President Bubu has 64 days left in office, and it seems he’s looking to go out with a bang, as on March 17, 2023, he signed 16 constitutional amendment bills.
But what might interest you the most is that a particular bill might permanently erase the phrase “Up nepa” from the Nigerian vocabulary.
This is the Fifth Alteration Bill No. 33, Devolution of Powers (National Grid System), which grants Nigerian states the power to generate, transmit and distribute electricity to areas covered by the national grid.
It’s no secret that Nigeria’s power sector is dilapidating, seeing as no one bats an eye anymore when the national grid collapses every Eke market day. And despite the fact we have the potential to generate 12,522 megawatts of electricity, our poor infrastructure has limited us to only around 4000.
According to the World Bank, around 43% of the Nigerian population doesn’t have access to electricity from the national grid, and about 22 million small-unit generators are in use by Nigerians. This explains why we’re ranked 171 out of 190 in electricity access.
But with the Devolution of Power Bill, we might be looking at a new dawn very soon.
How exactly will this bill help with power supply?
As we’ve already said, state governments now have autonomy over power generation and distribution which means they can take advantage of the state’s resources to provide a more diverse and sustainable means of power generation.
Nigeria is blessed with renewable energy that is unfortunately underutilised. In the North, solar and wind energy is abundant.
And the oil and gas in the South-South and South-East can drive electricity generation from thermal energy.
Lagos state already has plans to utilise its solar and gas energy to provide at least 18 hours of electricity by the end of this year.
This bill is the first step in our journey to a stable power supply that hopefully doesn’t end in disappointment from the state governments.