Most poor households in Nigeria are not connected to the country’s electricity supply network as only 22 per cent of the poorest of them have access to grid power, the World Bank has said.
Nigeria Power Sector Recovery Programme, which was based on the latest figures sourced from operators such as the Nigeria Electricity Regulatory Commission, the Rural Electrification Agency, the National Bureau of Statistics, power generators and distributors made this known.
An analysis of the detailed report by our correspondent on Friday showed that many poor Nigerians, particularly those in rural areas, were not connected to the country’s power grid.
In the report, the bank asked, “Who is connected to the grid?”
And it answered the question by saying, “Only 22 per cent of the poorest households have access to electricity.”
It then argued that keeping the electricity tariff low was beneficial to the rich more than the poor as the former were more connected to the grid and consume more electricity.
It said, “Who gets the higher benefit? For every N10 the government spends on meeting the tariff shortfall, N8 goes to the richer households who don’t need help paying their bills.”
The bank stated that the average annual per capita electricity consumption of Nigeria was 148 kilowatt-hour, making the nation a fourth of typical middle-income country consumption.
It stated that 40 per cent of people with access to electricity relied on non-grid sources such as generators, solar home systems, while low-income households resorted to candles and flashlights.
According to the bank, 41 per cent of Nigerian households pay for grid electricity and only 18 per cent of them pay for more than 100kWh/ month.
The report observed that 58 per cent of non-farm enterprise owners were women and many of them were home-based, reliant on generators and were losing sales.
The bank said, “A large number of rural schools and health centres are unelectrified – critical for human development.”
It said electrification in Nigeria had been at 1.1 per cent per annum since 2010 and had not kept pace with population growth, which it put at three per cent per annum, hence increasing the deficit by about three million people to 85 million (57 per cent of the population).
Nigeria now has 25 per cent more unelectrified people than the second most unelectrified country (DRC – in absolute terms),” the bank stated.