I have maintained that the biggest challenge with Nigeria’s national grid system is that it is losing its best customers. As banks, oil companies and universities go off-grid, providing electricity through DISCOs (distribution companies) will become harder. Dangote Group uses about 3,000 MW of power but none of those watts have ever been linked to national grid. No matter how you see it, that is lost revenue for DISCOs.
Now universities are joining the game: Federal University Ndufu-Alike, Ikwo in Ebonyi State is now GRID-free. Yes, it is a big deal to be free of national grid in Nigeria. Obafemi Awolowo University plans to do so, and many other universities will follow.
Federal University Ndufu-Alike, Ikwo power project
By the time these schools finish and the premium companies are done, DISCOs will not have good customers to provide services. Who will give them funding under that paralysis? No investor will invest in you only for you to power only those that will require disconnection threats before they pay. Yes, you will be left with below premium customers to serve.
The government must understand that it has only five years before national grid model will collapse at least for commercial purposes. Sure, mid-scale industrial customers will continue to prefer national grid but that cannot be banked upon. Most renewable energy sources (e.g. solar) used in Nigeria today are not optimized for such services. On residential segment, the best customers are going solar weekly and very soon they will replace their generators with solar panels. DISCOs have existential threats in Nigeria under this redesign.
Congratulations to Federal University Ndufu-Alike. You have done well. Now, deepen your program to higher heights; no more power issues.
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