Obasanjo Expresses Dismay Over Nigeria’s Hopeless Power Sector

By Kevwe Ebireri

Former President Olusegun Obasanjo says it would take a miracle for Nigeria to attain generation of 100, 000 megawatts of electricity, which is the minimum it requires to become an industralised economy.

At the moment, Nigeria is only able to generate less than 4,000 megawatts for its approximately 180 million population and the present administration considers this a major achievement.

Speaking at the ‘First Green Legacy Moment with Chief Olusegun Obasanjo on Leadership and Human Security in Africa’ in Abeokuta, Ogun State, the former leader claimed credits for the current level electricity being currently generated, saying he laid the foundation and that successive administrations after his rule as military head of state between 1976 and 1979 did not do anything in the sector in terms of power generation and distribution until he returned to power in 1999 as elected president.



    Obasanjo said before relinquishing power in 2007, his administration’s estimate was that the country needed to generate an average of 2,000 megawatts annually to ensure stability in electricity supply, but noted sadly that seven years after, the power situation in the country has deteriorated.

    “When I was military head of state, I developed the Jebba Dam, I developed Shiroro, I started Egbin. Shagari came and completed Egbin and commissioned Jebba and Shiroro. Between Shagari in 1983, until I came back in 1999, there was no single dime invested in power generation. If anything, the ones that were there were allowed to go down,” he said.

    Citing an example with South Africa, Obasanjo said with a population of about 55 million the country generates an average of 45,000 MW of electricity through various sources, while Nigeria with about 180 million people could not generate 4, 000 MW.

    He said even if the country was able to get up 45, 000 megawatts today, it would take nearly a life time to get to 100, 000 megawatts if only 2,000 megawatts of electricity generation was added to its generation capacity every year, and that for now that is not even a reality.

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