BREAKING NEWS: Varsity don calls for repeal of privatisation of electricity distribution

Varsity don calls for repeal of privatisation of electricity distribution

Varsity don calls for repeal of privatisation of electricity distribution

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A Professor of Energy and Power Engineering at Ambrose Alli University, AAU, Ekpoma, Osadolor Orlando Odia, has called for the repeal of the privatisation of the distribution of electricity.

Prof. Odia, of the Department of Mechanical Engineering of the institution, also advocated that the monitoring of the prepaid metering system should be done through remote modular connectivity.

Odia made the call while delivering the 108th inaugural lecture of the university titled, “Exploration and Exploitation of Energy Resources: Implications for Man and the Earth.”

The university don, who noted that the privatisation exercise is inimical to rural development, however, called on the President Bola Ahmed Tinubu-led Federal Government to, as a matter of urgency, declare a state of emergency on power generation and distribution in Nigeria to address the nation’s energy deficiency.

He also opined that no nation can attain the requisite development without electricity or with a high degree of energy deficiency, as currently experienced in Nigeria.

He explained that Nigeria, with a population now in the excess of 200 million and with the present level of determination and desire for development, needs a generation capacity of at least 60,000 MW and an available capacity of at least 40,000 MW in the immediate future, with a solid arrangement to double the generation and available capacities before 2035.

“Nigeria’s electricity power availability is, to say the least, abysmal, as Nigeria tops the list of countries with the longest annual outage duration in Africa with 4, 600 hours. This is 3, 200 hours more than the next country on the list, the Niger Republic.

“Nigeria is ranked as the world’s worst country with regards to access to electricity, with about 90 million (46%) of the total population not connected to the grid. Where the grid is available, which corresponds to 54% of the total population, power is only available for between four and 15 hours per week.

“With only about 3 GW of availability, Nigerian power production falls far short of demand, which is the primary constraint on the nation’s economic growth. Nigeria’s power situation is truly miserable compared to the huge population and the desired rate of development,” he said.

Odia, who posited that the national energy challenge has not gone beyond redemption, noted that certain steps must be taken with all the required precision.

According to him, beyond declaring a state of emergency in the power sector, the federal government must consider the repeal of the privatisation of the distribution sector, introduce a prepaid metering system and monitor it through remote modular connectivity.

He, however, advocated for the decentralisation of transmission by carving the nation into six to 10 units, looping the units with gear switches to reduce the rampant outages due to system failures and investing massively in generation, amongst other things.

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