Nigeria businesses lose $29bn annually to poor electricity

Epileptic power supply costs businesses in Nigeria about $29 billion yearly, the World Bank has
said. The bank says an average Nigerian consumes four times less energy than their counterparts
in a typical lower middle-income country.

The bank’s conclusion was drawn from its Power Sector Recovery Programme factsheet
presented during the World Bank’s virtual meeting with journalists last week.
The bank’s practice manager, West and Central Africa Energy, Ashish Khanna, in his
presentation said, “Businesses in Nigeria lose about $29 billion annually because of unreliable
electricity. Nigerian utilities get paid for only a half of the electricity they receive.”
According to him, for every N10 worth of electricity received by distribution companies, about
N2.60 is lost in poor distribution infrastructure and through power theft and another N3.40 is not
being paid for by customers.

“Six in 10 of registered customers are not metered, and their electricity bills are not transparent
and clear. This contributes to resistance to pay electricity bills,” the PUNCH quoted him as
The PSRP document said only 51 per cent of installed capacity was available for generation, as
an average Nigerian consumed four times less energy than their counterpart in a typical lower
middle-income country.

The document said the Nigerian government assisted poor citizens in paying up the electricity
bills. It said poor citizens use less electricity, while the richer families consume more power.
The bank described the document as a comprehensive response to Nigeria’s power challenges
with the aim to renew the country’s economy by rebuilding a functioning and fair power sector.

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