Nigeria, second worst in electricity—World Bank Report


A report released by the World Bank and some foreign organisations has shown Nigeria taking the ignominious position of the second worst country with high electricity access deficit. The report states that 82.4 million Nigerians lack access to electricity.

In an assessment of the worst 20 countries in the world, Nigeria came second to India with a population of 306.2 million people with lack of access to electricity.

Other worst countries in the report include Bangladesh (66.6 million), Ethiopia (63.9 million), Congo DR (55.9 million), Tanzania (38.2 million), Kenya (31.2 million), Sudan (30.9 million), Uganda (28.5 million), Myanmar (24.6 million), Mozambique (19.9 million), Afghanistan (18.5 million), Korea DR (18 million), Madagascar (17.8 million), Philippines (15.6 million), Pakistan (15 million), Burkina Faso (14.3 million), Niger (14.1 million), Indonesia (14 million) and Malawi (13.6 million).

Nigeria also came fifth among the 20 countries with the highest deficit in access to non-solid fuel. The report states that in Nigeria, 117.8 million people still use these non-solid fuel including firewood, charcoal and other such cooking sources.

India came tops in the rating of the countries with lack of access to non-solid fuel with 705.0 million people. This is followed by China with 612.8 million people, Bangladesh with 134.9 million people and Indonesia with 131.2 million people.

Unfortunately, while India, China, Indonesia, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Brazil, Philippines are moving very fast to resolve the challenge ahead of the Sustainable Energy for All by 2030, Nigeria is lagging with an annual increase in the access to electricity at the rate of 1.8 percent.

However, the annual increase in access to electricity was taken between 1990 and 2010 according to the report released Sunday evening on the World Bank Twitter handle.

The report showed some level of pessimism that sustainable energy for all would be achieved by the year 2030 owing to the slow pace at which countries in the African region have worked.

It also stressed that, “the achievement of universal access to modern energy will depend critically on the efforts of 20 high-impact countries (Nigeria inclusive).

“Together, these countries account for more than two-thirds of the population presently living without electricity (0.9 billion people) and more than four-fifths of the global population without access to non-solid fuels (2.4 billion people).

“This group of 20 countries is split between Africa and Asia. For electricity, India has by far the largest access deficit, exceeding 300 million people, while for non-solid cooking fuel India and China each have access deficits that exceed 600 million people.

“The access challenge is particularly significant in Sub-Saharan Africa, which is the only region where the rate of progress on energy access fell behind population growth in 1990–2010, both for electricity and for non-solid fuels.

“Among the 20 countries with the highest deficits in access, 12 are in Sub-Saharan African countries; of those, eight report an access rate below 20 percent. Similarly, among the 20 countries with the lowest rates of use of non-solid fuel for cooking, nine are Sub-Saharan African countries, of which five have rates of access to non-solid fuel below 10 percent.”

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The report which is to help assess the level of progress of countries under the Sustainable Energy for All (SE4ALL) initiative was launched last year at the 2012 Rio+20 Conference on Sustainable Development.

According to Kandeh Yumkella, the UN Secretary General’s Special Representative for Sustainable Energy for All, the initiative seeks to achieve, by 2030, universal access to electricity and safe household fuels, a doubled rate of improvement of energy efficiency, and a doubled share of renewable energy in the global energy mix.

“A team of energy experts from 15 agencies worked under the leadership of the World Bank and the International Energy Agency to produce this comprehensive snapshot of the status of more than 170 countries with respect to energy access, action on energy efficiency and renewable energy, and energy consumption.

“The report’s framework for data collection and analysis will enable us to monitor progress on the SE4ALL objectives from now to 2030,” he said.

On its part, the World Bank expressed fears that Africa faces acute energy challenges, with the lowest electrification rate of all the regions at 26 percent of households.

In Africa, it said, at least 550 million people do not have access to electricity.

“Without access to energy services, the poor are deprived of the most basic economic opportunities needed to improve their standards of living.

“Access to environmentally and socially sustainable energy is essential to reduce poverty.

“Over 1.2 billion people are still without access to electricity worldwide, almost all of whom live in developing countries. About 2.8 billion use solid fuels – wood, charcoal, dung, other biomass, and coal – for cooking and heating.

“Every year fumes and smoke from open cooking fires kill about 1.6 million people, mostly women and children, from respiratory diseases,” it said.

It further said that to make the leap to universal access to modern energy services by 2030, new capital investment of about $48 billion will be needed every year in addition to worldwide annual investments of about $450 billion just to sustain energy services at current levels.

—Eromosele Ebhomele

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