A visit to the Nigeria Shiroro Dam was all I needed to get answers to the one million questions on my mind concerning the Electricity problem in Nigeria. It is no news the problem of electricity in the country and my field trip there meant getting all the answers to my questions concerning the botheration of Power. The moment the tour guide was done explaining how the electricity was generated, I started throwing my questions like missiles fired by an uncontrolled agent.
“Why can you not produce more than 600 mega watts?”
The Kainji Dam is the largest dam in Nigeria with installation capacity to produce only about 960 mega watts but only 8 of it’s 12 turbines have been installed dropping its production to 760. The Jebba dam produces only about 540 mega watts and the Shiroro dam, 600 mega watts. In total, Nigeria produces 1900 mega watts.
He replied ” We do not have the capacity to produce above that. If we have to produce more than that, we would need to almost replace everything here as all the machinery would break down should we try”.
So what can we do to Improve the Situation? Build more dams. The Nigeria family is growing and the government needs to take that into consideration. If you fed yourself with N1000 per day, It would become impossible to do that by the time you have a husband and five Children. Good theory
I would like to throw more light on some issues that keeps haunting me every time I close my eyes to sleep at night:
Firstly, The Kainji dam started operating in 1968, 8 years after Nigeria got her independence. It cost 209 million dollars to construct it. The Shiroro dam started operating in 1990 and the Jebba dam was opened in 1984. Note that all the functional dams were built long before the millennium. A decade to be precise and 26 years by 2016.
The Population of Nigeria as at 1990 was 95.62 million. By 2000, it was at 122.9 million. And in 2016, Nigeria has a population of about 186 million. Almost twice the population in 1990. And these statistics, the government is aware of.
Secondly, Money has been pumped into the power sector yearly. The Federal Government has spent more than N2.74 million on electricity since 1999. The 2016 budget offers N433.4 billion for works, power and housing. If all these Money is being pumped into the power sector, we should be able to erect at least three more dams by now. Because if it caused 209 million to erect a dam in 1968, then 48 years later, it would cost probably twice that amount. So let us say it cost 500 million dollars to erect a dam and the Obasanjo administration spent 16 billion dollars on power, we would be able to erect up to 5 dams and still maintain the already existing ones.
Thirdly, The power sector has been privatised and re-privatised for optimal production Yet it has been the same since the 90’s.
There in lies the billion dollar question (I mean this literally owing to the figures we have above);
“Why haven’t new dams be built in Nigeria?”
The Ikere Gorge dam was a project started in 1983 but got abandoned. And no government has looked into finishing it to help support Nigerians.
The Nigeria Government is aware of the increase in the Nigeria population so how come they are not doing anything? Because there is no way they can claim ignorance to these facts neither can they claim to not have heard of the idea of creating more dams. We know the problem and the solution so why are we not making headway?
Nigeria supplies light to her neighboring country Niger (at least it is the country I know of). It is good to know we care about our neighbors. In any case, there is love in sharing. Acting like the giant of Africa that they are.
We know the problem, we know the cause of the problem, we know the solution, so why is none of the solution being implemented? Because we cannot say all people voted into the senate are brain dead and have not been able to think of these ideas. Why are the people in power not responding to the plights of this fast growing country? Is it that they are less concerned since they are comfortable? Or are we going round again in the circle of corruption? That I can’t answer. You tell me. How can we get the people in power to respond to the plight of Nigerians and make changes beneficial for the common man?
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