SOME stakeholders in the power sector have expressed concern over the slow progress in the energy sector.
They urged the Federal Government to adopt renewable energy to accelerate development in the sector.
Mr Adekunle Makinde, a former Chairman of Nigerian Institution of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (NIEEE), said this was the consensus of stakeholders at the just concluded 2018 Nigeria Energy Forum in Lagos.
Makinde quoted Mr Suleiman Yusuf, Chief Executive Officer of Camel Energy, as expressing regret over the exodus of companies to Ghana due to the poor power supply in Nigeria.
“It is disappointing that an economy of over 190 million generates less than 10,000mw and distributes even less.
“Continuous tinkering with the structure of power supply and distribution and close to 20 billion dollars expended since 1999 has only brought darkness, frustration, misery and resignation to Nigerians.
“Nigeria imports over 70 per cent of its petroleum products requirement, while electricity supply is inadequate at just about 3,000mw now.
“Over 20,000mw of power is generated daily from fossil-fired plants to meet up with electricity demand,’’ he said.
Yusuf urged the Federal Government to embrace renewable energy to fill the gap created by this deficit.
Mr Houssam Azem, the Chief Executive Officer, Lumos Nigeria, was also quoted as saying power production and distribution in the country were far less than what was needed.
According to Azem, 75 per cent of all generating output in Nigeria does not reach the intended end users.
“While the minimum capacity requirements for Nigeria is put at 50,000mw, we are currently producing less than 4,000mw.
“Eight in 10 Nigerians rely on the alternative source of the power supply as erratic power supply persists.
“Eighty-five per cent of Micro Small and Medium Entrepreneurs (SMEs) rely on power generators for electricity.
“So, 60 million Nigerians own generators with estimated annual spending of N3.5 trillion and another 15 million do not have an alternative to the national grid,” he said.
Azem urged the government to provide a right policy to encourage private investment in off-grid solutions.
Mrs Vera Nwanze, the General Manager, Azuri West Africa, was quoted as saying lack of access to electricity had hindered development and growth in the sector.
She said that 80 million Nigerians in off-grid areas still relied on potentially hazardous sources of lighting.
According to her, electricity is a necessity for improving lifestyle and government should address this gap by embracing solar energy.
Makinde, who was the Forum Co-Chair, bemoaned the attitude of wasting energy in the society in spite of energy deficit in the country.
He urged all to embrace modern energy friendly equipment and fittings to save energy and make it more available for every user.
The Chairman of the forum, Dr Daniels Adeuyi, said the forum was aimed at exchanging knowledge, building technical capacity and promoting innovation in the energy sector.
Adeuyi said the nation could not industrialise nor lift the income of millions of people above the poverty line without access to clean, efficient and affordable energy.