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Africa’s Largest Oil Producer Loses $29B Per Year On Power Outages

Businesses in Nigeria are losing each year around US$29 billion because of the unreliable power supply, the World Bank said in an estimate about the OPEC country, which is the largest oil producer in Africa.

“Businesses in Nigeria lose about $29bn annually because of unreliable electricity. Nigerian utilities get paid for only a half of electricity they receive,” the World Bank said in a presentation at a virtual meeting with journalists this week, Nigerian outlet Punch reported.    

Distribution power companies lose money on the electricity they receive as part of it is lost to poor distribution infrastructure and power theft, while another part is lost to customers not paying their bills, the World Bank said.

“Six in 10 of registered customers are not metered, and their electricity bills are not transparent and clear. This contributes to resistance to pay electricity bills,” according to the World Bank’s Power Sector Recovery Programme fact sheet carried by Punch.

Despite being a major producer of oil and gas, Nigeria is the country with the largest energy access deficit in the world, the World Bank has estimated. A total of 85 million Nigerians do not have access to grid electricity, which means that 43 percent of the population is without access to the grid. 

According to the 2020 World Bank Doing Business report, Nigeria ranks 171 out of 190 countries in getting electricity and electricity access is seen as one of the major constraints for the private sector, the bank said in February this year.

Back then, the World Bank approved US$500 million to support the government of Nigeria in improving the country’s electricity distribution sector. The project funded by the bank is expected to help to boost electricity access by improving the performance of the Electricity Distribution Companies (DISCOs) through a large-scale metering program desired by Nigerians for a long time.    

By Charles Kennedy for Oilprice.com

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