The Oasis Reporters
July 5, 2018
If you need a generator to have 24 hours of light, you must sink your own borehole to have water, your child needs a private school to have education, and a mob can easily kill you on the highway, then the state you live in is a failed state. Failed states are like failed hearts. They don’t totally cease to function, but their output can’t meet the basic demands needed for survival. Nigeria is a failed state.
Assuming that Nigeria generates 50,000 MW electricity per day. Lagos is allocated 15,000 MW. Kano and Ogun 3,000 each, while Abuja, Cross-River, Delta, Edo, Kaduna and Rivers each receives 500-1000 MW depending on need. That is 27,000 MW at most. Distribute the 23,000 MW balance among the other 27 states and you will be left with thousands of megawatts for bridging gaps during disasters or sabotage.
What would that achieve? A society with no generators and their attendant costs, where welders, builders, hotels and SMEs will cut operating costs, hire more workers, make more profits, and pay more taxes to government. Where hospitals will utilize revenues to purchase new equipment without funding from Abuja. Where government ministries will save costs, thus freeing more funds for infrastructure and social welfare (eg, rail transport and subsidized healthcare for all citizens).
At individual levels, we would be more productive with abundant electricity. The money we spend on generators and fuel can pay for children’s college education, or mortgages. Not to talk of our scientists battling with darkness when their colleagues are inventing new gadgets and discovering malaria vaccines in laboratories overseas where electricity generated by public utility companies – whether private or government-owned, run 24/7.
Mind you, we are only imagining. Let us wake from slumber and face a nation where government and citizens alike think electricity is not necessary for human progress.
Written by Nura Alkali , neurologist at Abubakar Tafawa Balewa University (ATBU), Bauchi