Will competition fix Nigeria's power sector issues?
Competition in the power industry. Source: Stears Business

In Nigeria, you must have options when it comes to service delivery.

The ability to switch from one service supplier to another is vital. For instance, I don't think there's any internet service provider I haven't tried. From Spectranet to MTN, and Glo to Smile, I quickly switch to another provider once the other starts acting up.

It can be annoying because the truth is, like many others, I'm never fully satisfied with the internet service in Nigeria. But having the autonomy to migrate from one provider to another allows me to sample and pick the least annoying yet affordable internet provider.
 

Some takeaways:

  • The power sector is inefficient and far from consumer-centric. It would be great if consumers could switch energy suppliers in the same way we switch telecommunications service providers.

  • How would this be done? By deregulating and restructuring the power sector, consumers can choose the best providers and plans for their energy needs.

  • But some issues need to be addressed to a certain extent for everyone to be happy with deregulation.


The same concept applies to every other service provider, which is the concept of competition. Economics isn't a precise science where one plus one will always equal two. But, more often than not, competition leads to better efficiency, which leads to better service delivery at lower prices. Not to mention, the customer is only truly king when there's competition.

So, wouldn't it be great if we could bring some competition into the electricity sector? Even after privatisation, the power sector in Nigeria is mainly monopolistic. You can't choose who generates your electricity, supplies it to you or what price you pay. Generation is totally out of your control, and supply and pricing to your home depend on where you live and what tariffs the regulators permit.

Wouldn't it be better if we could switch electricity service providers just as easily? So, suppose Ikeja disco

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Noelle Okwedy

Noelle Okwedy

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