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The Nigerian Power Sector Reforms: Overcoming Post-Privatization Challenges

Posted on Thu 6 Aug 2015

“By 2020, the energy sector will be the major engine of the nation’s sustainable social, economic and industrial growth, delivering affordable and constant energy supply efficiently to other sectors of the economy” – Nigeria’s Vision 2020 National Technical Group on Energy

The journey so far

Given the perennial challenges evident through the electric power sector value chain in Nigeria, and more importantly in appreciation of the successes of privatization recorded by countries, which had hitherto faced similar challenges, the Federal Government of Nigeria commenced the privatization of its electric power sector. This article reviews the Nigerian electric power sector privatization, identifies the challenges emanating from the process, and recommends solutions to these going forward.

Prior to the privatization, the government owned and operated a vertically integrated company, known as the National Electric Power Authority (NEPA). NEPA was a creature of statute, specifically established to exercise unilateral control over generation, transmission and distribution of electricity in Nigeria. Like other state corporations which performed abysmally, NEPA’s efforts at achieving steady supply of affordable power to homes and businesses, were frustrated by needless bureaucracy and official corruption. The dismal supply of electric power from the grid soon resulted in the stunted growth of the overall economy.

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