the aim of monitoring the progress made so far since the power sector reforms in Nigeria, NOIPolls introduced the Power Polls in 2013 to explore the perception of Nigerians towards the power sector reforms. The polls were conducted monthly to explore the amount of power supply received daily, as well as the state of power supply to households. The result presented is a 6-Months (January – June) tracking of power supply to households from the consumers’ end in 2017.

Survey Findings

Quarterly Trend on Power Supply

Analysis of results, from polls conducted over a six month period on NOIPolls monthly power tracking survey series revealed that only about 3 in 10 Nigerians nationwide experienced an improvement in power supply for both quarter one (Q1) and quarter two (Q2). Further analysis revealed that power supply improvement for Q1 was 30 percent while, that of Q2 was 31 percent indicating a marginal 1 percent improvement nationwide.

Quarterly Average Daily Cumulative Power Supply to Nigerian Households

Analysis of survey findings over the period in view revealed that the average cumulative power supply to Nigerian households nationwide for Q1 2017 was 8.9 hours while Q2 2017 had 9.3 hours, once again reflecting a fractional improvement in cumulative hours of power supply.

Average Monthly Improvement in Power Supply

Further analysis of the survey results over the period in view revealed that the highest improvement (35 percent) in power supply nationwide was recorded in March 2017 representing a 1 percent improvement from the previous month. The lowest improvement ( 21 percent) in power supply  nationwide was recorded in January 2017, this low ebb recorded in January  is likely connected to the decline in generation during quarter four (Q4) of 2016 as  Nigeria’s generation statistics showed that a total average of 2,159 MW of energy was generated by power stations during the fourth quarter of 2016. Further giving credence to this lowest improvement recorded in January of 2017 is the fact that power generation had worsened during this period as attested to by the power ministry. Despite a 14 percent surge from January’s 21 percent to 35 percent in April, a frequent fluctuation in power supply is noticed in the subsequent months.

Average Monthly Daily Cumulative Power Supply to Nigerian Households

Additionally, analysis of survey results revealed that the month of February recorded the highest average daily cumulative power supply to Nigerian households which stood at an average of 10 hours daily. More, analysis of results shows that the month of January recorded the lowest average daily cumulative hours of power supply to Nigerian households which stood at approximately 8 hours daily.

In conclusion, the findings have revealed that for the six month period (January to June) evaluated, the month of February 2017 accounted for the highest daily cumulative hours of power supply in Nigeria with 9.8 hours. Although it declined in the month of April, it gradually picked up again in June 2017 to stand at 9.7 hours. Similarly, quarterly analysis of results showed that Q2, 2017 recorded the highest average improvement in power supply nationwide with 31 percent.

Furthermore, the statistics obtained from this report revealed that despite the recent collaborations of the Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN) and the Generating Companies (GENCOS) to improve electricity and grid stability, power supply to Nigerian households is still inadequate and unstable. Therefore, it is compulsory to create a synergy among the industry players to get a lasting solution to the problems that have been persistently bedeviled the power sector. Argumentatively, there are suggestions that the funding challenge prevalent in the sector is a subset of the refusal of some electricity consumers to pay for energy consumed. The Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC), through its methodology of the Multi Year Tariff Order (MYTO) has pointed out that the current tariff reflects market reality, and that energy is supplied to consumers at a price that reflects the cost of production. So, Nigerians should put an end to the erroneous assumption that electricity is a social service by the government and should be sold at a cheap price or given freely; they should cultivate the habit of paying for what they consume to enable energy providers run the sector efficiently which would in turn bring about an adequate and constant power supply. 

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