Power supply in Nigeria is like the abiku,a spirit child (in Yoruba mythology)whose stay on earth is but for a short time. The abiku ventures into the world as a tourist, on a two weeks visa. Abikus are born like every other child, but they die before a certain age. The Abiku logic is to return to the world again through the same parents, only to die again. Herbalists, no matter how versed in incantations and rituals are usually helpless when abikus decide to team up with their comrades in the spirit world(Call it abiku homecoming)
The abiku child dies, yet again and efforts are fruitless to make them stay. And here lies the nexus with power supply in Nigeria: there’s nothing you can do to make both stay.
Soyinka wrote of the abiku child:
In vain your bangles cast
Charmed circles at my feet
I am abiku, calling for the first
And the repeated time
But today’s missive is not about abiku the spirit child, far from it. The analogy drawn above only intends to show the helpless scenario that power supply and the abiku child presents. Consider it an attempt at simile, or something like that.
ZERO MEGAWATTS FOR 150 MILLION NIGERIANS
Ask the average Nigerian that problem they long for their government to fix and you’ll get the answer electricity from at least 70% of the respondents.It doesn’t take rocket science to figure out why this is the case. Of all the problems bullying this country, only few have frustrated Nigerians the way this electricity of a thing has.Unless you own a badass mikano generator, NEPA(forget that PHCN crap) has dashed your hopes at least once. You know this. That time you needed to iron badly for that owambe party and NEPA exercised their prerogative to give or not to give light.
Nigerians- after years of broken promises by different governments- have learnt, albeit the hard way to wish for little. We have learnt to cut our expectations because this is Nigeria-where nothing or anything happens. So the average Nigerian will tell you “even if this government doesn’t do anything else, let them fix electricity”.
There are myriad challenges facing the country, but power generation remains that front on which no virtually no progress has ever been made. The fact that “UP NEPA” remains one of the most popular lexicons in Nigeria is indicative of this. Even kids who haven’t mastered the art of speech these days scream “UP NEPA”.
The situation is that dire.
The comic side is this: politicians have been promising Nigerians constant power supply since like forever.
See for yourself, Nothing has changed.
After 56 years of independence and billions of dollars gone down the drain, the highest megawatts of electricity Nigeria ever generated is4,517.6MW in 2012.Last week Thursday for example, Nigeria generated approximately 0 megawatts of electricity for 3 hours. Yes, you read right, 0 megawatts.And it’s not the first time this is happening.
While other countries are advancing in solar, wind and other sources of alternative energy; our beloved country, married to hydro power, generates zero megawatts for 12.5% of 24 hours.
South Africa’s population is just one-third of Nigeria’s, yet she generates close to 50,000 megawatt of electricity. Now I’m comparing Nigeria with South Africa, an African country that shares our history of colonialism and economic exploitation. Not advanced economies like Britain, China, Germany or France. The bitter truth is whichever way you look- North pole or South pole, first world or third world, Africa or Latin America, Nigeria still ‘falls your hand”
I don’t know of any country in the world that generates 2200 megawatts of electricity for a population of 150 million+
Do they have two heads in South Africa? I didn’t think so
SMEs in Nigeria rely majorly on power supply. Many of these hardworking Nigerians have been forced to call it quit because they don’t get enough power supply to run their businesses. The average Nigerian household gets about four hours of electricity every day. On the assumption that these businesses can afford to buy petrol to power generators, petrol now competes with electricity for scarcity bragging rights. And here lies the irony.
Did I hear you sigh? You’ve just started. Everything in Nigeria is going to kill you- I didn’t say so, Ayo Sogunro did.
So, folks, the take home question for today is this: what are the odds that you’ll enjoy constant power supply as a Nigerian living in Nigeria before you die?
Or haven’t you thought about this?
Here’s the rough formula i devised: Required megawatts (50,000) divided by current megawatts generated(2200) multiplied by your age.
PS; I’m not a mathematician