NEWS: Nigerians should not expect improved power in next five years – Electricity Distribution boss

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The Managing Director of the Benin
Electricity Distribution Company, Olufunke
Osibodu, has urged Nigerians not to expect
any improvement in the power sector in the
next five years.
Speaking at the 11th Annual Founder’s Day
event of the American University of Nigeria in
Yola, Saturday, Mrs. Osibodu said at least
N250 billion is required annually to fix the
country’s electricity sector.
“And we Nigerians need to understand that
we cannot do it overnight, and in addition we
have to pay for it,” said Mrs. Osibodu, while
delivering the keynote speech titled ‘Beyond
Oil: Sustainable Development for All
Nigerians.’.
“We need to be ready as citizens also, to
accept and live with the pain that we have to
go through, and allow time as our friends.
“As Nigerians, often we are the ones that
deceive our politicians. The politicians believe
that the only way to go is to promise
everything immediately possible. Promise
that everything is possible today so that they
can get elected. But when you see that it is
not, so we want to give them time and use
time as our friends.
“It is the same story for the power industry.
When I tell my friends, that forget any
improvement for the next five years, they are
scared, but that is the truth. We need
minimum of five years to invest before we see
results.
“But very often, because Nigerians are
impatient, we start pushing our governments
and they start reversing good things they
have done in various ways. So we need to be
more patient.”
MINISTER OF POWER, WORKS AND HOUSING,
MR BABATUNDE FASHOLA, INSPECTING THE
KUKWABA POWER PROJECT NEAR THE
GAMES VILLAGE, IN ABUJA ON FRIDAY
(29/1/16). 29/1/2016/HF/BJO/NAN
MINISTER OF POWER, WORKS AND HOUSING,
MR BABATUNDE FASHOLA, INSPECTING THE
KUKWABA POWER PROJECT NEAR THE
GAMES VILLAGE, IN ABUJA ON FRIDAY
(29/1/16).
29/1/2016/HF/BJO/NAN
Mrs. Osibodu’s statements came despite the
claim earlier in the year by Babatunde
Fashola, the minister of Power, Works, and
Housing, that the country would attain
10,000 megawatts electricity generation by
2019.
Apart of challenges of generation, Nigeria
also has problems of transmission and
distribution of the generated electricity.
According to Mrs. Osibodu, Nigeria is
currently producing two percent of the total
electricity it requires.
“In addition, in this country we have 32
million household population. In other words,
32 million houses by statistics. But on the
national grid, only four million are officially
customers of the various distribution
companies.
“About 36 per cent of the power generation is
lost either through commercial theft, illegal
consumption, or non-payment of bills. But 14
per cent of that power is also lost through
very poor network.
“In other words, the two percent that we have
is even further played down. About 30
percent of the power, we all waste it, by
forgetting to put out the light, many things
that should not be turned on, and we pay for
that wastage.”

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