Nigeria's failing power sector: how Buhari can improve it

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Report summary

Nigeria’s power sector has been transformed in the past three years, but long-suffering customers are yet to notice a dramatic improvement in supply. Privatisation was supposed to cure decades of state neglect, but the sale of generation and distribution only attracted local buyers with little or no power sector experience. To make things worse, the commercial framework is weak, while gas supply to power is regularly disrupted by vandalism. The sector may be in private hands, but the government still determines its fate. President Buhari must secure pipelines, staunch the revenue leaks from government, and - most important of all - end fuel subsidies. Multi-billion dollar savings would allow the government to honour its legacy debts, subsidise power for low-income customers and finish its programme of investments. This would stabilise the sector andset it on the path to recovery.

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Table of contents

  • Introduction
    • Generation
    • Transmission
    • Distribution
  • Privatisation is no guarantee of success
    • Improve security of gas supply
    • Improve DISCO liquidity and cut losses
    • End fuel subsidies
    • Subsidise low-income residential consumers
    • Complete the National Integrated Power Projects
    • Fund more regulatory capacity building
    • Further support for low-cost, off-grid generation and solar power
  • Conclusion

Tables and charts

This report includes 3 images and tables including:


  • Make-up of peak generation on 23 September 2015
  • Installed versus available capacity in the power sector
  • Cost of fuel subsidy (2006-2012)

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