July 20, 2024

Former Ghanaian President John Mahama has emphasized the urgent need for Nigeria to boost its energy capacity by approximately 12% annually to effectively tackle its power sector challenges.

Speaking at the inaugural Leadership Series in Lagos, celebrating Dele Momodu’s 64th birthday, Mahama highlighted Ghana’s achievements in energy generation and shared his confidence in the potential for energy security across African nations.

Ghana’s Energy Success Story

Mahama pointed out that Ghana has successfully increased its generation capacity to 5,454 MW, enabling it to export power to neighboring countries like Togo and Benin. This accomplishment serves as a model for Nigeria and other African countries striving for energy stability. He stressed the importance of strategic planning to meet the continually rising energy demands, estimated to grow by 10% annually.

The Energy Transition and African Leadership

Addressing the broader issue of energy transition, Mahama called on African leaders to establish clear modalities, with Nigeria taking a leading role. He underscored the necessity for coordinated efforts to ensure sustainable and reliable energy systems across the continent.

Barth Nnaji’s Call for a Power Sector Emergency

Former Nigerian Minister of Power, Barth Nnaji, echoed Mahama’s concerns, urging the Federal Government to declare an emergency in the power sector. Speaking at the same event, Nnaji advocated for the creation of a “super grid” to prevent the frequent collapses of the national power grid. He detailed his proposal for a 765KV network, which would enhance the existing 330KV infrastructure, thereby improving the country’s ability to transmit power from large-capacity plants like the Manbilla Power Plant.

Nnaji highlighted the critical issues within Nigeria’s current transmission network, stressing that a more robust and well-structured grid system is essential to accommodate future power needs and stabilize the national grid.

Peter Obi’s Perspective on Power Generation

Peter Obi, former presidential candidate of the Labour Party, drew attention to the stark contrast between Nigeria and Ghana’s power generation capabilities. Despite having a population seven times larger than Ghana, Nigeria generates and distributes less power. Obi advocated for an “embedded power” approach, utilizing the country’s abundant gas resources to boost productivity and alleviate poverty, particularly in northern regions.

Dele Momodu on Nigeria’s Power Woes

Dele Momodu, the organizer of the event and publisher of Ovation Magazine, criticized the persistent electricity challenges in Nigeria, noting that despite paying for electricity, many Nigerians still do not receive adequate power supply. His comments reflect the frustration of many citizens and underscore the urgency of addressing these systemic issues.

Dignitaries in Attendance

The event was attended by several prominent figures, including Governor Ademola Adeleke of Osun State, former Governor Donald Duke of Cross River, the Ooni of Ife Oba Adeyeye Ogunwusi, and Edo State Labour Party governorship candidate Olumide Akpata, among others.

In conclusion, the Leadership Series provided a platform for influential leaders to discuss and propose solutions to Nigeria’s enduring power sector challenges. By learning from Ghana’s successes and implementing strategic initiatives like the super grid, Nigeria can make significant strides towards achieving energy security and economic growth.

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