TedXPortharcourt is a local, self-organized event that brings people together to share knowledge. TED is a nonprofit organization devoted to ideas worth spreading, world-changing ideas with multiple initiatives.
It’s no news that Nigeria’s power sector is a mess. One ridiculed by the “blame game” which has been ongoing among the various rank and file in the power sector value chain. It’s high time the power problem is tackled in a new way. The just-concluded TedXPortHarcourt themed RECONNECT offered stakeholders the opportunity to speak, share and listen to innovative ideas, gain a new perspective and strategize in ways that could revolutionize the power sector.
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Here are some lessons from the just concluded TedXPortHarcourt event that can transform the Nigerian Electricity Sector:
- About a hundred million Nigerian’s still live in the primitive stage of life, where economic and daily activities are determined by the rhythm of the rise and fall of the sun. According to Patrick Okigbo (the 3rd) this is as primitive as the time of his forefathers. A lot is lost in our economy due to poor supply.
- It is possible to give power (electricity and therefore economic support) to the forgotten people of Nigeria through effective generation and distribution of electricity in the country, we need more synergy among the stakeholders.
- Power could be a new frontier in Nigeria’s development journey – there is a whole undeveloped service sector (like they have oil servicing companies), there is a huge knowledge gap and capacity to be developed and most importantly the data gap which can inform business analysis and investments.
- The national assembly can enact a law to make access to power compulsory by the government. Thereby ensuring that every Nigerian has access to at least ten hours of electricity supply in the day, irrespective of their location. Personally, I think all agencies of government and industry stakeholders should be banned from using generators, watch supply improve in 1 year.
- It is possible to get 24 hours of power supply, if only we are willing to pay for it or if we can drive an improved economy to increase affordability. Steady power supply is a collective responsibility of both the government, the DisCos and the consumers alike. Consumers should be willing to pay the right tariff as at when due and do not fail to report cases of electricity theft to the appropriate authorities.
- Privatization isn’t as bad as it seems – It is working for other nations. The crux of the matter lies in our ability to copy correctly and adapting properly, we have copied a model without the thought to localize it bearing in mind our unique challenges.
- NERC shares a blame in the current power sector crisis in the country. They enact regulations that are not just unfavorable to the DisCos (who sell power in the form of tariff to consumers, way below the cost price thus at the losing end) but also, fail to review its regulations and policies when they due.
- The power sector in Nigeria is one wrecked by numerous crisis. The tariff is a mess, the supply chain is a mess and our attitudes towards payment is a mess.
- Oil may be pushing Nigeria’s GDP but power ought to add value to ourselves because no idea works without power. For every nation to advance in development and infrastructure, constant electricity supply is the springboard on which it anchors.
- Consumers need to be enlightened about their rights on electricity consumption, so they can effectively function in that role. Also, sensitization should be given to consumers on how to conserve energy, however little supply they get so as to enable them to maximize its use and get value for their money.