APPRAISAL OF RURAL ELECTRIFICATION PROGRAMME IN THE NIGERIA LOCAL GOVERNMENT A STUDY OF EBONYI STATE
1.1 BACKGROUND OF STUDY
Electricity generation in Nigeria began in 1896. The Nigeria electricity supply company (NESCO) commenced operations as an electric utility company in Nigeria in 1929 with the construction of a hydroelectric power station at Kurra near Jos. The electricity corporation of Nigeria (ECN) was established in 1951, while the first 132KV line was constructed in 1962, linking Ijora power station to Ibadan power station. The nation’s electricity problems hinder its development notwithstanding the availability of vast natural resources in the country. Only four sources (coal, crude oil, natural gas and hydro) are currently being utilized in processed forms while two others (wood fuel and solar) are used in their crude forms for heating, cooking and lighting. It is widely accepted that there is a strong correlation between socio-economic development and the availability of electricity. Power supply in Nigeria is not a recent phenomenon judging from the fact that electricity was first generated in Nigeria in 1896, just a decade after its introduction in Europe]. In 1952/53 the total electricity consumption was only 77 million kilowatts-hours which grew to 4066 million kilowatts hours in 1979/80 and became 188340 million kilowatts-hour in 2007/2008. As at July 12, 2011 the electricity consumption was recorded to be 19.21 billion kilowatts-hours. Power stations require large amounts of energy to turn turbines for the generation of electricity. The Electric Power Sector is one of the most important sectors to national development. The power sector is critical to the developmental reform of any country.
To discuss the electric power sector in Nigeria in a realistic way, an appraisal of its development since independence is necessary in this study. Electricity supply in Nigeria dates back to 1886 when two small generating sets were installed to serve the then Colony of Lagos. By an Act of Parliament in 1951, the Electricity Corporation of Nigeria (ECN) was established, and in 1962, the Niger Dams Authority (NDA) was also established for the development of Hydro Electric Power. However, a merger of the two was made in 1972 to form the National Electric power Authority (NEPA), which as a result of unbundling and the power reform process, was renamed Power holding Company of Nigeria (PHCN) in 2005. The Nigerian power sector is controlled by state-owned Power Holding Company of Nigeria (PHCN), formerly known as the National Electric Power Authority (NEPA). In March 2005, President Olusegun Obasanjo signed the Power Sector Reform Bill into law, enabling private companies to participate in electricity generation, transmission, and distribution.
In Africa and various parts of the world like India, Power stations use heat energy produced from burning coal, moving water energy or wind energy (World Bank, 2011). According to South Africa’s electricity supply company – Eskom, electricity distribution in various countries which is usually carried out by their respective electricity distribution industry plays a very important role to those supplying and consuming it (Eskom, 2015). (Abdelhay & Malik, 2011) describes electricity distribution as an important stage in the three stage delivery of electric power which also includes generation and transmission. With the world population steadily increasing from 6.8billion people in 2011 to 7.4 billion in 2015, Ross (2015) recognises that, challenges faced by EDI’s in the distribution of electricity are bound to multiply.
This is because these challenges which include generally poor infrastructure, wear out of distribution grids and climate change, are compounded by increase in the demand for electricity. Other authors like (Bouttes, Dasaa & Crassons, 2011) support Ross’ view by identifying 3 main global challenges faced by the delivery of electric power increase urbanization, the change in climatic conditions and the increase of demand in power. The problems faced with electricity distribution around the world, even though common, occur at different intensities in different countries. In places like the United Kingdom, for example, there is more concern about future electricity distribution. (Watson, McDonald & Ferguson, 2001) says that the method used for distribution network design now that is based on the reinforcement network will be outdated for network designs in the future as the rely heavily on reinforcing network practices. They view this problem not only as a mechanical problem but also a managerial challenge as the design makes less severe the challenges of electricity distribution and at the same time hindering the ease of taking advantage of the opportunities. In India, managerial reforms and governance have included the 2 unbundling of their electricity distribution system such that there are both economic incentives and disincentives and more private players in distribution.
A critical assessment by the country’s electricity planning commission revealed that this reform has weaknesses in terms of performance and affordability of electricity. While realising that it is good for free and fair competition to exist, high cost of electricity rates have also been noted around the country (Alagh, 2013).
1.2 STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM
Rural electrification is one of Nigeria’s initiatives to provide modern energy to rural areas. The overall national electricity access is less than 23 percent, with 48 percent of those with access to electricity in the urban areas whereas only two percent in the rural areas (MEWD, 2006). This lack of access to electricity undermines the pace and scope of economic development, reduces quality of life and welfare of the under-privileged population, and decreases the quality of basic social services such as schools and health centres (MEWD, 2006). In an effort to boost rural energy and create improved conditions for socio-economic development in Nigeria, the Government established a Rural Electrification Fund (REF) in 1994. This was to be funded by collecting 3.45 percent of the sales tax on electricity consumption.
The REF was administered by Ministry of Energy and Water development (MEWD) and priority was accorded to health facilities, schools and community centres. Despite these efforts, the pace of rural electrification was very slow, resulting in only three percent of the rural population having access to electricity by 2004 (REA, 2009). Electrification has assessed accessibility to grid electricity services and micro enterprise development, drivers and barriers to rural electrification, impacts of access to electricity to rural enterprises. However, little has been done to determine the contribution of grid electricity services to household income. Finally several research has been carried out on effect of rural electrification in Nigeria. But not even a single research as been carried out on Assessment of rural electrification programme in Nigeria.
1.3 AIMS AND OBJECTIVES OF STUDY
The main aim of the study is to determine Assessment of rural electrification programme in the Nigeria, Onicha local government of lbadan, Ebonyi state. Other specific objectives of the study includes;
- to determine the effect of rural electrification programme in Nigeria.
- to investigate the challenges of electrification in rural areas in Nigeria.
- to determine the extent to which electrification in rural areas has affected Nigerians.
- to determine the factors affecting rural electrification in Nigeria.
- to proffer possible solutions to problems
1.6 RESEARCH QUESTIONS
- What is the effect of rural electrification programme in Nigeria.
- What are the challenges of electrification in rural areas in Nigeria.
- What is the extent to which electrification in rural areas has affected Nigerians.
- What are the factors affecting rural electrification in Nigeria.
- What are the possible solutions to problems.
1.5 STATEMENT OF RESEARCH HYPOTHESIS
H0: there is no rural electrification programme in Onicha local government area of Ebonyi State.
H1: there is rural electrification programme in Onicha local government area of Ebonyi State.
1.6 SIGNIFICANCE OF STUDY
The study on Assessment of rural electrification programme in the Nigeria, will be of immense benefit to the people of Onicha local government lbadan,Ebonyi state. In the sense that; It will also encourage a range of service providers to deliver cheaper, cleaner electricity through the promotion of best practice including the use of renewable energy sources. It is assumed that private sector providers will be heavily involved in enhancing access through – both the Power Holding Company of Nigeria (PHCN) successor distribution companies privatized and a range of other public and private companies. The Ministry of Power will continue to be Responsible for laying down policies on in access and rural electrification, including (a) setting–out policy guidelines and (b) monitoring and evaluating the performance of the programme and its agencies.
It will also be accomplished by encouraging a range of service providers to deliver cheaper, cleaner electricity through the promotion of best practice including the use of renewable energy sources. It will also be of great advantage to the government if job opportunities is created in terms of electricity in the rural areas to help speculate electricity to all part of the neighboring communities. Finally the study will contribute to the body of existing literature and knowledge to this field of study and basis for further research.
1.7 SCOPE OF STUDY
The study on Assessment of rural electrification programme in the Nigeria, is limited to Onicha local government of Ibadan, Ebonyi state.
1.8 LIMITATION OF STUDY
Financial constraint– Insufficient fund tends to impede the efficiency of the researcher in sourcing for the relevant materials, literature or information and in the process of data collection (internet, questionnaire and interview).
Time constraint– The researcher will simultaneously engage in this study with other academic work. This consequently will cut down on the time devoted for the research work.
1.9 DEFINITION OF TERMS
Can be define as the task of providing a country’s rural population with the electric power necessary to meet its needs.
Is the systematic collection, review, and use of information about educational programs undertaken for the purpose of improving learning and development.
Is a geographic area that is located outside towns.