UP NEPA: Electricity In Nigeria
With the rising rate of blackouts and incessant power failure, it is hard for one not to comment on this issue. One phrase any child truly Nigerian can not but say in the process of growing up is “Up NEPA”. As a matter of fact, it is a trademark of anybody truly Nigerian. NEPA stands for National Electric Power Authority and the phrase is used usually to express the joy that accompanies the restoration of power supply or as we often like to wrongly put it, “the bringing of light”. Anyone who has lived in this country would agree that the power supply in the Nigerian nation is nothing to be proud of and many individuals and organizations have commented and made several recommendations as regards how the deteriorating state of the power situation can be confronted but then again, talk is cheap.
Statistics have shown that Nigeria produces far below her consumption demand for electricity. According to Babatunde Raji Fashola led Ministry of Power, we produce about 2,464 Megawatts of power and at present we have a purported demand of about 12,800 Megawatts. Apparently, we are nowhere close to enjoying long term uninterrupted power supply anytime soon. Personally I think there are only two ways out this: We must try to reduce demand and at the same time consider other alternative sources of power. At present, Nigeria generates power majorly from Hydroelectric and some thermal and fossil fule power plants but it would be nothing but self deceit to slight the fact that Gasoline generators also take a huge chunk when accounting for power production in the country. In fact, there are notions that the not-so-serious attitude of the government to the improvement of power supply in the country is due to the strong politicking from stakeholders in the "Generator and Petrol" industry.
And there is also the Solar energy alternative which is rapidly gaining ground, however this option remains relatively expensive and in seasons like this when the sun doesn't shine so brightly, it may not be as reliable. So even with all these alternatives gaining ground, we may still have to shout Up NEPA a little longer...