17 July 2009

Light Up Nigeria? Pt 2

Break time over and our lesson continues, now where were we? Oh yes...quoting the GDP guy.
Let's take it from the top again so we don't lose the flow!

"…the more the efforts are that have been made in the power sector, the more troubled things seem to become. The more money is spent on the sector, the more epileptic and unreliable the performance of the sector appears to be."

How true the statement! N27billion was allocated to the power sector in the annual budget (asides from its own internal revenue of about N25 billion) yet as I write, workers in the power sector are currently on strike protesting for improved funding, improved wages, actually improved everything. The government clearly has no faith in their investment, especially considering that they also earmarked $2 billion in taxpayer money for provision and maintenance of generators for the Federal Government and its agencies. Hey you…stop rolling on the floor laughing! This is not funny and it’s made more ridiculous by the fact that WE (yes! We!!) supply light to neighboring countries (some of whom have celebrated a decade of uninterrupted power) and we can’t even power the residence of the Presido! Ok…NOW you can roll on the floor! Meanwhile those in charge of the sector gladly boast of increases in revenue generation. It’s quite elementary really…reduce output (thus reducing overhead) and charge more for services not rendered, et voila…instant increased revenues!
Now we’re (sorry Government IS) still bull-horning the “Giant of Africa” slogan for all who care to listen (and to those that don’t i.e. the average Nigerian on the street) but really how giant are we? Now…as I said earlier…power generation is strongly linked to GDP, where do we stand in Africa with regard to energy generation capacity. According to The World Conventional Energy Supply, 2004, Africa's highest supply in descending order of magnitude as follows: South Africa has 30,020MW capacity; Egypt has 14,250MW capacity; Algeria has 6,188MW capacity; Libya has 4,710 MW capacity; Nigeria has 3,960MW capacity and Morocco has 3,592MW capacity etc. i.e. South Africans have 10 times more energy than Nigerians. Population-wise South Africa has approximately 44 million inhabitants, and as I said, Nigeria has approximately 140 million. Is something wrong with this equation? (I’m actually scratching my head here). Ok math time (calculators out children!) Nigerians have roughly 11W per person…and the average light bulb needs 60W to work! Hmmm!!! Again the equation is baffling me! It’s a K. O (not even a technical one, the 1-2 combo very a la Ali) and South Africa takes the belt!
So how can we regain the championship belt? Simple! Provide adequate power! Now to the class work…if the power situation improves, and the $117 billion (N6 trillion) that is spent annually in Nigeria on diesel and generators is invested into the Health or Education sector, or infrastructural development what are the benefits? Let’s see. Firstly cost of living would fall drastically, cottage industries would flourish as the cost of doing business would drop, industries with huge employment and revenue generation potential such as manufacturing and textiles, could effectively and efficiently function (huge overheads having disappeared), and more businesses (and more employees) equal increased tax earnings. Income generation diversification would naturally follow as more export would mean reduced dependence of oil revenue (which as we know is receding rapidly…like Nicholas Cage’s hairline). This means more money in Government’s coffers. Environmental degradation would reduce (no more CO2 emissions from generators), and if gas (of which Nigeria flares 97% of what she produces) is the primary source of fuel for power plants it would further reduce, and conversely save the planet for our generations unborn and generate more money for Government. It’s a win-win situation! The people are happy, the Government makes money (equals happiness)! So for homework, answer this question…why doesn’t the Government just do what it must and #lightupnigeria?

DISCLAIMER: All thoughts and opinions expressed here are all mine (crazy as they might seem). All works here are my original work (unless otherwise stated)

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Plumbline said...

I am beginning to wonder if stuff like this won't need to be translated to some Katsina dialect so we can get across to the man I want to believe is in charge, even though all circustances point to the fact that he is not (in charge)..

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