Nigeria has surpassed the Democratic Republic of Congo as the country with the greatest number of people without access to electricity.
Officials from the World Bank Group said that 25% of Nigerians do not have access to electricity during a virtual engagement with power reporters in Abuja on the Power Sector Recovery Programme (PSRP).
Officials from the international financial agency reported that, while electrification has increased by 1.1 percent per year since 2010, it has not kept up with the country’s population growth of 3 percent per year. This has pushed the deficit up to 85 million people, or 57 percent of the population.
“Nigeria now has the world’s largest number of people without access to electricity, and the trend is worsening; for those who do have access, the supply is extremely poor, with widespread blackouts.
“In absolute terms, Nigeria currently has 25% more unelectrified citizens than the second most unelectrified nation (DRC).”
Ashish Khanna, WBG Practice Manager, West and Central Africa Energy, who gave the presentation, added:
“The power sector is inefficient in terms of operations, with inadequate supply aggravated by high losses and a lack of payment discipline.
“Unreliable energy costs Nigerian businesses $29 billion a year, while Nigerian utilities are only charged for half of the electricity they receive.”
The PSRP interference, according to the party, is also helping to shift the narrative. It approved $1.25 billion in funding to restructure the power sector between June 2020 and February 2021.
According to the bank, Nigeria will need to connect over 1 million households per year by 2030 to achieve universal access to electricity, as well as devise ways to ensure that consumers pay for the electricity they use.