Nigeria is one of the most blessed nations both in natural resources and population. Ordinarily, one would think this will automatically translate into giant developmental strides – but this is not the case as the acclaimed giants of Africa are nowhere near the world’s top developed economies. Being the sixth largest producers of oil globally, it is safe for one to assume that constant electricity supply would have been a steady stay so many years following post-colonization but the reverse is the case as the nation is yet to tackle its electricity issues.
Electricity is pivotal to the development of nations. Its use is directly correlated with healthy economic growth (Kaseke & Hosking, 2013). Nigeria is one of the most populated countries in Africa but only about 40% of the people are connected to the energy grid – those who actually have power experience difficulties around 60% of the time (Aliyu Ramali % Saleh, 2013).
From the above, it is safe to infer that; Nigeria is where it is today economically as a result of the current state of the country’s power sector, and, Nigeria can empower its citizens through improved and constant power supply which automatically translates to human capital development. From this, it is also true that Nigeria’s all-around development is electricity strung – therefore fixing the country’s electricity automatically translates to fixing the country’s economy which positions it for healthy competition globally. The underlying question is, do the nation’s front-men know this or blatantly, they just ignore and grapple around the electricity crisis bed rocking the nation’s economy and continue the blame game? How long will the façade continue?
Power generation is the hub of both economic and technological development of any nation – Nigeria is no exception. The electricity industry in Nigeria has gone through quite a lot of metamorphosis between 1990 and 2015 (pre-privatization era). Power generation and electricity supply is a very sensitive issue with several political undertones and economic sophistication which in many ways than one defines the industry’s effectiveness of the nation. Thus, it has continuously drawn great attention from both the industrialists and political class. As a matter of fact, it has become a veritable avenue for gaining more votes during elections, despite the fact that every other sector of the economy depends on adequate supply of electricity through effective power generation.
Energy has a major impact on every aspect of our socio-economic life. It plays a vital role in the economic, social and political development of our nation – inadequate supply of energy restricts socio-economic activities, limits economic growth and adversely affects the quality of life of the people. Improvements in standards of living are made manifest in increased food production, increased industrial output, the provision of efficient transportation, adequate shelter, health care and other human and social amenities – these will require increased energy consumption. Thus, our future energy requirements will continue to rise proportionately with an increase in living standards, industrialization and a host of other socio-economic factors as energy consumption per capita is one of the indicators or benchmarks for measuring the standard of living of a people or nation. What parameters then are being put in place to close the already existing gap and measure up for the future that is fast approaching?
Although Nigeria is relatively endowed with abundant fossil fuels and other renewable energy sources, the energy situation in the country is yet to be structured and managed in such a way as to ensure sustainable energy development, most especially in the industrial sector. Nigeria as a nation as a nation is passing through a serious energy crisis and it has been even more affected by a lack of energy resources, but largely due to poor resources and financial management, a crippling dependence on imports particularly second-hand goods built with outdated, inefficient technology.
The use of energy pervades every aspect of modern society but it is not efficiently used in many industries. Industries in Nigeria should take advantage of opportunities in low level, low risk but high worth of energy efficient measures that reduce the bottom line of any business enterprise. In so doing, a lead time will be created to pursue high-tech driven production processes that will find support at maturity and in an already established energy culture.
Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) play critical roles in the development of any nation, especially in a developing economy like Nigeria where opportunities in the public sector are severely limited. With electricity being the driver of any meaningful economic activities, Nigeria stands a high chance of bettering the lives of her masses by making power available on a constant basis. It is high time the issue of epileptic power supply be left as history. Access to power don’t only expand the number and variety of business and job opportunities available, but also boost the nation’s revenue generation as tax return goes on a hike when businesses improve and reduce the crime rate in the nation.
Electricity means that small businesses, such as hair salons, laundromats, and welders, all of which rely on electricity, can function optimally. Energy also leads to the creation of new markets, which provide more opportunity for individuals to earn an income and lift themselves, their families and their communities out of poverty. Constant electricity, therefore, is the means to better the life of Nigerian citizens.