Access to electricity is critical for the socio-economic development and sustainable growth of Nigeria. With a population of over 170 million and average power supply ranging from 2,000MW to about 3,500MW, it is evident that this is insufficient to meet the needs of the people. Legacy PHCN assets were privatised in November 2013 with a purpose to encourage private sector investment and spur improvements in access and amount of electricity delivered to Nigerians. Unfortunately growth of power supply to the grid has been significantly slow. This has led to limited electricity access to many homes, businesses, commercial and industrial enterprises as well as educational institutions. Consequently, the Hon. Minister of Power, Works & Housing has developed the ‘Energizing Education’ (EE) programme which is being implemented by the Rural Electrification Agency.
The EE programme seeks to engage the private sector with the prime objective of developing off-grid captive power projects for the provision of adequate power supply to thirty seven (37) federal universities seven (7) university teaching hospitals (UTH) across the Federal Republic of Nigeria. In order to achieve this aim, an extensive energy demand study has been undertaken at each university to determine their actual power requirements, electrical distribution networks and identifying land for the installation of conventional and renewable Captive Power Plants.
The socio-economic benefits attached to this rural electricifation access intervention are significant, and not only largely impacts the power, education and health care sectors, but also provides a measure to ensure that Nigeria achieves its targets contained in its Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs), under the Paris agreement.
Examples of such benefits include but are not limited to the following:
- Enhancement of education and systems at tertiary level
- Access to electric power in rural communities
- Promotion of a decentralised multi-demographic approach to infrastructure delivery
- Development of renewable energy projects