Gas shortages threatens Nigeria’s electricity supply

In 2018, Nigeria’s power sector suffered several setbacks which resulted to N519 billion losses due to insufficient gas supply, and the sector may face more obstacles in 2019 due to gas shortages.

National Daily gathered that on December 29 2018, average energy sent out was 3,510 MWH/Hour (down by 728.04 MWH/Hour from the previous day). 1,960 MW was not generated due to unavailability of gas.

The power sector lost an estimated N1, 209,000,000 (One Billion Two Hundred and Nine Million Naira) on December 29 2018 due to insufficient gas supply, distribution infrastructure and transmission infrastructure.

Peak Generation attained on December 29 2018 – 4,506MW. Peak Average Energy sent out ever – 4,557MWH/H (02 February 2016). Peak Generation attained ever – 5,222MW (18 December 2017).

Commenting on the situation, the Executive Director, Association of Nigerian Electricity Distributors (ANED), Barr. Sunday Oduntan, stated: “there are some challenges that need to be tackled by many stakeholders, especially the Federal Government, the DISCOs and gas suppliers. These include: lack of liquidity that hampers operations. Another challenge is energy theft which culminates in leakages and losses.

In one of its recent reports, the Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP), stated: “Allegations of corruption in the electricity sector in Nigeria have had catastrophic effects on the lives of millions of Nigerians, akin to crimes against humanity as contemplated under the Rome Statue and within the jurisdiction of the court.

“Corrupt officials and corrupt contractors in the electricity sector know well that their conduct is criminal and injurious, and the denial of human dignity coupled with a radical breach of solemn trust, aggravate their alleged crime.” Impact From construction, to education and from finance to manufacturing, the poor power supply has crippled activities in many sectors of the nation’s economy.

Immediate past President of the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN), Mr. Frank Jacobs, stated: “It is possible to gauge the loss suffered by manufacturers arising from paucity of electricity supply and high cost of alternative energy source. Capacity utilisation in the sector has barely been above 50 percent.

“This implies that the production has been sub-optimal; production value in the sector was estimated at N8.38 trillion in 2016. Another way of measuring the loss to manufacturers as a result of the challenges of electricity supply is by looking at the huge cost of alternative energy which was estimated at N129.95 billion in 2016.

Expectation From all indications, this situation will continue in 2019 and beyond, especially as the deep-seated problems may not be successfully tackled in a short or medium term.