Almost 8 in 10 Nigerian Households Rely on Alternative Sources of Power As Erratic Power Supply Persist

Abuja, Nigeria. 28th July 2015 – Power poll results released by NOIPolls Limited for the second quarter of 2015 revealed that as a direct effect of power shortage and the poor state of power supply in Nigeria, most Nigerians have adapted the use of alternative sources of power such as generators, solar inverters etc. with the average use of alternative power supply recorded at 77 percent over a 27-month period (April 2013 –June 2015). The poll result revealed that Q2 and Q4 2013 recorded the highest (81 percent each) use of alternative sources of power, while Q1, 2015 recorded the lowest at 70 percent. This result supports findings from the recent NOIPolls Power Tracking Report which revealed that there has been no remarkable improvement in power supply over a 30 month period as only an average of 36.4 percent of Nigerian households saw improvement in power supply.[1]

Furthermore, monthly tracking of the usage of alternative sources of power across geopolitical zones revealed that majority of residents across all geo-political zones use alternative sources of power, although the South West Zone recorded the highest overall average (83 percent) usage of alternative sources of power, moreover this zone is the worst hit zone  in terms of actual power supply over a 30-month period[2]. In addition the North-West Zone (71 percent) accounted for the lowest overall average usage of alternative sources of power over the 27 month period.  

Finally, while Nigerians continue to rely on alternative sources of power supply as measures towards sustaining household activities and livelihood, the negative effects, associated with the usage to some of these sources especially generators cannot be overlooked.  Apart from its impact on the spending patterns of Nigerian households, several reports have revealed  its negative effect on the environment and most especially its hazard to Nigerians mostly cartegorised as death from generator fumes as well as noise pollution.[3] For instance a report by Good Governance Initiative, GGI, revealed that no fewer than 10,000 Nigerians have died from poisonous ‘generator’ fumes, between 2008 and 2014. These draw backs therefore call for urgent need for the Nigerian market to gradually shift  its focus to renewable power sources even as long term strategies are developed towards reviving the entire power sector.

Brief Background

A constant stream of energy is necessary in ensuring the development of an economy. Nations plagued with an epileptic power supply must deal with delayed development and the risks associated with the loss of potential investors in the market.

From 1999 to present day, the country’s power generation hovers between 2,500 and 4,500 megawatts. As of May 2015, Nigeria’s total electricity generation dropped to a meagre 2,800 megawatt, the lowest in nearly a year.[4] The country’s current power supply does not meet the  demand for electricity and as a result, there has been a rise in demand for alternative sources of power as a direct consequence of the epileptic power supply in Nigeria.

With the aim of monitoring the progress made so far in the power sector reforms in Nigeria, NOIPolls introduced the Power Polls in 2013 to explore the perception of Nigerians towards the power sector reforms. The polls are conducted monthly to explore the amount of power supply received daily and expenditures made on power supply, as well as the state of power supply to households and its effect on consumers especially in the use of alternative sources of power and its financial implications.

In conducting the power polls, respondents were asked 5 specific questions every month; one of these questions (centered on the usage of alternative source of power) will be discussed in this release. The result presented is a 27-Month tracking of the usage of alternative sources of power supply by Nigerian households. For a full report, please contact NOIPolls on enquiries@noi-polls.com

Key Findings

Monthly Tracking of  Alternative Use of Power Supply

With the aim of tracking the usage of alternative sources of power for each month, respondents were asked if they use alternative sources of power such as generator, inverter etc. Monthly tracking on the use of alternative sources of power revealed that over a 27 month period, the average use of alternative power supply was recorded at 77 percent nationwide. This finding therefore depicts that most Nigerians do not rely on actual power supply due to the power sector challenges which have been long established. Moreover the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN) estimates that 60 million residents use generators of varying sizes, although generators which runs with premium motor spirit (PMS), commonly known as petrol are the most widely used alternative sources of power. [5]

Further analysis revealed inconsistencey in the use of alternative sources of power which can be mainly attributed to the inconsistent state of power within this period. For instance the month of June 2013 (85 percent) recorded the highest use of alternative sources of power supply, while February and March, 2015 recorded the lowest at 68 percent each.

Nationwide Quarterly Tracking of the use of  Alternative source(s) of Power (generators ,inverters etc.)

The nationwide quarterly average tracking of the use of alternative sources of power revealed that Q2 and Q4 2013 (81 percent each) recorded the highest use of alternative sources of power, while Q1 (70%) and Q2 (75 percent) 2015 recorded the lowest usage. A review of power supply within these periods revealed that Q1 and Q2 2015 also recorded the lowest power improvement from 2014 as revealed by the recent NOIPolls Power Poll results[6]. This therefore suggest that the use of alternative sources especially generators is not just a function of the state of power supply, but it can also be affected by other socio-economic factors such as the availability and cost of fuel for runining generators. For instance the decline in the usage of alternative sources in Q1 and Q2 2015, even in the face of poor power supply could be attributed to the fuel scarcity which lingered within this period.

Tracking of the use of Alternative Sources By Geo-Political Zones Over 27 Months

Monthly tracking across geopolitical zones on the use of alternative sources of power, revealed  that the South West and South South Zones recorded the highest overall average (82 percent each) proportion of households that  use alternative sources of power, whereas the North-West Zone (71 percent) accounted for lowest overall average proportion of households that use  alternative sources of power over the 27 month period. It is pertinent to note that recent power poll released by NOIPolls also revealed the South–West zone as  the worst hit zone in terms of power supply over a 30 month period (January 2013-June 2015).

In conclusion, findings from this report revealed that Nigerians have adjusted to the use of alternative sources of power (e.g. generator, inverter, etc.) due to the general poor state of power supply in Nigeria, as the overall average use of alternative power supply was recorded 77 percent over a 27-month period. These findings indicate that the Nigerian power sector has persistently been running with a shortfall, in spite of heavy funding from power reform interventions. While the use of alternative sources have generally bosted household activities and the livelihood of Nigerians, some negative effects which pose potential health harzards of some alternative sources cannot be overlooked; especillay with recorded cases of deaths from generator fumes. This therefore calls for urgent focus on the exploration of  renewable energy, such as nuclear, solar, and wind as nationwide alternative source of power supply to residents.

Survey Methods

The opinion poll was conducted from Q2 2013 to Q2 2015. It involved telephone interviews of a random nationwide sample. A total of 27,000 Phone-owning Nigerians aged 18 years and above, representing the six geopolitical zones in the country, were interviewed within a 30-month period. NOIPolls Limited is No1 for country specific polling services in West Africa. We conduct periodic opinion polls and studies on various socio-economic and political issues in Nigeria. More information is available at www.noi-polls.com

Disclaimer

This press release has been produced by NOIPolls Limited to provide information on all issues which form the subject matter of the document. Kindly note that while we are willing to share results from our polls with the general public, we only request that NOIPolls be acknowledged as author whenever and wherever our poll results are used, cited or published.

NOIPolls hereby certifies that all the views expressed in this document accurately reflect its views of respondents surveyed for the poll, and background information is based on information from various sources that it believes are reliable; however, no representation is made that it is accurate or complete. Whilst reasonable care has been taken in preparing this document, no responsibility or liability is accepted for errors or fact or for any views expressed herein by NOIPolls for actions taken as a result of information provided in this report. Any ratings, forecasts, estimates, opinions or views herein constitute a judgment as at the date of this document. If the date of this document is not current, the views and content may not reflect NOIPolls’ current findings and/or thinking.

Press Contact

The Editor

Email: editor@noi-polls.com

[1] http://www.noi-polls.com/root/index.php?pid=338&parentid=13&ptid=1

[2] http://www.noi-polls.com/root/index.php?pid=338&parentid=13&ptid=1

[3] http://www.punchng.com/special-feature/pains-gains-of-alternative-sources-of-power/

[4]http://electricity.nextierlimited.com/?p=2427

[5] http://www.energy.gov.ng/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=74

[6] http://www.noi-polls.com/root/index.php?pid=338&parentid=13&ptid=1