The federal government has given the assurance that at least 75 per cent of Nigerians would be connected to the national grid by year 2020.
Government is targeting the connection of an average of 1.5 million households annually to close the gap of less than 50 per cent access to electricity with about 35 million households without power.
Speaking yesterday at the 7th Annual Nigerian Association for Energy Economists (NAEE)/International Association for Energy Economists (IAEE) conference in Abuja, Minister of Power, Prof Chinedu Nebo, said the connection of Nigerians to grid electricity would be complemented with the Light Up Rural Nigeria initiative to eliminate darkness in the county by 2020.
He said, “Government is injecting a huge amount of resources to make sure that most communities in Nigeria who are not connected to the national grid eventually get connected. By 2020, we are expecting that 75 per cent of all Nigerians will be connected to the national grid whereas operation light up rural Nigeria intends to make sure that eventually no community is left behind.”
While noting that government was ready to synergise with the energy economists in the area of policy formulation, the minister said, “We hope that there will be a good level of symbiosis between the ministry of power and the NAEE so that we can have a good synergy that we need in order to make sure that no community and eventually no child in Nigeria is left in darkness. We will be ready to work with you, utilise your ideas, do whatever we can do together for the good of our country,” Nebo said.
Earlier in his remarks, the NAEE President, Prof. Adeola Adenikinju, said the conference will address pertinent issues in the energy access challenge with focus on how to make energy accessible to Nigerians irrespective of their location and status.
For his part, the IAEE President, Prof. Wumi Iledare noted that public policy must drive investment in the sector if government wants to make energy available, affordable and sustainable for Nigerians.