Registrar, call the next case on the cause list, the judge said. This was the 19th case on the cause list sometime in 2012 at the High court, FCT Abuja – at about 6pm going to 7.
The preceding and penultimate cases were trial cases that had taken so long and ran late into the afternoon, but still the judge was determined to hear all cases and decongest his cause list.
The courtroom was warm, as the generator had been turned off since it was past the official closing hours of the court. The judge further ordered all Counsel to take off their wig and gown, as the heat in the room was unbearable. In what followed as a joke – a serious joke, the judge requested for a table lamp. All these orders from the judge were the effect of the sad reality staring us in the face.
At this point, there was mild hysteria in the courtroom; the question on the lips of everyone was how bad can it get? When will the lights come on? The question on my mind as a new wig wasn’t just when the lights will come on, but when will the lights stay on?
This was a courtroom, what happens in emergency, labor and theater rooms in the hospitals where life is at stake?
In fact, to demonstrate the gravity of the situation, people have attributed the epileptic power supply in Nigeria to a spiritual problem and sought heaven’s intervention for a solution to the crisis by holding a Power Sector Prayer Conference from 25th-27th June 2009. This has not yielded much result, and fast forward to 2017, there is still incessant power failure.
The history of electricity in Nigeria dates to 1896 when electricity was first produced in Lagos, 15 years after its introduction in England.
Of all the discoveries of modern science in the last millennium, the discovery of electricity by Michael Faraday and its commercial production by Thomas Edison of the United States of America is said to have incredibly transformed and altered the outlook and lifestyle of modern man the most.
Electricity generation and consumption had become the indices for measuring the development in modern societies. The classification of nations into developed, developing and subsistence economies is directly or indirectly linked to the aggregate production and consumption of electrical energy. Therefore, it has become imperative for any nation that aspires to join the league of developing and eventually developed economies to map out strategies for providing adequate or optimum electrical energy supply for a total transformation of her citizens’ living standard, as well as industrialization.
The way forward; the Federal Government should use energy mix, such as solar power energy and coal, to generate electricity to meet the people’s energy needs, a former Special Assistant on Renewable Energy to the former Minister of Power, Dr Albert Okorogu, has said.
In an interview, he said the government was relying on gas and hydro power, the two major on-grid means of generating electricity, to the detriment of solar, biomass, coal, and others, which could be wheeled on or off-grid.
He said energy mix is what the country needs to provide sufficient and sustainable electricity for its people.
Okorogu said: “While stakeholders, including the Federal Government, are providing on-grid electricity for the people that are living in the urban areas, they should endeavor to make off-grid electricity available to the rural areas, since they consume less power. Globally, industrial areas consume more energy than those in the rural areas. This is the reason stakeholders are advocating for increased investment in solar and other renewable energies in the hinterlands.
“There exist abundant resources for provision of on-grid and off-grid electricity. Are we to talk of natural gas for domestic consumption and export? Are we to talk of water, solar, biomass, coal, which are natural endowments? They are too many to mention.”
He said the country has enough gas for power generation and domestic purposes apart from the huge earnings, derived from exporting gas. According to him, countries, such as China and South Africa, generate huge volume of electricity because they combine various sources of providing power together.
He said South Africa produces 40,000 megawatts (Mw) for its less than 50million population, while power generation is higher than that of China’s. The development, Okorogu said, had resulted in stable electricity in the two countries, urging Nigeria to toe similar path.
He said the country’s generation has hovered between 3,000MW and 5,000MW for more than two decades, stressing that the country would have produced more megawatts if it had adopted energy mix to generate electricity early enough.
Source: The Nation