Poll faults Nigerian government’s claims of improved electricity supply

ABUJA – According to  a poll conducted by NOI Polls Limited in the second quarter of 2013 on the country’s power sector have shown that most Nigerians rely on alternative sources of generating electricity for their domestic and business uses.

The poll findings published on Wednesday in Abuja indicated that at least eight out of every ten Nigerians sampled during the study (about 81 per cent) said they generate their own power supply through alternative sources to compensate for irregular power supply, while a combined average of 69 per cent said they experienced increase in their spending on alternative power supply compared to a year ago.

The poll also revealed that an average of 47 per cent of Nigerian adults said the electricity supply in their area was poor or had gone from bad to worse in the second quarter of the year.

NOI Polls Limited, owned by the Minister of Finance and Coordinator for the Economy, Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, is a Nigerian opinion polling and research organization, working in technical partnership with the Gallup Organization (USA) to conduct periodic opinion polls and studies on various socio-economic and political issues in Nigeria.

Poll faults Nigerian government’s claims of improved electricity supplyThe NOI Power Sector Polls Project was introduced last April to help monitor the performance and trends in the country’s power sector in the wake of the unbundling of the Power Holding Company of Nigeria (PHCN) under the Electric Power Sector Reform Act (EPSRA) 2005.

The latest poll, which was initiated to ascertain the perception of Nigerians on the power sector reforms, sought to find out the hours of power supply received daily and expenditure on alternative sources of power compared to a year ago.

Key findings from responses from over 3000 phone-owning Nigerian adults aged 18 years and above throughout the country within the three months period (April-June) showed that a combined average of 47 per cent said power supply had either remained bad (25 per cent) or had worsened (22 per cent), compared to about 33 per cent who claimed they experienced slight improvement, and 20 per cent who experienced no difference in the past month.

On the number of hours of continuous power supply experienced in the household on a daily basis, 42 per cent of respondents said they experienced about one to four hours of power supply on a typical day between April and June, while only 13 per cent of respondents claimed the received 15-19 hours of power during the same period as against 20 per cent of respondents who said they were getting 10-14 hours of power.

The poll noted that 46 per cent of Nigerians, forming the majority, experienced a drastic increase in their spending on alternative sources compared to a year ago, compared to 23 per cent that experienced a slight increase, and 15 per cent that indicated a slight decrease in their spending, while 12 per cent of the respondents did not experience any change.

The findings from the poll appear to contradict the claims by the Minister of Power, Chinedu Nebo, who said on Tuesday while presenting the scorecard of his ministry’s performance during the 2013 ministerial platform that most Nigerians are currently enjoying an average of 16 hours of uninterrupted power supply nationwide.

He said with the installed generation capacity of about 9,920 mega watts (MW) since the beginning of the year, and available generation capacity of about 6,522 MW, the plan by his ministry was to consolidate on the performance and improve the available power supply to between 16 and 24 hours per day for all Nigerians by 2014.

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