Nigeria now has the highest percentage of the population without access to electricity globally, overtaking the Democratic Republic of Congo, according to the World Bank reports.
In a virtual engagement with reporters in Abuja on the Power Sector Recovery Programme (PSRP), the bank officials said 25 per cent of Nigeria’s population do not have access to electricity supply.
The Word Bank also stated that many of the over 200 million Nigerian population with access to electricity had battled prevalent blackouts and defective electricity supply for years.
“Nigeria now has the largest number of unelectrified people globally, and the trend is worsening; of the electrified, the supply is very unreliable with widespread blackouts,” it said.
The financial institution observed that the electricity supply had risen from 1.1 per cent yearly since 2010 but at a slow pace compared to the population growth of three per cent annually.
“Nigeria now has 25 per cent more unelectrified people than the second most unelectrified country (DRC – in absolute terms). For the bottom, 40 per cent of the population (mostly rural), access to grid electricity is even lower at about 31 per cent nationwide. Regionally, only South-West has access of over 50 per cent (except Kano),” it said.
In his presentation, Ashish Khanna, the WBG Practice Manager, West, and Central Africa Energy, noted, “The power sector is operationally inefficient with unreliable supply exacerbated by high losses and lack of payment discipline.”
Mr Khanna explained that many businesses had lost their prospects due to the erratic power supply in Africa’s most populous country.
“Businesses in Nigeria lose about $29 billion annually because of unreliable electricity while Nigerian utilities get paid for only a half of electricity they receive,” he added.
The bank further stated that 80 per cent of grid-connected households have less than six hours of electricity daily, while 40 per cent of those with access to power depend on other means.
It, however, pointed out that the PRSP intended to foster a change in the electricity situation while disclosing that $1.25 billion was approved by the board between June 2020 and February 2021 to reset the power sector.