The World Bank Group has charged Nigeria and other African countries to embrace lower-carbon sources of energy in a bid to increase electricity access and also reduce subsidies being applied on fossil fuels.
According to the Bretton Wood institution, regions affiliated to the World bank ought to evaluate themselves on avenues to electricity access, in a economical way.
In a virtual press briefing the President of the World Bank Group, David Malpass, noted that the Bank intends to work with countries on their long-term strategy, by addressing questions as to where they will get the growth in electricity access that they need, and what are the lower-carbon sources of energy that are available.
“This might be hydro; it might be natural gas; it might be improvements in the transmission grid that save electricity and allow more renewables to be brought on stream.
“We have solar projects in many of the countries that are successful at bringing low-cost, clean energy to the countries, but they also need the expansion of baseload in the city areas. These are all parts of our climate change action plan that are important in moving this along.
The bank in its report on Nigeria Power Sector Recovery Programme, which was based on latest figures sourced from operators such as the Nigeria Electricity Regulatory Commission, the Rural Electrification Agency, the National Bureau of Statistics, power generators and distributors, stated that most poor households in Nigeria were not connected to the country’s electricity supply network as only 22 per cent of the poorest of them had access to grid power.
In the report, the Bank argued that the rich people population were more connected to the grid than the poor occasioned by the low tariffs imposed.
The bank stated that the average annual per capita electricity consumption of Nigeria was 148 kilowatt-hour, making the nation a fourth of typical middle-income country consumption.
It stated that 40 per cent of people with access to electricity relied on non-grid sources such as generators, solar home systems, while low income households resorted to candles and flashlights.
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According to the bank, 41 per cent of Nigerian households pay for grid electricity and only 18 per cent of them pay for more than 100kWh/ month.
The report observed that 58 per cent of non-farm enterprise owners were women and many of them were home-based, reliant on generators.
It said electrification in Nigeria had been at 1.1 per cent per annum since 2010 and had not kept pace with population growth, which it put at three per cent per annum, hence increasing the deficit by about three million people to 85 million (57 per cent of population).
“Nigeria now has 25 per cent more unelectrified people than the second most unelectrified country (DRC in absolute terms),” the bank stated.
The Bank says that of about 40 per cent of the population (mostly rural), have access to grid electricity a lower rate compared to about 31 per cent nationwide with Regionally, South-West having access to over 50 per cent with exception of Kano region.
Going by the report Nigeria now has the largest number of un-electrified people globally with the trend worsening, believed to be caused by the unreliable electricity supply, with widespread blackouts.
Alternatively for the all Nigeria nation to be connected to electricity by 2030, it would need to connect over one million households per year.
The bank, however, says it proposed engagement with the Federal Government on power sector recovery under two streams, with the aim of providing holistic support for addressing key challenges through results-based lending.
“So, we’re working on all of those through IDA, through IBRD, and also very much by trying to encourage countries to align their development practices–I mean, their development goals, which certainly include clean energy for the health–you know, in urban areas, they are clogged with the output, the emissions, from thermal plants”, Malpass said.