Nigeria Needs 200,000 MW to Guarantee Stable Supply

Minister of Power, Prof. Chinedu Nebo

Minister of Power, Prof. Chinedu Nebo, has said Nigeria will need to generate about 200,000 megawatts (MW) of electricity to attain the status of a country with robust sufficiency in energy availability.

According to him,  the country’s current electricity generation, which is less than 5,000MW,  is nothing compared to its energy requirements, adding that ongoing reforms in the power sector are geared to expand capacity in the electricity industry.

Nebo, while playing host to a delegation of British business people, led by the Lord Mayor of the City of London, Roger Grifford,  weekend in Abuja, said: “Nigeria needs to generate over 200,000MW; we are still at less than 5,000MW. Within a year,  we should be upping this to 10,000MW and it is still a foul cry. So, you can see that the investment potential is enormous in the area of power.”

The delegation was accompanied by the British High Commissioner to Nigeria, Dr. Andrew Pocock.
The minister informed the group of the investment opportunities in the country’s electricity industry, noting that the electricity metering component of the market alone had a gap of about three million unmetered consumers, which investors could take advantage of.
Nebo also told the delegation that the ministry was working on a renewable energy policy with which the country could leverage on to develop a robust energy mix in the sector.

“We are trying to build a policy on renewable energy and energy conservation, we want to make it a very robust document of government,” he said, adding that it was not safe for the country to rely on few sources of energy as a matter of national security.
According to him, the proposed renewable energy policy would be deployed majorly in rural areas yet to be connected to the national grid.

Speaking on the conversion of flared gas to power, Nebo said: “We are working with the NNPC (Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation) to ensure a good plan to utilise the gas flaring that is causing problems to our environment.

“The Chinese have come with a model of building power plants to the tune of 20,000MW. This is just a proposal from them, utilising the flared gas, we are still studying the model.”

Grifford said the group was in the country to explore business opportunities offered by the ongoing power sector privatisation programme of the government.

“We are here with a strong business delegation to locate opportunities for cooperation in the power sector and Britain has lots of expertise, so we are hoping to come in some way.

“Distribution and generation are both areas we are very familiar with, we have lots of experience,” he said.

While expressing shock at the near zero existence of British firms participating in the country’s power reform programme, Grifford said: “I am disappointed that there are no British firms participating; I want to see them coming on, it would be better to see some more names.

“I suspect there are many British names involved possibly on the project management side and design and technology phase, but we don’t see any big names here on the generation side, so we have to see that.”