Nigerians have experienced increases in their spending on alternative sources of power supply in recent months, compared to last year, as electricity from the nation’s power utility company, the Power Holding Company of Nigeria (PHCN) went from bad to worse in many parts of the country. These are the findings of a new survey by NOI Polls Limited, Nigeria’s leading opinion polling and research organisation.
The poll however indicated that Nigerians are somewhat hopeful that the ongoing reform in the power sector would succeed and translate to steady power supply.
The result of the Power Sector Polls for the second quarter of 2013, which was released Tuesday, also indicated that about 81 percent of Nigerians interviewed generated their own power supply through alternative sources between April and June, to compensate for irregular power supply from the PHCN, while a combined average of 69 percent have experienced increase in their spending on alternative power supply, compared to a year ago.
The poll which was conducted between April and June 2013 showed that 46 percent of Nigerians experienced a drastic increase in their spending on alternative sources such as generators and inverters, followed by 23 percent who experienced a slight increase, and 15 percent indicated a slight decrease in their spending. Twelve percent of the respondents said they did not experience any change at all in their spending, with three percent claiming that their spending on alternative sources of power decreased drastically, in comparison to the previous year.
It showed that an average of 47 percent of Nigerian adults said that electricity supply was poor, or went from bad to worse, while about 33 percent said they witnessed some slight improvement, and 20 percent said they experienced no difference in the past one month.
According to the report, the proportion of Nigerians that used alternative sources, which was 82 percent in April, declined to 77 percent in May, indicating that
power supply was relatively better in May. But in June, the number of Nigerians who used alternatives to generate power, increased to 85 percent, the report showed.
On the number of hours of continuous power supply experienced daily across the three months, 42 percent of respondents said they experienced about 1-4 hours of power supply on a typical day.
The report revealed that May appeared to have had the highest level of power supply with 10 percent of respondents saying they received 15-19 hours of power supply, which dropped in June. Also, 25 percent said they received 5-9 hours of power supply, which also dropped in June. In May, nine percent of respondents said they did not receive power at all.
The findings show a growing awareness among Nigerians about the ongoing reforms in the power sector, with an average of 64 percent of Nigerian adults saying they were aware of the power sector reforms. The month of June, with 75 percent, had the highest level of awareness, with about 53 percent expressing optimism about the reforms.
“The findings indicate that in May, the highest percentage (64 percent) of Nigerians were hopeful, showing a link between power supply and faith in the government,” the report noted.
A combined average of about 17 percent of Nigerians showed dissatisfaction with the power sector reforms so far, while an average of 20 percent are indifferent, who “can sway either way, depending on the success of the reform efforts and whether it translates into steady power supply or not,” the report said.