Nigeria has 12,500 MW of installed generation capacity, being largely dependent on hydropower and fossil (gas) thermal power sources; 12.5% and 87.5% respectively. Although it is important to note that currently only 3,500 MW to 5,000 MW is typically available for onward transmission to the final consumer.

Based on this scenario the country’s energy sector could be deemed as being in crisis, with the extensive losses attributable to non-availability of the installed capacity and a very high occurrence of significant technical and non-technical issues through the power supply value chain.

The supplied electricity is delivered to Nigerians connected to the grid, though these customers suffer from extensive power outages a situation that results in annual consumption of electricity per capita being amongst the lowest in Africa, estimated at less than 150 kWh.

Against this backdrop, a significant number of businesses operating in the country possess standby generators, statistics on this captive generation capacity are not readily available however estimates are as high as 14-20 GW.

In response to this situation, the Government of Nigeria in 2013 completed an extensive nine-year-long process of power sector reforms centered on the privatization of the country’s main generation and distribution assets. In addition, to tackle the supply and distribution crisis, fifteen (15) government-owned generation and distribution companies were sold to private owners in 2015.

Electricity Demand and Electrification Rates

Nigeria has an electrification rate of 45% and despite this relatively low figure in conjunction with the significant issues undermining power supply in the country, demand for electricity keeps increasing. In 2015, power supply in Nigeria averaged 3.1 GW, which was estimated to be only a third of the country’s minimum demand, with many consumers forced to rely on privately owned generators. As per the tables below data from 2014 shows that the residential sector is the largest consumer at over 50%.

Electricity generation

The total installed capacity of the 25 grid-connected generating plants in Nigeria is approximately 12.5 MW, but many plants suffer from recurrent challenges such as maintenance and repair requirements, trips, faults, and leakages, that make them unavailable for evacuation to the national grid. The electricity sector is mainly based on natural gas thermal power plants. Approximately 85% of the grid-connected power plants are fossil fuel (gas) fired, while the remaining15% is hydroelectric power plants.

Transmission and Distribution

The Transmission segment of the electricity value chain remains fully government-owned; by the Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN), but under a management contract with Manitoba Hydro International. Manitoba Hydro was hired in 2012 to reduce technical and commercial losses of TCN, improve the business process, and split the company into the Transmission Service Provider (TCP) and Independent System Operator (ISO). Nigeria’s transmission network has the capacity to wheel about 5,300MW of power, however, due to generation constraints, less than this capacity gets wheeled. Underinvestment in building new infrastructure and lack of appropriate maintenance of the current infrastructure has constrained the transmission network expansion. Transmission losses on the line stand at ~7.4% (based on January to July 2015 data). Nigeria’s transmission network comprises of 159 substations and 15,022km of transmission lines. The transmission network has recorded a decline in system collapse incidents (partial and total) on the transmission grid between 2010 and 2015.


  1. Reply


  2. Profile photo ofItz Kvng Twitch


    Very interesting

  3. Reply

    This is interesting

  4. Reply

    Thanks for this

  5. Reply


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  7. Reply

    This is really good and interesting to know

  8. Reply


  9. Reply

    Intelligent update

  10. Reply


  11. Reply

    Nigeria has an electrification rate of 45%

  12. Reply

    Good to know

  13. Reply

    Interesting update

  14. Reply

    All these and Nigeria power supply is low.

  15. Reply

    This is good to know

  16. Reply

    Thanks for sharing

  17. Reply

    Nice update

  18. Reply


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