Nigeria Has More Generators Than Cars

Adewale Adeleye
4 min readNov 16, 2018

Almost every home in Nigeria has one or two standard generators or at least “I beta pass my neighbor Generator”. Nigeria is one of the countries suffering from the poor power supply and it doesn’t seem we will get to the stage of total illumination anytime soon. Many Nigerians using estimated electricity bill complain daily about paying for what they didn’t consume even though the electricity distribution companies are not distributing prepaid meters for consumers for the reasons best known to them. Nigeria is the second largest importer of generators in Africa with more generators than all moving vehicles that consume fuel.

Will Nigeria be better if electricity is fixed?

I always imagine how Nigerians will feel if there’s is a stable power supply for just one month all over the country, maybe in our wildest dreams. That’s when we will know that our refrigerator comes with a regulator. We will be more innovative and a lot of young people will have time to try new things since many innovations are tied to the availability of electricity. Imagine not having to bother your mind that Nepa will soon take light, the psychological effect of worrying about charging your appliances, mobile phones, and laptops can cause depression at times. Maybe that’s why we are no longer the happiest country in the world.

Telecommunication companies in Nigeria depend mostly on generators to power their masts which I believe is one of the major reasons why internet and call rate is still at an exorbitant rate in Nigeria. If you live very close to a mast site, you will be aware of the vibration caused by these generators at night. I know some places where they put of the mast at night (9 pm — 6 am) because of the neighborhood and thereby cause poor service for subscribers at night.

There’s this conspiracy that Nigeria’s electricity can’t be good anytime soon or in our lifetime because the people that import generators into this country don’t have any other source of income or they are in position of authority making decisions that will not make electricity to work and since they get fat salaries that can power a generator 24/7, who cares? Should we rely on the government to fix the power issues in the country or we should start looking for solutions and start seeking help from the outside.

If we continue to rely on government and people that believe in commissioning achievements such as inverter installation or a new bus station by the president, Fixing electricity will require all presidents of the world to commission a long-lasting solution.

With our growing population of over 180 million people and most homes having to rely on small generators, we may never innovate or attract international investors whose business require a constant supply of power because I have come to realize that running generators or diesel is more expensive than using electricity. If you load 2000 naira worth of Unit on an electricity prepaid meter, It will power a 2 bedroom conveniently for at least 2 weeks of average usage. You will spend the same 2000 Naira in just a night by buying fuel into your generator and mind you, some generators cannot power refrigerators, electric cooker, and pressing irons.

I believe also that the cost of fuel may be reduced if the poor electricity in Nigeria is fixed because most homes will no longer need to buy fuel, there won’t be more queues at the filling stations, fuel will be sufficient for only cars and we will have more reserve in our tanks, there will be no more noise pollution in our streets, people will have more time to study at night, there will be an increased performance in our educational system, all businesses that require electricity will now rejoice (Innovators, cold rooms, telecom masts, barbers, dry cleaners, schools, offices, etc).

Our hope for this country is that it will get better one day but that day may not be coming soon if we have the same set of people with industrial age mentality as our leaders. They all go to other countries for events or sick leave and see the way things are working, yet they come back and pretend as if they didn’t see anything. I will be writing about a solution that I believe can help with power generation in Lagos state in my next article.

Anyways, I have decided to share my thoughts on electricity issue because it’s one of the imperative things that young Nigerians need to build Nigeria.

God bless Nigeria.