Electricity Crisis: Nigeria’s 90m unconnected consumers make highest energy deficit in Africa –World Bank

*Arsh Sharma, Senior Energy Specialist at the World Bank, affirms there is no other country other than Nigeria having this kind of energy crisis on the African continent, urging the Bank’s partners to support the Nigerian Government’s efforts at improving access to electricity

Isola Moses | ConsumerConnect

The World Bank has stated that Nigeria has the largest energy deficit on the African continent, as over 90 million citizens are yet unconnected to the  national power grid.

Mr. Arsh Sharma, Senior Energy Specialist at the global finance institution, disclosed this development at an event in Lagos.

Sharma stated this at a conference with the theme, “Unlocking Opportunities for Clean and Sustainable Energy” during the closing ceremony of the 2022 Ehingbeti Summit in Lagos State.

“There is no other country other than Nigeria that is having that kind of energy crisis.

“Nigeria has over 90 million people without access to electricity,” stated he.

The energy specialist said: “This is the largest energy deficit in the whole of Africa which is imperative for all of the development bank partners to come together to support the Nigerian government efforts both at the federal and state levels.”

Sharma also noted that the Bank has commenced a rural electrification project to improve access of electricity to rural dwellers in the country.

According to him, the power project has provided over 100,000 jobs and has impacted the lives of four million Nigerian consumers.

The initial target of the programme is to target 450,000 households, but the scheme has surpassed the target in terms of impact, he said.

The World Bank Senior Energy Specialist further noted: “Our intention is to triple the ambition going forward.

“We started engaging with the Lagos State Government, and we did a viable analysis for distributed PV because there exist a much untapped potentials for the marketing of PV solar systems.

“We have been offering technical assistance to the State and we will support the State to implement the plans they have made up in the PV solar space.”

Speaking at the event, Olalere Odusote, Lagos State Commissioner for Energy and Mineral Resources, said solar is the most vibrant sector in the country because of the large players that exist in the solar industry.

The Commissioner disclosed that Lagos State  had set a target of 1 Gigawatt of solar power by 2030.

However, he stated that in a move to achieve this feat, there has to be a significant mobilisation of the required capital.

Odusote also said the state is partnering with the electricity Distribution Companies (DisCos) to set up light houses in specific areas in which the state can intervene to improve power supply on a cost-effective basis.

The Lagos State Government is also planning to separate the Lagos State grid from the national grid, such that whenever there is a grid collapse, Lagos will not be affected.

FCMB’s efforts on renewable energy

Yemi Edun, Managing Director of FCMB, one of the commercial banks in the country, said renewable energy has come to stay.

Edun noted there is the need for strong collaborations between the public and private sectors to drive renewable energy in Nigeria.

The FCMB Managing Director also identified key sector areas to achieve the rapid development of renewable energy in the country.

The Federal Government, she noted, does not have the capacity to provide power supply to the 40 percent of the population that are not on national grid.

According to her, FCMB has so far provided loans of over $6 billion in the past four years to drive solar energy development in the West African country.

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