Nigeria To Face Blackout As Power Sector Threatens To Pull Out


Nigerians may have been used to living in the dark, but this is certainly not good news. According to Quartz, there may be possible blackout in Nigeria as the power sector faces catastrophe. Investors have threatened to pull out their resources from the industry and out of the country. Between the last few days of 2015, and the first few days of 2016, the Nigerian Power Supply Industry (NSPI) claimed that Power Supply Was Stable For Five Days in Nigeria. Although the specific locations that experienced this abundance of light was not reported, Nigerians are to face the reverse of that for more than the acclaimed five days.

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In December 2013, the country’s power sector saw a major reform when distribution companies were privatized. Nigerians hoped that with the input of investors into the power industry, power generation and distribution would increase significantly across the country. It was also thought that the presence of investors would reduce Nigerians’ reliance on private generators which is over three times more expensive than direct power.

The country remains in darkness with investors now threatening to leave over government’s alleged failure to adhere to contractual terms. They said this hindered them from carrying out their duties and reaching their targets. Most investors are now requesting refunds on their commitments which are pegged at more than $130 million since 2013.

A huge debt of $226 million incurred by government agencies, is another reasons for the threatened pull-out. Also, Government offices as well as the National Assembly and the military bases have not paid their electricity bills since the privatization of the sector in 2013, and that have cost these investors a huge some of money.

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They also are not happy with a controversial tariff increase which they claim could wipe out profit margins. From February 2016, the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC), plans to introduce new electricity tariffs which will replace fixed charges as power users will only pay for electricity they consume. Nigeria needs an estimated 156,000 MW to achieve its growth potential but currently struggles to generate 4,000 MW. The country is however looking into solar power generation to make things better.

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