Electricity a luxury in Nigeria–Mele Kyari

NEWS DIGEST–The Group Managing Director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, Mr Mele Kyari, has said electricity is “largely a luxury” and out of the reach of many Nigerians.

Kyari said this on Tuesday at the Nigeria International Petroleum Summit in Abuja.

He said there was a need to resolve the issue of electricity supply in the country amid the global energy transition from the use of fossil fuels (such as petrol and diesel) to renewable energy.

“For this country and very many of us in sub-Saharan Africa, what we worry about today is actually the meals of today. There are many who can’t afford a meal a day. And of course, electricity is largely a luxury; it’s only for the elite, like all of us here,” he said.

Total power generation in the country stood at 3,899.3 megawatts as of 6:00 am on Monday, according to the Nigerian Electricity System Operator.

The NNPC boss noted that many households had continued to depend on small petrol-powered generators, popularly known as “I-pass-my-neighbour”, in the local parlance.

Kyari said, “It is the dream of very many to have I-pass-my-neighbour in their homes. When you say, ‘Do not use fossil fuel,’ you are saying that ‘park this.‘ You have not provided alternatives. The world has not looked at their situation. The world has not recognised that there is abject poverty in the communities.

”We have to resolve the issue of electricity so that we can talk about renewable energy in the future and reduce the use of fossil fuel that has a high impact on the environment. We know that there is an energy transition in the world. With time, there will be less dependent on fossil fuel.”