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Nigerian Electricity Market

Electricity generation in Nigeria started in 1896 although it was not until 1929 that the first utility company, the Nigerian Electricity Supply Company was established.

In the 1950s and 1960s the Nigerian government created the Electricity Corporation of Nigeria to control all existing diesel/coal fired isolated power plants across the country and the Niger Dams Authority to develop hydroelectric power in Nigeria. These two entities were amalgamated into the National Electric Power Authority in 1972.

By the late 1990s it became clear that the publicly owned and operated electricity system was failing to meet Nigeria’s power needs. The National Electric Power Policy of 2001 set the go-forward framework for power reform in Nigeria, leading to the National Electric Power Policy and thus the NIPP.

There are currently 23 grid-connected generating plants in operation in the Nigerian Electricity Supply Industry (NESI), with a total installed capacity of 10,396.0 MW and available capacity of 6,056 MW. Most generation is thermal based, with an installed capacity of 8,457.6 MW (81% of the total) and an available capacity of 4,996 MW (83% of the total). Hydropower from three major plants accounts for 1,938.4 MW of total installed capacity (and an available capacity of 1,060 MW).

Demand for electricity in Nigeria exceeds supply. A study by a major European engineering firm has estimated that demand will rise from around 33 terawatt hours in 2011 to between 56 and 95 terawatt hours by 2020. This will result in an increase in peak load demand from around 5,000 MW in 2011 to between 9,000 MW and 16,000 MW by 2020.