Thursday, September 4, 2008

In August, Umaru Yar'Adua announced that the nation has 187 trillion cubic feet of gas reserves, making it the seventh largest gas reserve in the world. These gas reserves were all discovered while searching for oil reserves and because of the abundance of the resource, the President was confident that the gas will lead to "aggressive GDP growth and national energy sufficiency".

Nigeria is currently experiencing a serious electric power deficit. Approximately 60% of Nigerians do not have access to electricity and of the other 40% that do, they face inconsistent energy supply and live without power a majority of the time. The recent Senate 'power probe' revealed that former President Obasanjo unofficially gave away $50 million to non-existent companies and that his administration had officially spent between $10 - $16 billion on the power sector with no measurable results.

The new President then promised to make power generation and supply a benchmark of his administration's success. Yar'Adua promised that Nigerians will have regular power supply by 2011 with a production of 20,000MW by Nigeria's power plants. This is a promise that he has now reneged on. Instead of 20,000MW, Nigeria's Minister of State for Energy (Power), Fatima Ibrahim Balaraba, announced that by 2011 the nation will only generate 10,000MW. However, based on the government's own Electricity Master Plan, this means that the country will not achieve its planned power generation marker of 15000MW by 2011 so as to achieve the Vision 2020 plan that Yar'Adua hinged his administration on.

I try to pay attention to the various options that Nigeria has to satisfy the power needs of its citizens. There are constant reports of various plans to transform the power sector. However, if within less than 8 weeks, the administration has already reneged on its 2011 mission, how can one believe that natural gas will be transformed into an asset for Nigerians? With the President currently in Saudi Arabia, having been there for 2 weeks and with no idea of when exactly he will return, how can Nigerians be confident that the power needs of the country are on track?

Regardless of the concerns, the reality is that Nigeria needs a stable system of power generation to ensure the development the nation seeks. Hopefully, natural gas will be one additional alternative to electrify the nation's homes and businesses.

1. Nigeria: FG Set to Become 2nd Global Supplier of LNG

Further Reading:
- Power Blackouts Loom Across Nigeria
- Nigerian Power Scandal: Authority Stealing
- Solar Energy Plans
- Could Coal Be A Power Solution For Nigeria?
- Who Will Develop Nigeria?
- Who Will Develop Nigeria Pt. 2

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DaBlunt Poet said...

Thanks for stopping by on my page...

Shawn said...

I agree the power situation in our country is woeful. I jokingly say to my friends that the power situation in Nigeria is a spiritual one that will need a spiritual solution(40 days dry fasting??)
I wonder what the problem is. Why is the task such an uphill one for successive administrations? could it be the cartels and mafia perpetrating the current situation have vowed that "them go die for dia?"
May God help us.

Anonymous said...

Newsflash: Cheney colleague admits bribery in Halliburton oil deals 4th September 2008

A former colleague of the US Vice-President, Dick Cheney, has pleaded guilty to funnelling millions of dollars in bribes to win lucrative contracts in Nigeria for Halliburton, during the period in the Nineties when Mr Cheney ran the giant oil and gas services company.

The corruption scandal which exploded back into life yesterday centres on more than $180m channelled into Nigeria via intermediaries between 1994 – before Mr Stanley's employer was acquired by Halliburton – and 2004. Prosecutors allege that the payments were vital to a KBR-led consortium securing a succession of construction projects related to a liquefied natural gas plant at Bonny Island, on the Atlantic coast of Nigeria.

Every year, billions of dollars literally go up in smoke as companies burn off unwanted natural gas released during oil production. Nigeria flares enough gas per year to power a good portion of Africa and an estimated 25% of the greenhouse gas emissions from the continent comes from our gas flaring. Gas flares in the Delta region can be viewed from space using Google Earth. In the meanwhile, our country managers are looking to fraudulently bring in coal and nuclear developers for their 10% in-the-freezer as shown in the newsflash above is evidence of their power generation intent.

How much did the previous regime spend in trying to resolve the power generation problem? That other big news has always been of Nigeria as the dirtiest polluter in Sub-Shara Africa where FG blames oil multinationals but is powerless to fine them $100Bn in order to resolve the problem. Talk about no jobs.

TheAfroBeat said...

As beauty pointed out, the problem is people putting (not THEIR) money literally in their mouths, versus putting it to where their mouths are. So much $$ has been pumped into (and out of) this problem that the fact that we're still having the same conversations our parents had about electricity 20 years ago (and complained about having the same conversations as THEIR parents 20 years before that) is quite overwhelming and dispicable to be honest. Baba Rule of Law has 3 more years to show Nigerians the milestones of his administration. I am hoping that by then we would have gotten somewhere (substantial) with the LNG projects underway, and will have also started effectively tapping other sources of energy, which are certainly not lacking in that dear country of ours.

Mrs Sweetwater said...

just a correction for accuracy sake -
Nigeria Has 187 Trillion Cubic Feet of Gas Reserve..

Thanks for dropping by my blog, and yes I've subscribed to your blog and will be enjoying more of the real truth.

bumight said...

I need to come here more often.

even if Yardy is in Saudi Arabia, the whole country should not grind to a halt. isn't that why he has ministers? what exactly is the function of a vice-president? isnt it to TAKE CONTROL IF THE PRESIDENT IS UNABLE TO?

too many people benefit out of the power situation, and with the man surrounded by old people with old ideas, we still have a long way to go.

The gas that is being flared now can go a long way in solving the nation's energy problems, but it would take investing a lot of money( that is being passed along in ghana-must-go bags) and a long time to develop the infrastructures.

Beauty said...

NIGERIA IS FULL OF GASas pointed out above, this is so true lol.

Stuck in my throat said...

Lord help Yar'Adua help Nigeria o.
We have way too much money.

I hope you are doing well.Thank you for always giving us great gist..

Anonymous said...

that power issue is on another level... it's as if, lack of power is something Nigerians have to live with for the rest of our lives, until it actually happens. Power should be as readily available as water is. God help us in Nigeria, we will see what will happen in 2 years.


@ Beauty: lol!!!

N.I.M.M.O said...

Naija has gas, yet we are looking for coal.

Talk of carrying an elephant on your head and scratching the ground for a cricket.

Truly, we are so full of gas!

Lost at The End said...

What Nigeria fails to realize is that you don't develop by exporting energy but by using energy. Why do you think the US is as powerful as it is? Because of it's consumption of energy resources. What is sad is that we throwing away our oil but not using a drop to develop the country. How absurd is that!

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