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Energy Sector

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 operational 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 centred 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 Consumption in 2014


Economic Sector GWh
Industry 4,057
Residential 14,003
Commercial and Public Services 6,379
Final Electricity Consumption 24,439
Losses 4,895

Source: IEA


Historical electricity consumption in Nigeria (GWh)


Projected electricity demand in Nigeria

Source: GIZ, 2015 (FMP and Power Holding Company of Nigeria data and UN 2010 rural/urban population data (for off-grid D projections)).


According to projections by international observers, grid electricity demand in Nigeria is expected to increase at a very sustained rate from 2018. Additionally, grid demand will also be augmented by off-grid supply to meet consumption needs in the rural areas. Other studies which provide demand projections based on population growth and expected GDP growth rates provide however contrasting estimates.


Electricity demand projections for Nigeria








Renewable Energy Master Plan (7% GDP growth Scenario) 50,820 77450 119,200
Tractebel Engineering 11,433 24,208


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% are hydroelectric power plants.


Distribution of thermal and hydro Power plants across Nigeria

Source: Nesistats


Nigeria Power Sector Energy Flow (MW)

Source: Nesistats


Installed generation capacity per Power Station (MW)


Power Station Installed

Capacity (MW)

Average Available Capacity (MW) Average Operational Capacity (MW)
EGBIN 1,320 941 539
AFAM VI 685 587 455
OKPAI 900 536 375
JEBBA 570 431 262
OLORUNSOGO GAS 335 277 189
IHOVBOR NIPP 434 374 182
GEREGU NIPP 450 328 179
KAINJI 720 444 173
OMOTOSHO NIPP 500 306 169
OMOTOSHO GAS 335 280 163
SHIRORO 600 508 153
GEREGU GAS 414 159 131
SAPELE NIPP 450 184 111
IBOM 190 91 76
SAPELE 504 219 69
ALAOJI NIPP 720 158 67
ODUKPANI NIPP 561 234 64
AFAM IV-V 724 3 2
ASCO 294 270 0
OMOKU 110 0 0
AES GAS 180 175 0
RIVERS IPP (Independent Power Producer) 136 0 0
TOTAL 12,522 7,141 3,879

Nigeria´s Power Generation Efficiency in Transmission and Distribution


Source: Nesistats


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.



Source: Federal Ministry of Power Nigeria


Source: Nigeria Power Baseline Report


The distribution grid operates mainly on 33 kV and 11 kV level, i.e. medium voltage (MV) and low voltage level (LV). The distribution network accounts for an additional 12.5% of technical losses before electricity reaches the final consumer. In the wake of the power sector privatization that took place in 2103, 11 distribution companies covering a regional grid were sold to new private owners. Notwithstanding the privatization, most of the distribution companies do not receive sufficient electric power to operate at high enough volumes and recover their investment cost.


Customer, Distance and Energy Allocation variation of the 11 distribution companies




ABUJA 755 107,254 12%
BENIN 1,187 104,702 15%
EKO 581 8,093 13%
ENUGU 819 25,078 9%
IBADAN 1,750 24,355 9%
IKEJA 1,128 12,466 11%
JOS 466 12,227 8%
KADUNA 459 26,653 7%
KANO 598 21,041 6%
PORT HARCOURT 557 17,989 8%
YOLA 345 6,505 4%


Gas Infrastructure

Seeing that 85% of the power generation infrastructure in Nigeria is fossil fuel based, mainly natural gas, the gas infrastructure plays a leading role in enhancing energy security in the country. Although Nigeria has abundant gas reserves, low levels of gas feedstock supply to the thermal power plants in the country has remained an issue; leading to fewer thermal plants being made operational. Despite huge volumes of natural gas production daily, only approximately 9%; 0.8bscpd (Billion Standard Cubic feet of Gas per day) gets delivered to the power plants. Certain factors can be attributed to the insufficient gas supply such as: insufficient gas-processing and pipeline infrastructure, lack of investment in gas-processing facilities, and failure to complete already funded projects. Another factor responsible for low levels of gas supply to the thermal power plants is regular vandalism of existing pipeline infrastructure by militants. Due to low domestic gas prices, investment in gas development to enhance the supply of natural gas feedstock to the power plants by upstream oil and gas companies are reportedly economically unviable.


Gas Utilization in Nigeria

Source: Nigeria Power Baseline Report


Electricity Tariffs

There is a specific tariff for each of the Distribution Companies (DisCo’s) to address cost reflectiveness of power generation and transmission of electricity in the value chain. The tariff for each DisCo is set by Nigeria Electricity Regulation Commission (NERC). The charges are comprised of three parts : a fixed monthly charge; for capital cost recovery, demand charge; for applied pressure (load amount) on the system, and an individual energy charge (for variable cost recovery). The tariff class depends on the consumption measured in kWh. the retail tariffs are denominated in Naira. The electricity consumers are divided into 5 sub categories.

  1. Residential: This category is strictly for residential energy consumers; R1 (life line), R2 (single and three phase), R3 (LV maximum demand), R4 (HV maximum demand)
  2. Commercial: This category is for consumers, whose premises are used for SMEs business e.g offices, beauty parlors etc. C1 (single and three phase), C2 (LV maximum demand), C3 (HV maximum demand).
  3. Industrial: This category uses their premises for manufacturing and other production processes. D1 (single and three phase), D2 (LV maximum demand), D3 (HV maximum demand).
  4. Street lighting: This category includes S1 (single and three phase).
  5. Special tariff: These consumers include the following; religious houses, government buildings, educational establishments, hospitals, agro-allied industries. A1 (single and three phase), A2 (LV maximum demand), A3 (HV maximum demand).

Off-Grid Electrification

Off-grid electrification initiatives in Nigeria are gradually emerging. In February 2017, the Federal Government of Nigeria launched an initiative to distribute 20,000 solar powered lighting systems to rural communities in the country. Additionally, Nigeria Intended Nationally Determined Contribution (INDC) to the United Nations Conference of Parties 21 (COP21) shows that the Federal Government plans to work towards adding 13GW of off-grid solar power by 2030. On a state level, Lagos state government through the Lagos Solar project, a joint investment of Lagos State Electricity Board (LSEB) and the UK Department for International Development (DFID), has installed nearly 5 MWp of solar generated off-grid power for 172 schools and 11 clinics within Lagos State. An additional 1.5 MWp is being installed at public health clinics in Kaduna State under the Solar Nigeria programme by DFID. Several other off-grid schemes with support from international partners, are gaining traction across the country.

Key figures

Available statistics:
Official language
Population (2018 est.)
Population growth (2018 est.), %
Median age (2018 est.), years
Urbanization rate (2015 - 2018), % p.a.
Urban population (2018), % of total
Rural population (2018), % of total
Population density (2018), per km2
HDI (2018)
157 of 188
National Currency
Naira, NGN
Exchange rate (July 2019), USD
1 USD = 360 NGN
GDP (2018), USD million current
GDP growth (2016), %
GDP annual growth rate forecast (2020), %
GNI per capita (2018), PPP current intl USD
Inflation (Dec. 2018), % y-o-y
Inflation Rate Forecast (2020), %
Foreign Direct Investment, net inflows (2017), BOP current USD millions
Net official development assistance (2017), current USD millions
Budget deficit (2018), % of GDP
Ease of Doing Business (2018), rank of 190
TI Corruption Index (2018), rank of 180
Installed Generation Capacity (2016), MW
Installed Fossil Fuel Capacity (2016), % of total installed capacity
Hydro Capacity (2017), % of total installed capacity
Other RE Capacity (2015), % of total installed capacity
Renewable electricity output as % of total electricity output excl. hydro (2017)
Avg. distribution and transmission losses as % of output (2015)
Net electricity imports (2017), %
Electrification rate, total (2017) %
Electrification rate, urban (2017) %
Electrification rate, rural (2017) %
Peak demand (2015), MW
Per capita electricity consumption (2016), kWh
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