By Mayowa Michael Adeleye.

South Africa generates steady 45,000 megawatt per day for their 50 million population.

Brazil generates over 100,000 megawatt per day for their 201 million population!

“Giant” of Africa (Nigeria) currently generate barely 3,000 megawatt for its 180 million people!


The rule of thumb for any developed industrial nation is that at least 1 gigawatt (i.e. 1,000 megawatts) of electricity generation and consumption is required for every 1 million head of population, which translates into 1 mega watts of electricity generation and consumption is required for every 1000 head of population…

Nigeria’s per capita electricity consumption is amongst the lowest in the world and far lower than many other African countries. Nigeria’s per capita electricity consumption is just 7% of Brazil’s and just 3% of South Africa’s.

Brazil has 100,000 MW of grid-based generating capacity for a population of 201 million people. South Africa has 45,000 MW of grid-based generating capacity for a population of 50 million people.

As at the latest figures from Nigerian Minister of Power, the total generation transmitted in Nigeria was 3000 MW for a population of over 180 million people.

With the rule of thumb described above, Nigeria with a population of 180million should not be generating and transmitting less than 100,000 megawatt per day of electricity to have relatively uninterrupted power supply for both residential and industrial consumptions.

Currently, Nigeria even with the privatization is only within less than 4% milestone (<4000MW) out of the estimated 100% (100,000MW) needed for its population! Nigerian unacceptably poor provision of power supply has had a crippling effect on development of small businesses and indeed the wider economy. The ration of under 4000MW among Industrial and Residential Consumption in over 180 million Populated Country has led to deindustrialization for the past 3 decades leading to closure of many industries and migration of many to other African countries.. Nigeria commenced power generation since the 50s (pre-independence) when the population was below 40 million and over 60 years after, Nigeria could barely reach a total generation capacity of 5000MW even with the population explosion to over 180 million (in 2016). This only implies that Nigeria generates approximately 70 MW per year over a period of 60 years! But what were the Nigerian leaders and stakeholders looking or thinking from the 70s? 80s? 90s? and since 1999 till date? Majority of the overhead Powerline transmission lines we see today across Nigeria were built in the 50s and 60s. Then what was built in the 70s, 80s,90s and since the beginning of 4th republic? The maximum capacity of the existing Powerline transmission across National Grid cannot wheel safely beyond 7000MW. As Nigerian Birth Rate continues to surge and explode at geometric alarming rate, the lack of plannings that continuously expose infrastructural gap continue to expose how far behind Nigeria remain among its former peers! Over the past 16 years, Nigerian Government have "spent" billions of dollars on power sector only to achieve below 4,000MW in April 1, 2016 on-grid! Nigeria will achieve a sustainable power supply with committed and determined leadership that will ensure diversification of Nigerian energy sources to reduce the over reliance on gas thermal power generation majorly. Energy mix will require involvement of alternative energy sources like solar, wind, nuclear, hydrodam and coal, which are in abundance in several regions of the country. Furthermore, Nigerian government must come out with clear policies that will encourage off-grid Independent Power Generation (IPP) for industrial zones for industrial utility consumptions ONLY.. This is where General Electric (GE) and Siemens would intervene. Also, Solar Roof (off-grid) for homes and offices utilities should be encouraged with tax incentive / tax credit policies to encourage many homes and offices to go off-grid. Let's see what's going on across other Nations to give us an idea where we are: UK had a total average power generation capacity of 75,000 MW for its 64+ million population. Canada has a population of under 35m with total power generation capacity of over 100,000MW. United States of America with a population of 350 million has total power generation capacity of 1,000,000 MW per day. Mayowa Michael Adeleye writes from Canada

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