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Editor's Pick#OPENSpace: How Nigerians 'unknowingly' contribute to electricity challenges

#OPENSpace: How Nigerians ‘unknowingly’ contribute to electricity challenges


On OrderPaper Parliamentary Engagement Nigeria (OPEN) Space, Energy Expert, Robert Emmanuel highlights how inefficient energy practices by citizens contribute to the country’s power challenges

It is common knowledge that Nigeria’s energy sector has over the years been described as one bane of economic development in the country.

Interestingly, successive governments since the country’s return to democracy in 1999 have consistently put the challenge as a cardinal goal to be achieved during their term in office. Sadly, however, no one Nigerian can claim that sufficient progress has been recorded in that light.

While we can saddle the majority of this failure on the government, not many may be aware that citizens have a complementary role to play in ameliorating the situation.

Energy Expert, Emmanuel Roberts, harped on this while speaking on a panel at the fourth episode of the OrderPaper Parliament Engagement Nigeria (OPEN Space); a citizen parliament meet-up hosted by OrderPaper Nigeria.

The show moderated by Temidayo Taiwo-Sidiq, OrderPaper’s Senior Programme Executive, also had Rep. Ben Igbakpa representing Ethiope Federal Constituency in the House of Representatives, as a panelist.

The moderator who explained the country’s energy woes, lamented the current ridiculous arrangement where 200 million people are left to live on 4,000 megawatts, whereas countries like Egypt and South Africa, have been able to generate as much as 50,000 plus megawatts for a lower population. He noted that they also store up energy in excess to serve as a buffer in times of emergency.

READ ALSO: Electricity Bill 2022: Senate seeks increased investment in sector

According to the Executive Director at the Society for Energy Efficiency and Conservation, part of the energy crises facing the country borders on citizens’ unconscious failure to put off their lights or gadgets while not in use.

“It has actually contributed considerably to our energy crisis. Sometimes when we look at the challenges we face, we realise that as citizens, we unconsciously and unknowingly help in contributing to the energy crisis. We generate less and the little that we generate is lost due to energy theft or wasted in terms of inefficient energy practices,” he said.

He further explained that his organisation; the Society for Energy Efficiency and Conservation advocates effective energy and efficient practices through sensitisation and awareness programmes. This he noted takes place across all social strata like primary and secondary schools, universities as well as the grassroots.

“Instead of keeping your lights on, put it off when not in use. The energy wasted deprives others of the opportunity to enjoy that same energy, but due to low sensitisation in the country, most people are not aware.

Poor energy conservation habits are contributing to the energy crises we are currently facing. I believe that going forward with this bill, the government should also join the campaign as a matter of urgency.”

READ ALSO: #OrderPaperSpecial: Fact File on the Electricity Bill 2022

The energy stakeholder equally urged the President Buhari-led government to come up with a National Policy backed by strategic programmes to sensitise the populace on the need for energy conservation and usage of energy efficient products.

“We need to reduce our waste energy because most of the energy products Nigerians use, require only 30% of what they end up consuming. Such products end up becoming energy vampires.

They are not efficient in any way as they sap unnecessary energies leading to ways we contribute to the energy crisis that is currently going on in Nigeria unknowingly and unintentionally,” he said.

Adding to his points, he praised the Senate for passing the Electricity Bill, while pointing out that it holds promise for the development of the energy sector.

“We can come together to invest in power generation whether off-grid or on-grid. if they can get investors because there are a couple of them currently in talks with some power companies from Germany and the US.

Currently, some Resident Association Estate in Abuja here is trying to get investors and the power companies coming from these countries to invest in residential electric generation. I believe as I said earlier that this provision will all go well for the energy sector,” he added.

OrderPaper Parliament Engagement Nigeria (OPEN Space), is hosted bi-monthly by OrderPaper Nigeria to educate and serve as an engagement channel for citizens, lawmakers, and other stakeholders on topical issues connected with parliament and democracy.

The fourth episode of the show held on Thursday, 28th July 2022 with the “Passage of the Electricity Bill 2022: Prospects and Implications” as its focus.

The series also serves as a channel through which OrderPaper engages its readers and followers across platforms.

Lizzy Chirkpi
Lizzy Chirkpi
Lizzy Chirkpi has a BA in French and is a senior reporter at OrderPaper. She has keen interest in photojournalism and video documentary. She's also a writer and author of a book, "Pourquoi Le Francais." She likes reading, traveling and watching movies.
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