Wednesday, February 20, 2019
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New York, USA

s President Muhammadu Buhari of Nigeria prepares to mark the end of his first term in office, the Nigerian electorate ought to evaluate the legacy and accomplishments of PMB's time in office, before they head to the polls on Feb. 23. It is absolutely pertinent that the performance of a president be appraised, to determine whether he or she deserves a second chance to sit at the highest office in the land. Although PMB has done some good for the country, nevertheless many Nigerians still contend that his lasting legacy remains his apparent ineptitude to provide electricity to the country. Perhaps to a significant portion of the country. Roughly 65% of the population, an estimated 93 million Nigerians, has no access to electricity, according to an International Organization, "Power for All." https://www.vanguardngr.com/2018/10/93m-nigerians-have-no-access-to-electricity-power-for-all/.

Let me say outright, for once, that PMB deserves major accolades on his anti-corruption war. And a war on corruption is equally vital to Nigeria's economy, as the nation has sustained decades of corruption, and looting of our resources by our so called leaders. However, despite this commendation, any president should be able to walk and chew gum at the same time. Precisely, one of the compelling qualities of a great leader is being able to multitask!

Look, allow me to state emphatically, that the need for electricity in a developing country is unparalleled. Electricity is vital to all sectors of the economy. And to say that Nigeria's economic growth has been adversely affected by the inadequate electrical supply infrastructures would be an understatement. Electricity is the driving force of any economy, and of the world, as we know it today. An article published by "Africa.com," declared that "In Nigeria, manufacturing struggles as electricity remains costly and inconsistent." https://www.africa.com/africas-renewable-energy-potential/. Electricity makes things work. And it plays a role in all aspects of our lives. A featured story by "The World Bank Group," entitled "Access to Energy is at the Heart of Development," states that "lack of electricity has impacts on a wide range of development indicators, including health, education, food security, gender equality, livelihoods, and poverty reduction." https://www.worldbank.org/en/news/feature/2018/04/18/access-energy-sustainable-development-goal-7. Human beings need electricity to survive in the modern world. Period!

Now, there are news ways of generating electricity, and the Nigerian government must look to find the best way to bring power to everyone. Presently, 83% of the energy utilized in Nigeria, comes from biomass and waste, and it accounts for the primary production. And the remaining, 16% is from fossil fuel and 1% hydropower. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Energy_in_Nigeria. The Nigerian government has an opportunity to use renewable energy because of the concern for the carbon dioxide emissions which emits from fossil fuel utilization. Consequently, carbon emissions raise global temperature by trapping solar energy in the atmosphere. And the sources of renewable energy that can be utilized by the Nigeria government include solar, Wind and hydroelectricity. There appears to be popular support for using solar and wind, because they provide electricity without giving rise to any carbon emissions.

Yes, I concur that Nigeria's electricity problem is vast and complex. But, there has to be a realistic starting point; a place from where you start as a leader. And then, provide the public with an ongoing progress report. After all, a leader is accountable to the electorate. Furthermore, PMB should not be absolved of the responsibility of providing access to electricity, because as the head of state, the buck stops with him!

Shamelessly, Nigeria touts itself as the "Giant of Africa," as it continues to deal with its widely used, "half current" and "full current" electricity conundrum. Go figure! And despite the critical need for electricity, our leaders continue to show blatant disregard of its importance. Recently, the Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi proclaimed during an interactive session with the media, that Nigeria will have access to 24 hours power supply, if PMB is re-elected.https://www.ecocitytvnews.com.ng/2018/10/there-be-24hrs-electricity-in-country.html. Suffice to say, that power generation should have been a top priority for PMB in his first term or from the second half of his first term.

It is the responsibility of our leaders to enhance the quality of life for all Nigerians. Our leaders must ensure that residents in the villages of Awo-Omamma, to villagers in the remote part of the country, are accorded a decent standard of living. And first and foremost, is electricity. It is essential that power be transmitted to all parts of the country because prosperity depends on having sufficient reliable electricity. Moreover, it is unacceptable that many Nigerian families have long resigned to using portable generators to provide power, which have countless lives taken.

So, whomever that emerges as the next president of Nigeria, come February 23, be it Buhari or Atiku has to place electricity generation at their top of their agenda. Owing to the fact, that electricity, plays a critical role in the advancement of any emerging economy. And going forward, the Nigerian electorate must demand that our president provide a detailed account for what they have done for energy generation during the course of their time in office. Because, electricity is a basic human right!!