In reference to the current ease of the covid restrictions globally, international borders opening up gradually and international trades regaining their strength, one of the factors to consider as an entrepreneur in my country is power (Electricity).
This is one of the Organs of infrastructure that affects entrepreneurs greatly. It will interest you to know that in the past 27 weeks, the national electrical grid has collapsed 3 times leaving the nation in blackouts and businesses to alternative sources of power AC (Alternative Current). Again the high rising cost of AGO popularly known as diesel has not helped matters as the use of generators has been on the increase.
Remember Firstbank of Nigeria. One of the leading commercial banks had to regulate its operational hours due to the unstable power supply resulting in a reduction of time with customers and increased use of diesel at a higher cost
Transmission and distribution of power (Electricity) in the world of today cannot be controlled by the centre which is most time referred to as the federal government. In the case of Nigeria, transmission is controlled by the centre and distribution has been privatized to Discos in geo-political zones. Unfortunately, this system cannot work seamlessly.
The distribution company popularly called the disco was privatized in September 2013 with hopes of improved performance in the Electricity sector. Unfortunately, that hope has long waned. The 3 tiers of the value chain of the Electricity industry which are power generation, power transmissions and power distribution could not get improved performance when only the least of the value chain was privatized. Unfortunately, the discos have to hike their tariffs to be able to strike a balance between their profit margins and cost of operations. Still, this does not stop the national Grid from collapsing.
Taking a case study from the world’s largest combined-cycle power plant in Africa (Egypt) that generates 14.4 GW power generation on the national grid through renewable energy compared with Nigeria which has 12,522 MW through hydro and thermal energy. But in reality, power generation in Nigeria has never exceeded 7000MW which is approximately 7GW for a nation with a population of approximately a 200million.
Obviously, we cannot get out of blackouts without the use of renewable energy as a source of power generation in addition to the existing hydro and thermal energy. At least we need appropriately 21GW of electricity power generation through the 3 sources of energy as identified above.
Some problems associated with inconsistent power supply are listed below:
- Unstable power supply
- Ridiculous tariffs
- High cost of Fuel
- Increased rate of bunker
- Obsolete generation plants and equipment
- Inadequate and poorly maintained transmission system
Finally, who regulates the activities of the discos? Ensuring they deliver excellent customer satisfaction while consumers are not overpriced.
Possible solutions that can be explored are mentioned below.
- Diversification of power source. The national grid which is the framework for distribution is regulated by the state government.
- Regulation on the use of Generators to reduce noise and air pollution
- The use of an alternative power supply e.g. Solar
- Study advanced countries and implement possible alternatives
- Stop vandalism
Electricity plays an important role as an entrepreneur and must be seen as the Life of a business.