Abuja, Nigeria. April 15th, 2014 – Power Sector poll results released by NOIPolls Limited for the First Quarter of 2014 have revealed that an average of 63% (43%+20%) of Nigerians have experienced no improvement in their power supply, with 43% who experienced a worsened state and 20% having no difference at all. More findings revealed that an average of 63% (45%+18%) received less than 5 hours of continuous power supply daily with the majority (45%) receiving between 1-4 hours of continuous power daily and 18% receiving zero (0) hours of power supply. To this effect an average of 79% of Nigerians use alternative sources to augment their power supply and of this group, majority (72%) reported they experienced an increase in their spending on these alternative sources. Also observed was the decline of power supply to households over the quarter as those that experienced any improvement in their power supply fell from 44% in January to 37% in March 2014. These were the key findings from the Power Poll conducted in Quarter 1 (Q1), 2014.
The aim of the power sector reform by the Federal Government is to improve efficiency, encourage private sector involvement to fortify the power sector which is considered as Nigeria’s priority platform for development. The Nigerian power sector saw an achievement of a milestone in the completion of the privatisation process, however in the post privatization era; the power sector continues to encounter several challenges. One of such which was revealed by the Minister of Power; Prof. Chinedu Nebo in an interview with the Leadership Newspaper in January is the issue of adequate gas supply to power plants. This he considered as the top most challenge facing the sector.
With the aim of monitoring the progress made so far in the power sector reforms in Nigeria, NOIPolls introduced its Quarterly Power Poll Report in April 2013 to explore the perception of Nigerians towards the power sector reforms, the amount of power supply received daily and expenditure on alternative sources of power. The result presented is the 1st in the quarterly series for 2014 following the 2013 quarterly reports.
With the aim of assessing the trends in power supply over Q1 2014, respondents were asked the following question: How would you describe power in your area in the past 1 month? The three months average over Q1 revealed that majority (63%: 43%+20%) of the respondents have experienced no improvement in power supply, while 37% (14%+33%) experienced an improvement.
Furthermore, a trend analysis on the state of power across the three month reveals a worsened state of power in March compared to January and February. This is evident on the fact there was an 18-point increase in the total proportion of respondents that reported power remains bad and it’s very bad, has gone worse from January(36%: 24%+12%) to March (54%: 29%+25%).
To further evaluate the state of power through an assessment of the length of hours of power supply generally received by Nigerian households daily, respondents were asked: On the average, how many hours of continuous power supply does your household experience daily? Averages of the three months in Q1 showed that majority (45%) of Nigerians received between 1-4 hours of continuous power daily; 18% reported they received no power supply at all and another 18% claimed they receive between 5-9 hours of continuous power. Furthermore the month of March recorded the highest proportion of Nigerians who received between 1-4 hours of continuous power supply daily.
These findings further supports the previous which revealed a worsened state of power in March as it recorded the highest proportion of respondents who received less than 5 hours of power supply daily (73%: 53%+20%).
Subsequently, with the aim of measuring the proportion of Nigerians that use alternative sources, respondents were asked: Do you use any alternate source of electricity supply such as generators or inverters?Averages across the three months in Q1 2014 depicts that the proportion of respondents that use alternative source of power has almost remained constant with the peak observed in February (81%) and an average of 79%for the three months.
It is pertinent to note that the month of March which recorded the worst supply of power across the three months in Q1, accounted for the least proportion of respondents that use alternate sources of power supply. This may have been as a result of the fuel (which is essential in running some types of generators) scarcity during this period.
Furthermore, in order to evaluate the spending patterns of households on alternate sources of power supply, respondents were asked: How would you describe the amount you currently spend on alternative power compared to a year ago? A three months trend analysis in Q1, 2014 illustrates a continuous increase in the spending of Nigerians on alternative sources of power supply. A 4-point increasein the proportion of Nigerians that saw a drastic increase in their spending was experienced from January (50%) to February (54%)and then a significant increase in the same group by 14-Points from February to March (64%).
Furthermore, averages over the three months revealed that 57% of the respondents who use alternate sources of power to augment their power supply experienced a drastic increase in their spending on these sources, 15%indicated a slight increase while another 15% claimed their spending remained the same. In addition, 9% of the respondents experienced a slight decrease and 4% saw a drastic decrease in their spending on alternate sources of power.
In assessing the level of awareness of Nigerians on the reforms in the power sector, respondents were asked: Are you aware that the Federal Government is making efforts to reform the power sector? Findings revealed that the level of awareness was relatively constant across the three months with an average of 73% of adult Nigerians who are aware of the power sector reforms. However, there was a 1-point decrease in awareness from January (73%) to February (72%) and a 3-Point increase in March (75%).
Finally, respondents were asked: How do you feel about these on-going power reforms? Findings revealed that an average majority of 68% (22%+46%) are hopeful about the reforms, 16% (12%+4%) are dissatisfied while 16% are indifferent as they are neither hopeful nor dissatisfied about the power sector reforms.
Furthermore, findings in Q1 revealed a 6-point decrease in the proportion of respondents that are hopeful about the power reforms from January (71%: 21%+50%) to February (65%: 26%+39%) and a 3-point increase in March (68%: 18%+50%).
In conclusion, findings from the Q1, 2014 power poll have revealed that an average of 63% (43%+20%) of Nigerians have experienced no improvement in their power with, 43% who experienced a worsened state and20% having no difference. More findings revealed that majority (45%) of Nigerians received 1-4 hours of continuous power daily. To this effect an average of 79% of Nigerians use alternative sources to augment their power supply and majority 72% reported they experienced an increase in their spending on alternate sources. Additionally, the majority of Nigerians (73%) are aware of the power sector reforms by the Federal Government and of this group, 68% are hopeful about on-going reforms in the Power Sector. Finally, the challenges faced by the power sector in the post privatization era have obviously negatively impacted the supply of power to Nigerian households especially in the month of March. In order to fully yield the intended benefits of the privatization of the power sector, the generating and distributing companies in collaboration with other stakeholders will have to rise up with a new age strategy (which could be borrowed from countries who have an efficient power sector) to tackling these issues which seems to have always been present from the history of the Nigerian power sector.
The opinion poll was conducted between January and March 2014. It involved telephone interviews of a random nationwide sample of over 3,000 phone-owning Nigerians aged 18 years and above, representing the six geopolitical zones in the country. With a sample of this size, we can say with 95% confidence that the results obtained are statistically precise - within a range of plus or minus 3%.
NOIPolls Limited is the No.1 for country-specific polling services in West Africa. We work in technical partnership with the Gallup Organisation (USA) to conduct periodic opinion polls and studies on various socio-economic and political issues in Nigeria. More information is available at www.noi-polls.com
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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.