In the simplest and shortest possible terms, we will theorise the solution to the Epileptic Electricity problem in Nigeria. A solution that can be achieved in 2 years or less.
The first thing to do is to decentralise electricity production. Every single state or the six Geopolitical zones should be made to produce power for themselves.
The question is, how do you effectively carry this out? Let’s look at the following points.
Firstly, an ad hoc committee should be created to go around the country and carry out the following investigations:
a. Areas with high winds
b. Areas with intense sunlight
c. Areas around the River Benue and Niger
d. Areas with gas
Now, after mapping the above areas with their natural capabilities. It is now time to put them to work. Using the six Geopolitical zones,
1. The North East:
Since The North East may have high sunlight and winds (based on her position on the map), the use of Wind Turbines and Solar Energy should be installed to produce electricity. Each states under this zone can choose to either install anything between Wind Turbines and Solar Energy.
2. The North West:
The North West also have high sunlight and winds. Solar Energy and Wind Turbines should be installed to generate power for this zone. Each state here can as well evaluate their environments and install the energy that will best suit them.
3. The North Central (The Middle Belt):
The North Central is at the region of River Niger and Benue and also have high winds as well as sunlight. For greater efficiency, Hydropower should be installed and since sunlight and wind are present here, Wind Turbines as well as Solar Energy can be installed. Each state here can as well evaluate their environments and install the energy that will best suit them.
4. The South East:
The South East has gas and rivers. Gas turbines as well as Hydropower should be installed. States under this zone can as well evaluate their environments and install the energy that will best suit them.
5. The South West:
The South West has gas and rivers. Gas turbines and Hydropower should be very effective here. However, the states under this zone can as well evaluate their environments and install the energy that will best suit them.
6. The South South:
The South South is low in both winds and sunlight. However, South South is rich in gas and have powerful current driven rivers. Gas turbines and Hydropower will be very effective here. However, each states under this zone can as well evaluate their environments and install the energy that will best suit them.
Note: the environmental and climate evaluation above is an assumption based on the position of the geopolitical zones on the map, an actual evaluation may result to different outcomes, where a place thought in the above evaluation to possess higher degrees of sunlight may turnout to be less in sunlight and higher in winds or vice versa.
The Second question would be, how to install these facilities within 2 years or less.
Apart from Hydropower which would require the construction of dams, which may take longer time to construct depending on environmental factors, other facilities like the gas turbines, solar energy and wind turbines are very easy to install since they can be bought and install (the only limitation here is time of transportation from overseas to Nigeria).
There are numerous European, American and Asian private companies that can take over this project and install these facilities (Gas turbines, Wind Turbines and Solar Energy) in months. Their only barrier would be transportation time as it may take months for some cargo to arrive in Nigeria from distant parts of the world. But for installation time, not much time provided the Installation area is available.
Note: This contract should be given to foreign private and indigenous private companies that can deliver based on the criteria in this write-up. For competition and efficiency, several companies should be given the task.
– Two American Companies can be given the task to provide Electricity using Hydropower and Wind Turbines to the North East and North West. While
– Two Chinese Companies can be given the task to provide Electricity using Gas turbines and Hydropower to the South West and South South. While
– Two European companies provide power using whatever means suitable to the North Central (Middle belt) and South East.
In other words, these projects should be privatised to capable and competent companies that will be out for business and can deliver as needed within 2 years.
The Electricity Companies should be made to install PRE-PAID METRES at every single point of consumption of their reach. Every home should be given a prepaid metre.
Electricity metre is not the responsibility of the consumer to purchase. It is the responsibility of the electricity distribution company to provide free-of-charge to all her consumers.
Asking a consumer to purchase electricity metre for himself is like a store manager asking his Customers to purchase a POS machine for him, of which he will be able to use it and bill them (the same Customers who purchased it for him). At the end of the day, it will turn out that it is the store manager that is actually benefiting from the POS machine and not the Customer who purchased it because it will help the manager combat theft and ensure accuracy in pricing and billing his products and Customers at the point of purchase.
One of the reasons why electricity supply is weak in Nigeria is because only 5% of homes/point of consumption in the entire country have prepaid metres. Others are billed through guess work (which is inaccurate and outrageous), because at the end of the day, whether there’s electricity or not, the consumer will be forced to pay for a power he never consumed. Allowing this practice will encourage Nigerian electricity distribution companies to continue with their usual attitude of outrageous billings.
To make this effective, a bill should be passed that any home without prepaid metre must not be disconnected and must not pay Electricity bills until a prepaid metre is provided and installed for free. And Electricity Distribution Companies who default this law should be fined heavily. EVERYBODY WILL SIT UP.
Due to the accuracy of prepaid metres, consumers will not complain of paying bills without having electricity. On the other hand, the electricity companies will realise that NO ELECTRICITY – NO INCOME because nobody will be moving from house to house to disturb people and forcing them to pay for something they’ve not seen. The metres will accurately deliver power and read power based on the actual consumption rate and everybody will be happy.
By the time every home is metered, the Electricity Companies will realise that THE ONLY WAY FOR THEM TO MAKE CONSTANT INCOME IS TO PROVIDE CONSTANT ELECTRICITY.
Loans should be given to these Electricity Companies so that they can be able to purchase the number of prepaid metres that will reach every single point of consumption within their reach. This is why power production should be decentralised so that the distribution companies can be able to purchase and distribute metres to all the homes in the state under their reach, and would recover the loans in a very short time as power will be accurately metered as consumed.
This is the best way out. If possible, every Local Government Area in Nigeria should provide Electricity (using the criteria listed above) for themselves so as to aid more job opportunities in many localities across the country.