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Nigeria has overtaken the Democratic Republic of Congo to become the nation with the worst access to electricity globally.
This was according to a new update by the World Bank.
In a virtual engagement with journalists in Abuja on the Power Sector Recovery Programme (PSRP), World Bank officials said 25 percent of Nigeria’s population did not have access to electricity supply.
The bank added that many of the over 200 million Nigerian population with access to electricity had battled widespread blackouts and unreliable electricity supply for years.
“Nigeria now has the largest number of unelectrified people globally, and the trend is worsening; of the electrified, the supply is very unreliable with widespread blackouts.
“Nigeria now has 25 per cent more unelectrified people than the second most unelectrified country (DRC – in absolute terms). For the bottom, 40 per cent of the population (mostly rural), access to grid electricity is even lower at about 31 per cent nationwide. Regionally, only South-West has access of over 50 per cent (except Kano),” it said.
In his presentation, Ashish Khanna, the WBG Practice Manager, West and Central Africa Energy, noted, “The power sector is operationally inefficient with unreliable supply exacerbated by high losses and lack of payment discipline.
“Businesses in Nigeria lose about $29 billion annually because of unreliable electricity while Nigerian utilities get paid for only a half of electricity they receive”.
The bank further stated that 80 percent of grid-connected households have less than six hours of electricity daily, while 40 per cent of those with access to power rely on other means.
It, however, pointed out that the PRSP aimed to foster a change in the electricity situation while revealing that $1.25 billion was approved by the board between June 2020 and February 2021 to reset the power sector.