THE IMPACT OF POWER SUPPLY AND ITS USE IN GYEL DISTRICT JOS
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The importance of power supply to any economy cannot be overemphasized. It the pivot on which the economic, industrial and technological development of any nation is hinged upon. This study was carried out to assess the state of power supply and use in Gyel District of Jos- South Local Government Area of Plateau State. Four communities were selected to constitute the sample population using the simple random sampling technique. A structured questionnaire was the major instrument used for data collection. 120 copies of one questionnaire were administered on 30 respondents each drawn from the four sampled communities. Descriptive statistical technique was used in data presentation which involved the use of simple percentage tables, bar graphs and charts while analysis of variance (ANOVA) was used for data analysis. The statistical test showed a significant variation in the duration of electricity supply in the study area. The study found that power supply in was inadequate, ineffective and replete with a number of problems such as overloading of transformers, illegal connection and use of obsolete equipment to mention a few. The study further made recommendations on how to tackle the problems experienced, ways to improve power supply in the study area and suggested the need for further research in other aspects pertaining to power supply and use in the study area that were covered by this study.
1.1 BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY
Power supply is very important to the social, economic and technological development of any nation. All aspects of the life of the citizenry is affected by power supply, ranging from keeping a clean home to running multinational companies. Without adequate power supply, businesses, homes and the society at large cannot function to their full capacity. One of the key indices for measuring the development status of any country is the state of power supply. This is because the power sector is the real engine that drives a nation’s economic growth and development. Indeed, the role which reliable and sustainable power supply plays in the socio- economic development and technological advancement of a nation cannot be underestimated. This is because inadequate power supply in an economy is detrimental to the overall productivity of small, medium and large scale industries.
Nigeria is the most populous black nation in the world and despite its huge natural resources it is still one of the poorest countries in the world with an estimated GDP of 2162 dollars (Iwayemi, 2008). Over the years, the importance of attaining a regular and steady power supply has been at the center of developmental debate in Nigeria. Sambo (2008) has traced the history of electricity in Nigeria to 1896 when electricity was first introduced in Lagos, 15 years after its introduction in England. He observed that despite the fact that the emergence of electricity in Nigeria is over a century; its development has been at a slow rate. Sambo further observed that for over 20 years prior to 1999, the power sector did not witness substantial investment in infrastructural development. There were no new investments and existing ones were in a deplorable state. In 2001, generation went down to an average of about 1750MW, as compared to a load demand of 6000MW. According to the same author, only nineteen out of the seventy- nine installed generating were in operation.
Nigeria is richly endowed with various energy resources; crude oil, natural gas, coal, hydropower, solar energy, wind energy and fissionable materials for nuclear energy. In spite of these, Okafor (2006) observed that the country consistently suffers from energy shortage, a major impediment to industrial and technological growth. There is an extreme electricity deficiency in Nigeria and the causes of this deficiency are related to financial, socio- political and structural issues which lead to the power sector in Nigeria to be recording high energy losses from power generation and billing as a result of these inefficiencies (Iwayemi, 2008).
The power situation in Nigeria is very is regrettably grim. What is often projected for generation by the National Electric Power Authority (NEPA) now Power Holdings Company of Nigeria (PHCN), a government parastatal saddled with the responsibility of managing plants as well as distribution of power nationally is not commensurate with demand. Consequently, individuals, 0rganisations and industries resort to internal generating plants. An estimated 60- 70% of the Nigerian population does not have access to electricity. Energy demand in Nigeria is dominated by fuel wood and women and children are the most affected in the energy crisis. At present only 10% of rural households and 30- 40% of the country’s total population has access to electricity (Sambo, 2007). The energy sector in Nigeria totally rely on government subsidize fuel and funding of major energy plants and energy capital projects by the federal, states and government agencies.
Okafor (2008) has reported that the current per capita consumption of electricity in Nigeria as at 2008 was about 106kwh/person compared to what Ghana’s 430, India’s 470 and Brazil’s 1800. Expected increase in consumption was 379MW annually at 2.5% population annual growth rate and 5% annual growth of the economy.
Studies and experiences have shown that power generation in Nigeria has been dismal and unable to compare with what obtains in small African countries. A recent survey on power distribution to the industrial sector in Nigeria showed that average power outage in the industrial sector increased from 13.3 hours in January 2006 to 14.5 hours in March 2006. In a worsening experience, the outage increased to 16.48 hours per day in June. In other words, power distribution in the month of June, 2006 to the industrial sector, on the average was 7.52 hours in March of the same year. In Bompai area in Kano state, power outage increased from 10.3 hours in January to 13.0 hours in March, while in Enugu/Anambra zone, it increased from 17.2 hours to 18.5 hours within the same period. In Edo/Delta zone the average power supply to industrial area is put at 4.4 hours per day. The Ikeja industrial area of Lagos enjoyed power for 21.5 hours per day, the highest in the country. Industrial estates in Bauchi, Benue and Plateau zone receive power supply for 4.5 hours per day which amounted to near blackout in real sense (Nwoshai, 2006; Odiaka, 2006).
Studies further revealed that power supply in virtually all the states in Nigeria has been dismal and irregular. For instance, in Benue state, only Makurdi the state capital receives electricity supply for about five hours a day. Also in Delta state some communities never had power for upwards of six months. In Lagos, the commercial nerve centre of the country, the situation is also bad as power supply in many in many residential parts of Lagos is about four hours per day with cuts at short intervals. It is a total blackout in some areas for about three days or more (Akpan, 2005; Odiaka, 2006; Ogunmodede, 2006).
Table 1: Comparative Analysis of electricity consumption world wide
Per capita Consumption
Source: Agbo (2007)
Nigeria presently has an installed capacity of approximately 10,000MW of which 25% is hydro and 75% is gas fired thermal plants but this has been grossly underutilized as only about 4200MW is generated on the average compared to the installed capacity. Although no official estimates for electric power demand exist, electric power demand has been estimated at over 10,000MW and is expected to grow at the rate of 10% per anum from 2010-2020. This shortfall in power supply is posing a major setback to the country’s ability to reduce poverty and achieve the millennium Development Goals (MDGs). Perhaps it is only individuals that are neither living nor doing business in Nigeria who will be oblivious of the fact that lack of adequate power supply, especially electricity is the major challenge the country is facing to fully utilize its economic potentials in order to achieve economic development. This is also the most significant factor which is affecting the country’s race to be one of the biggest and top twenty economies of the world by 2020 (vision 20- 20- 20).
The desire to find lasting and permanent solutions to the problems of power supply in Nigeria has remained a priority of every successive government in the last ten to fifteen years. In recognition that the problem of power supply is a challenging one scuttling socio- economic activities across the country, the civilian administration in Nigeria since its inception in 1999 started making huge investment in the energy sector. Available records showed that by the end of 2001 the generating capacity had increased from 1824MW (from 19 generating units) in March, 2000 to about 4000MW (from 40 generating units) and a new peak of 2934MW was recorded in the process. This was made possible through rehabilitation of existing units, installation of new generating plants and the procurement of power from independent operators (Makoju, 2002; Adegbamibe, 2007; Agbo, 2007). Nigeria’s government had set up 10,000MW target to be achieved by the end of 2007 as it had invested in new power projects that would be privatized after completion (Owan, 2005).
Till today, the power sector in Nigeria is still undergoing one form of reform or another, be it privatization or deregulation. Despite these efforts the power situation in Nigeria has not improved significantly. The Nigerian government has not been able to find permanent solution that will resolve the problems due to the adaptation of short term, hasty policies and also still undergoing energy projects which are detrimental to long term energy policies that will help the nation to achieve sustainable energy and energy efficiency. For example, what the country has done is still usage of the various alternatives that are still within the limits of fossil fuels, which are the only source that currently powers the nation’s economy (J. Kennedy-darling, N. Hoyt, K. Murao, A. Ross, 2008).
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1.2 STATEMENT OF THE STUDY PROBLEM
There is no gain saying the fact that power supply plays a critical role in the overall development of a nation. There is a growing concern among researchers, government and citizens alike that power supply in Nigeria is grossly in inadequate and epileptic. Access to uninterrupted power in Nigeria is also proving increasingly difficult. An estimated 60- 70% of the Nigerian population does not have access to electricity and at present, only 10% of the rural households, and 30- 40% of the country’s total population have access to electricity (Sambo, 2007). The distribution of electricity shows great disparities between rural and urban, and between residential and industrial areas in the urban centers (Ali- Akajiak & Pyke, 2003). It is common knowledge that the power system in Nigeria is plagued with frequent power outages and high energy losses. This stems from weak development and maintenance of the power system.
Plateau state and indeed Gyel in particular is no exception to this problem as it experiences long duration of power outages and in some cases total black out for couple of days occasioned by load shedding. The frequent interruption of power often experienced in Gyel creates serious problems for residents (household electrical and electronic appliances are damaged, food and beverages stored in refrigerators get spoilt, clothes are not ironed, and heating water for bathing and cooking get difficult), organizations (smooth day- to- day running of their activities is hampered) and also hampering the smooth and efficient running of commercial activities (businesses that depend on electricity) not leaving out small and medium scale industries located within the study area thereby compelling them to resort the use of petrol/diesel generating sets at exorbitant prices.
It is therefore, against this background that the present study addresses itself with the following questions;
i. What are the sources of power (electricity) in Gyel?
ii. What is the duration of power (in hours/day) supplied to Gyel?
iii. What are the problems associated with power supply and use in the study area?
iv. What are the major determinants of power supply and use in the study area?
v. What are the various uses of electricity in Gyel?
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1.3 AIM AND OBJECTIVE OF THE STUDY
The primary aim of the study is to assess the state of power supply and use in Gyel district of Jos- South Local Government area of plateau state.
The specific objectives are;
i. To identify the sources of power supply in the study area.
ii. To determine the various uses of electricity in the study area.
iii. To measure the duration of power supplied (in hours per day) to the study area.
iv. To find out the problems of power supply and use in the study area
v. To find out the major determinants of power supply and use in the study area.
1.4 SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY
This study is expected to increase the knowledge base and update information on power supply and use in Gyel district of Jos- South Local Government Area of Plateau state. It will also serve as a working document to policy makers in government, power sector and non- governmental organizations. The study will further serve as a baseline data for further investigation, as useful material for academic purposes, and as an added literature to the existing knowledge.
1.5 SCOPE OF THE STUDY
The focus of this study is on its central theme which is “power supply and use”. The study was carried out within a time frame of 12 months, running from January to december, 2013 and it was restricted to the confines of Gyel district in Jos- South Local Government area of Plateau state as its study area.
1.6 STUDY HYPOTHESES
HO: There is no significant variation in the duration of electricity supply from one community to another in the study area.
HA: There is significant variation in the duration of electricity supply from one community to another in the study area.
1.7 THE STUDY AREA
Gyel district is located in Jos South Local Government Area of Plateau state. It lies within the North-Western part of the Jos Plateau. It is 14km to the south of Jos city. It is situated between latitude 90 46’ 59”N and 90 51’ 56”N and longitude 80 50I E and 80 59I E (field work, 2013)
Gyel district is described as a distinct geographic (physiographic) region among the recognized in Plateau State Gwom (1992), Gyel district is a land of Jos South Local Government of Plateau State, it shares boundary with Jos North Local Government Area (L.G.A) and Bassa Government Area (L.G.A). It also shares boundary with two (2) districts namely Kuru district and Du district, (Gwom 1992).
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