National Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) has said Nigerians are partly responsible for the poor power supply in the country. General Manager in the commission, Dr. Tony Akah, who disclosed this, stated that Nigerians took advantage of the flat rate bills to waste power, leading to poor supply.
Akah spoke while delivering the keynote lecture at the 2nd academic lecture series of the Economics Department, Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka, Anambra State.
Speaking on the theme, Energy Consumption, Challenges and Prospects in the 21st century, Akah insisted that electricity was not a social product, hence must be priced appropriately to attract investors and make them bring in their money.
He regretted that because of the flat rate billing system, which estimated a consumer’s consumption rather than metering the actual rate consumed, most Nigerians left their appliances on all through the day, thereby wasting the little available energy.
He said: “In Nigeria, you find a situation where families leave their light on all through the day and this has impact on the facilities. In some cases, you see people using 100 and 200 watts bulbs. But the normal thing is for people to use the LED bulbs, which are just three and five watts. We will conserve a lot of energy by using these kinds of bulbs.”
Nigerians, Akah said, should learn to maximise energy, to let others have electricity, and must also learn to switch to low energy-consuming bulbs as that would assist consumption.
Describing the power sector reform as real and vigorously being worked towards, he urged Nigerians to exercise patience, as that was the only thing they needed to enjoy it.
Akah added that most Nigerian industries were responsible for their own power generation because the country could not meet their demands for power, a reason he said made the country import dependent as firms preferred to relocate to countries with steady power.
Governor Willie Obiano, in his speech, commended the Department of Economics for organising the lecture, describing the theme as apt.
Represented by the Commissioner for Education, Prof. Kate Omenugha, Obiano praised the commitment of the Federal Government to the power sector reform and promised to support the government to ensure that the reform was achieved. He urged Nigerians to exercise patience to enable the reform work.
In his welcome address, the Head of Department of Economics, Uche Nwogwugwu, said the theme of the lecture was fashioned to recognise the role power, played in everyone’s life.
He stated that just as Nnamdi Azikiwe University ranked as the most preferred university in the country this year, the Economics Department had become the most preferred by students.