When will Nigerians stop saying “Up Nepa”

When will Nigerians stop saying “Up Nepa”

My young cousin is exclaiming UP NEPA!!! 3 generations post-independence. This was not the plan. I hope his children won’t too.
I cannot promise him that this would not be the case in the next decade if nothing is done about it. Since the 60s our politicians have continually failed to deliver on their promises to power up Nigeria by ensuring steady power supply. A 2017 ranking by the World Economic Forum ranked Nigeria as the world’s second worst country in terms of electricity. Although Nigeria touts a power generating capacity of about 6800 Megawatts, the reality is that the national grid capacity stands at 4000MW. This is not only despicable but a far cry considering that our country has an energy deficit of over over 90,000MW according to a report by the World Bank. Unfortunately the government does not seem able or equipped to deal with the challenge.
Nigeria has failed to tap its vast energy potentials including its vast oil and gas, hydro and geothermal resources and solar friendly climate. This means that Nigeria must not just rely on the gas or hydro power sources alone but it must also begin to explore and utilise renewable sources of energy. Frequent shortages of gas, vandalization of pipelines or drying up of dams have continued to embarrass our country and made our power situation unreliable.
In addition to this, our country must completely deregulate the power sector and create room for private sector investment and participation from generation to transmission and distribution. Government has failed for years and would be foolish to expect different results without changing the methods of the past. Nigeria is recently in the news for failing to honour its obligations while seeking to renegotiate after signing a Power Purchase Agreement with about 14 solar power investors. These kind of moves send a strong negative signal to international investors and says loudly: NIGERIA IS NOT READY FOR BUSINESS. The need for private sector capital and expertise cannot be overemphasized.
Also in ensuring that power is accessible to all, should we not consider the liberalisation of licenses to allow smaller power and utility companies to operate in smaller, rural or semi-urban communities that is not of immediate commercial interest to the bigger players?



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