Had past Nigerian leaders, with Obasanjo as chief whip, not drawn their hair, chewed it and vehemently vowed that Nigeria shall not be well, Nigeria would have been a world leader in CHP.
Empirical evidence shows that the sun’s radiant energy is about 170000 terawatt (TW). After attenuation due to the atmospheric factors, only about 60% solar constant reaches the earth. For us at the equator, we enjoy averagely a whopping 1367W/m2 irradiance (watt per unit area in metre square). The entire advanced world may need less than this. The radiant energy is predominant, due to nearness to earth, on the equatorial belt, where Nigeria is located.
Assuming solar energy is further developed – and surely it will be – to 90% fill-factor and 35% efficiency – though way less than fossil fuel, Nigeria can largely depend on solar energy, both in concentrated solar panel (CSP) for heat and solar photovoltaic (PV) for electric power. There are much needs of combined heat and power. The provision of domestic hot water in homes, offices and hotels is just one. Similarly solar PV can offset bills from electricity generated from fossil fuels. One of the best ways, research shows, is to deploy rooftops, mini-grids, so that the aggregates can form clusters or even a larger grid backbone. Many developing nations, which were previously at parity with Nigeria, have moved on with this more than 20 years ago, when Obasanjo was still toiling with our lives. The doctorial research proposal of Yours Sincerely was once on: ‘‘Development of integrated sustainable energy systems’’, which was to aggregate all available renewable, natural resources; namely, solar energy. This is possible.
So indeed, to hell with fossil fuel, one would say really.
At the dawn of the fourth republic in Nigeria, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo flopped. He used untold amount of money, in billions of dollars, to revamp the Nigerian power system, with poor result. For instance, at Afam V – VI plants, poor feasibility study showed that there was no access road to the facility built to house the giant gas turbine generators (GTG) from General Electric. The project handlers forgot to figure it out initially. So it was difficult to inland-transport and deploy the machines to site. For gas turbines built inland, like Egbin in Ikorodu Lagos, they too couldn’t figure in the gas supply pipelines in the project design document. So, the white-elephant project just sat where they were built ‘‘for ages’’. Then for efficient transmission, the pylons needed upgrading.
Obasanjo also needed to unbundle the moribund Nigeria Electricity Power Authority (NEPA), first as a holding company and then the actual unbundling. Nigerian government borrowed a leaf from the United Kingdom, when the big six model was mimicked for the unbundling of the distribution network in Eko, Jos, Kaduna, Enugu distribution etc. So, in order to achieve these, he sleazed the $16billion USD plus other huge diversions. He was only able to generate about 3600MW for 180million Nigerians. He then turned around and blamed it on bad pylons – those y-resembling, giant, long distance electric transmission structures used in carrying electricity, which passed through ‘‘unlucky communities’’. Land owners can’t possibly farm under it. Obasanjo misappropriated hugely.
Former Abia State Governor, Orji Uzo Kalu recently said, with vehemence, that Obasanjo actually shared the $16billion USD among his cronies and, if Obasanjo refutes it, that we should involve him. And without emotions, it sounds like true. After Obasanjo dismissed the top management of NEPA in that infamous sack in 2000, which affected expert Engr Ben Kevin, he recruited Engr Joseph Makoju as the managing director, who eventually drove NEPA to Golgotha.
It happened that former head of State who graciously handed power to Obasanjo, Gen Alhaji Abdulsalami Abubakar, was also a beneficiary of the power contract in the independent power project. Later in Obasanjo’s administration, when probe officers on oversight function arrived at Abubakar’s supposed project site, they could only find a JCB tractor already overtaken by weed and creeping plants. Alas, Abubakar had already pocketed the funds and grown enormous beards. That was the last time the probe saw daylight.
The most progress was made under that quiet achiever, the late president Alhaji Musa Yaradua. Under him, power got to 6,000MW. The present administration, upon receiving heat from Obasanjo’s criticism, claims it generates up to 7,000MW. So let’s do some maths here.
A 7,000MW is equivalent to 7,000,000kW or 0.039kW per Nigerian, since we claim 180million citizens. This figure could be worse if someone is born – there is less power to share amongst more people, or better if someone dies – there is more power to share amongst less number people. Another word from economists for this is electricity per capita. Assuming Nigerians are forbidden, as it now seems, to use energy for more than 8hours per day, then a Nigerian must be using 0.312kWh/day or 312Wh/day. Therefore, ‘‘your mother didn’t born you well’’ to use more than six 60watts electric bulbs in 8hours, talk much of higher energy consuming electrical appliances such as electric iron, air-conditioners etc. A group of six 60W bulbs for 8hours for that matter is 360Wh already.
Obasanjo, you know what? Your father! You are corrupt!
The reason that Nigerians don’t feel this mathematics is because they are already history. History in the sense that every household on the average burns at least N1,000.00 petrol. Nigerians use self-help electric generators, which they wryly called ‘‘I pass my neighbour’’ – their hopeless way of hanging on, suffering and smiling. But they would later pay it back with bronchitis health problem as a result of particulate matter (PM) from carbon and noise pollution, if you happen to visit Tin-Can Island port or commercial market or happen to unfortunately live with an idiot, unregulated neighbour.
As a result of hard-of-hearing, Nigerians shout a lot in their daily conversations.
How then therefore does Obasanjo sleep at night and wakes up hale and hearty? Perhaps he feeds on witches. Who knows? When underperforming Buhari alleged that he squandered $16billion USD, if he was properly brought up, he should have relocated and hid his face in shame. Why overheat the polity with such vituperation?
How come he forgot that, 1999 – 2003, he promised heaven and earth but delivered hell, only to turn around to flex elder-statesman’s muscle in defence of misappropriation in high places?
Obasanjo – the self-appointed senior prefect of the propaganda, 180million or so Nigerians, on this day, say you, and those who defend you on $16billion USD, eat shit. You hear?
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