Nigeria’s Next President, Challenge of Electricity and Power Supply

Chido Nwangwu writes that the major task before the next President of Nigeria is to, as a matter of urgency, tackle electricity and power problem facing the citizenry.

Although complicated by the god-fathers of corruption in Africa’s largest economy, one of the key issues of concern for millions of Nigerians, at home and abroad, is the unresolved, hydra-headed challenges of electric power and energy supply.

No matter who wins the presidential election on Saturday, February 25, 2023, the operational limitations imposed by very poor electric power and energy supply will impact their lofty ambitions and attractive articulation of their fanciful manifesto and agenda.
Consequently, access to valuable electricity, and any other alternative energy generation have remained negative factors in planning and implementing anything in Nigeria and most of the developing economies of the African continent.

Will Nigerians who cheer for those who stole their country’s resources and wealth and electricity options, continue to vote for the same people?
There are reports which show that a lot of the funds have been squandered and are still being peeled in serial financial shenanigans in the murky power/electricity/energy sectors of Nigeria.

I put it this way: in Nigeria’s league of criminality and wanton rampage over public funds, the Nigerian squandermaniac has, literally, an elephantine appetite. Hence, they squander(ed) without mercy; they squander without decorum and without the fear of God!
Nigeria, what a country!!

The equation of the deprivation of access to electricity and alternative energy is simple. Destroy(ed) the capacity of the defunct National Electric Power Authority to do its basic assignment, privatized the national resources of NEPA and propagandized it to the Nigerians and the world as a monument for incompetence and fraud!

I remember my younger days growing up in Nigeria — especially between 1970s to 1980s — that when you compared the NEPA of that time (which was also branded by the spin-doctors and influential advocates for the importers and sellers of fuel-gas-guzzling generators to mean Never Expect Power Always)!
Sadly, the electric power generation, supply and distribution have since become worse! How do you compare a total disruption time of 12 to 20 hours a week of electric power to 13 months of darkness and no power!

Will it be different this February 25th, when Nigerians and many who reside in it vote in the presidential and national assembly elections scheduled to hold in all 36 States and the Federal Capital Territory (Abuja)? The States’ governorship elections are set for March 11, 2023.
Nigerians are hoping and believing that the power supply infrastructure and data equipment deployed by the elections body INEC, and allied security agencies, to allow and facilitate the timely and accurate delivery of election results.

No matter that across the entire country, conservatively estimated, more than 95% of the voting public have no viable access (more realistically stated) they have no access to steady supply of light?
Will Nigerians interrogate those who sentenced our children in many of the public schools, tertiary colleges and universities where there are no light or illumination to read after hours or turn on electric power for their science lab classes?

What you deny these kids and youth whose schools are more shut down than opened; what is deprived these talented fellows who stay at home without any electricity to charge their versatile mobile phones in order to read and listen to the news!

Oh; did I forget? I know that their main and sometimes the only illumination at night is the flashlight or torchlight built into virtually all the phones!
The mid-March 2022 Nigeria’s nationwide collapse of the Electricity grid at ALL the e-DISCOs (Electric Distribution Companies), dramatically, revealed for the 100th time, the shameless and painful indifference to the suffering majority, economic crimes of corruption, malicious and wilful incompetence of the past, recent and the incumbent leaders and its business elite.

Is it too much to ask, President Muhamadu Buhari, whatever happened to the “Change” you promised Nigerians in the areas of electricity and power supply?
Respectfully, Mr. President, as a reminder, you have been Nigeria’s Minister of Petroleum for eight years! You’re the Minister of NNPC and NNPCL!!
Permit me a follow-up question: What “Level” is Nigeria’s electric meter operating and reading, these days? The biggest drivers of the generators — ‘gens’, as they are fancifully called — are fuel, diesel and some special derivatives of petroleum.

It is even more so when we consider this is after trillions of Naira, billions of dollars and assorted cheddars have been budgeted, spent, and very marginal results achieved.

When you assess the level of disregard which Nigeria’s elite, military rulers and civilian leaders hold Nigerians, you will be embarrassed by the unreadiness and unseriousness of these fellows to deal with the reality that an expanded power generation and effective distribution are fundamental to national development.
It can not be only through basic electricity. It must include natural gas, solar energy and some of the latest processes of generating reliable and scalable power.
As Nigerians and the world await the results of Nigeria’s 2023 presidential elections, I can only hope that Nigerians will unleash with their votes the effort to bring to an irreversible end 63 years of catastrophic incompetence and brutal disregard for the well-being of those who wake and toil for this country and their families, every day!
What a peculiar mess!

-Dr Nwangwu, is Founder of the first African-owned, U.S-based newspaper on the internet,
Follow him on Twitter @Chido247

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