Nigeria has one of the lowest net electricity generation per capita rates in the world. The organisation responsible for electricity production and supply in Nigeria is the Power Holding Company of Nigeria (PHCN), formerly the National Electric Power Authority, known as NEPA. Nigeria is in the process of privatising the PHCN, hoping this will lead to greater investment in the sector and consequently increased power generation.

Prior to the enactment of the Electric Power Sector Reform Act (EPSRA) in 2005, the Federal Government of Nigeria was responsible for policy formulation, regulation, operation, and investment in the Nigerian power sector. Regulation of the sector was done through the Federal Ministry of Power (FMP) with operations through the National Electric Power Authority (NEPA).

The Presidential Task Force on Power was established by President Goodluck Jonathan’s administration in June 2010, to drive the implementation of the reform of Nigeria’s power sector.

The Federal Government-owned electricity system currently comprises:

  1. Three hydro and seven thermal generating stations with a total installed capacity of about 6,852MW, with available capacity of 3,542MW (in 2010).
  2. A radial  transmission grid (330kV and 132kV), owned and managed by the Transmission Company of Nigeria, and
  3. Eleven distribution companies (33kV and below).

According to the National Population Commission, it was expected that Nigeria’s population would hit 170 million by the end of 2013. Of these, less than 50% currently have access to electricity.

Nigeria plans to increase generation from fossil fuel sources to more than 20 000 MW by 2020. A major source of capacity expansion is expected to come from Independent Power Projects (IPP’s). IPP’s currently contribute around 1 600 MW to the national grid.

The power generating plants in Nigeria as well as their capacity and mode of operations can be outline below;

Afam Power Station has an installed capacity of 776MW. The plant was commissioned in phases. During the Initial phase, 1962-1963, gas turbine units 1-4 were commissioned. During the second phase, 1976 to 1978, gas turbine units 5 to 12 were commissioned. Gas turbine units 13 to 18 were commissioned in 1982. Two gas turbine units were added in 2001 during the final phase of the Afam Power Station extension.

Calabar Thermal Power Station Calabar Power Station has an installed capacity of 6.6 MW derived from three units of 2.2 MW each. Currently, it supplies 4.4 MW to the national grid and primarily serves as a booster station to the Afam and Oji River power stations. The Calabar Power Station was built in 1934.

Kainji/Jebba Hydro Electric Plc (concession)Kainji/Jebba Power operates as two hydro generation plants, each drawing water from the River Niger. The combined installed capacity of the two plants is 1330 MW, with Kainji generating 760 MW and Jebba 570 MW. Effectively, the plants operate at full capacity. Kainji began operation as Nigeria’s first hydro power plant in 1968 while the Jebba plant was commissioned in 1985. Jebba is the smallest of the three operating hydro power plants in Nigeria. In addition to generation facilities, the hydro plants have on-site Medical facilities, a staff school, a recreation centre, and a training school. The two plants are in very good condition.

Oji River Power Station Oji River Thermal Power Station was originally built to take advantage of plentiful nearby deposits of high-grade coal. Oji generates 10 MW of power from five coal-fired boilers and four steam turbines originally installed in 1956. The plant is the only coal-fired steam power station in Nigeria. Water from the nearly Oji River is used to feed the steam turbines and also for cooling purposes.

Sapele Power Plc Sapele Power Plant is a thermal generating station located in Nigeria’s gas- rich Delta State. Sapele has an installed capacity of 1020 MW. Sapele Power’s six 120 MW steam turbines generate a daily average of 86.72 MWH/H or approximately 2,500 GW/H annually. Sapele Power currently operates at a peak capacity of 972 MW.
Sapele Power is strategically located in the Niger Delta region, close to sources of  both natural gas feedstock and a river for cooling its steam turbine generators.
Sapele Power includes an updated control room, a switchgear room, a staff training school, and medical and recreational facilities. Sapele Power began operations in 1978.

Shiroro Hydro Power Plc (concession)Shiroro Power Plant was commissioned in 1990; it has an installed capacity of 600 MW. It currently runs at full capacity, generating 2, 100 GWh of electricity annually. As Nigeria’s newest hydroelectric plant, Shiroro hosts Nigeria’s SCADA-operated national control centre. Shiroro is also equipped with switchyard facilities that include a technical “step down” function for enhanced distribution into the national grid, an advanced control room and modern training facilities.  The plant is situated in the Shiroro Gorge on the Kaduna River, approximately 60 km from Minna, capital of Niger State, in close proximity to Abuja, Nigeria’s federal capital.

Ughelli Power Plc operates a gas-fired thermal plant located in the Niger Delta region. Ughelli Power is one of the largest thermal generating power stations in Nigeria. The plant has a peak capacity of 972 MW; it can generate 2500 GWh of electricity annually. The plant meets current world specifications for plants of its type, and includes an updated control room, a switchgear room, a staff training school and recreational facilities. Ughelli began operations in 1966.


Nigeria is endowed with abundant energy resources, both conventional and renewable, which can potentially provide the country with a sufficient capacity to meet the ambitions of both urban and rural Nigerians of a full, nationwide electrification level. Yet, Nigeria has one of the lowest consumption rates of electricity per capita in Africa.

Renewable energy sources have the potential to provide enough primary energy or electricity to meet our national demand as shown in table 2. However, the development and utilization of clean energy is dependent on having the technological know-how, right policies, financing and infrastructure in place to ensure access to the abundant energy source with low or zero fuel and maintenance cost.

Some of the renewable energy potentials can be identify below’


In 2003, the Federal Government approved a national energy policy, which encourages the effective utilization of the country’s renewable energy resources. This has positioned her for the integration of solar energy into the nation’s energy mix. Nigeria lies within latitude 4.32oN and 14oN and longitude 2.72oE and 14.64oE. The sun radiates energy at the rate of about 3.8×1023 KW/s and Nigeria receives about 4.85 x 1012 KW/h of energy per day 1 . This comes to about 4-7.5 hours per day of sun light on the average. With this enormous sustainable and free clean energy source, this nation can achieve enough in the areas of – agricultural product drying, cooking/boilers and generation of electricity for domestic and industrial uses.


Nigeria is blessed naturally with good flowing waters. Policies are in place allowing private sector participation in hydro power generation. Our major hindrances here are technological expertise and financial constrain.

Between 1968 and 1990, this nation can only boast of three functional major hydro powers at Kainji, Jebba and Shiroro.( table 5) It is sad to note that all these plants are running below their installed capacities due to political and technological reasons which include dependence on foreign firms for the maintenance of these dams and employment of unqualified management staff based on ethical or political affiliations. These have resulted to serious energy shortage in the nation. Hydro power source is the major source of electricity for industrial and domestic purposes in Nigeria. Despite the huge financial involvement for its installation, the economic benefits are overwhelming.


Wind has consistently been one of the fastest growing renewable energy markets in the world adding nearly 36GW in 2010. In terms of required wealth, technical potential for world development, wind power exceeds global electricity demand. Technically wind is of higher projected potential than hydro power 4. Nigeria with about 924,000 KM2 of land mass including desert and semi arid areas has enough un-obstructed spaces to install wind power plants that can serve its energy needs.


Bio mass and biodiesel energy sources are one of the most environmental friendly sources of energy in recent times. Bio mass provides about 10% of world’s primary energy supplies 4. Biodiesel sources in addition to

meeting our social economic needs, contributes positively to agriculture through natural remediation of land.

Nigeria has vast uncultivated agricultural land to meet her green fuel needs, which in turn provide employment for her teaming unemployed working population. Federal Government renewable energy policy of 2003 creates enabling environment for profitable investment for both public and private investors in renewable energy sources.


Table 2, Renewable Energy Potentials in Nigeria.

RESOURCE                                          CAPACITY                                           REMARK

Big hydro power                                    11,500MW                                 Only 1972 MW exploited

Small hydro power                                3,500MW                                  Only about 64.2 MW exploited

Solar                                                    3.5KW/m/day to 7.0KW/m/day

Sunshine hours                                     4 to 7.5 hrs. / day

Wind                                                     2 to 4 m/s at 10m height mainland


fuel wood                     11 million hectares of forest & woodland

Animal waste                 245 million assorted (2001)

Energy crops & agric residue                 72 million hectares of agric land

Source, central bank of Nigeria (2007)



As the country strive to meet its energy requirements, an international renewable expert has declared that Nigerian is under-utilising its renewable energy potentials for power generation. The country’s renewable energy potential remains still untapped. Given the abundance of natural resources in the region, there is huge potential for renewable electricity scale-up; both grid-based and distributed renewable energy. The current target is to have 75 per cent of the population electrified by 2020. Meeting this target will require the widespread uptake of renewable. The nation’s targets for renewable power capacity includes: Bio-power: 50 MW by 2015; 400 MW by 2025; Hydro-power (small scale): 600 MW by 2015; two GW by 2025 (Nigeria’s target excludes hydropower plants >30 MW); Solar PV (large scale, >1MW) 75 MW by 2015; 500 MW by 2025; Wind Power 20 MW by 2015; 40 MW by 2025; CSP 1MW by 2015; 5 MW by 2025.

My advice is government should have the political will to woo investors in the power sector and provide an enabling environment for all to built, generate and sell to the Nigerian people. Thanks





















  1. Adeyemo, S.B. (1997), “Estimation of Direct Solar Radiation Intensities” Nigeria society of Engineers

Technical Transaction. 32 (1-9).

  1. Central bank of Nigeria, (2007) “annual report and statement of accounts”
  2. Chilakpu, K.O, (2013). Jatropha Seed Based Biodiesel Production Using Modified Batch-Reactor and

evaluation in a Single-Cylinder Engine” PhD thesis, Federal university of technology Owerri.

  1. Douglas, Arent; (2012), Energy and National security program. Center for strategic and international studies.

Washington DC.

  1. Korbitz, W. (1999); “Biodiesel production in Europe and North America and Encouraging prospects”

Austrian biofuel institute Vienna Austria.

  1. National Bureau Of Statistics,(2007).”Annual Abstract of Statistics.
  2. Palligamai, T; Vasudevan and Michael Briggs (2008), – “Biodiesel production – current state of the art and

challenges”. Society for industrial microbiology.

  1. Sambo, A.S. (2010), “Renewable energy development in Nigeria”. Paper presented at the world future

council/strategy workshop on renewable energy, Accra, Ghana

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