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Letter to All (click here for PDF file)
Dear Brothers, Sisters, Sons and Daughters:
As we have traveled around the country and visited fellow citizens aboard, Nigerians from all walks of life have been shocked by the state of the energy situation in the country after seeing the chart “The Challenge We’ll Overcome.” It looks like a Tsunami came and took out our electricity and refining capacities. We say we do not want to talk about poverty, unemployment, illness or bridging the digital divide because all these issues will be greatly improved when we provide energy for our people. Brothers, Sisters, Sons and Daughters, the Nigerian Medical Association declares that we are loosing more lives due to the lack of energy than due to AIDS. Even the AIDS campaign will be greatly improved by providing electricity to our hospitals.
Today two things signify our current situation in Nigeria:
1 We import almost all of our refined products, with only two of our refineries now working.
2.On a good day, Nigeria is producing only 3,000+ megawatts. In January 2007 the power fell to 1,320 megawatts in a country of 140 million people. If you compare that with New York city with a population of 8 million people which consumed 13,400 megawatts last summer, you know we need help from God.
We believe “Energy” is “Job #1”. We can overcome poverty, unemployment, illness and bridge the digital divide by providing energy to the Nigerian people. We support Mr. President's commitment to the challenge. As Mr. President said so on June 11, 2007 and we quote “As I keep saying, we cannot begin to address, in a fundamental manner, the problems of the economy, until we successfully tackle the power and energy issue. It is critical to all my plans. So I am more interested in how much gas we can tap for domestic use than what we can get for export. We must power this economy.” Brothers and sisters as you know, we have a very sick patient, "Nigerian Energy"; we need world class surgeons to lead this effort no more nurses. No disrespect to my mom she was a nurse for over 40 years!! And when the FOI (Freedom of Information) bill is passed, we will have about 100m + eyes helping to monitor the progress of the projects. Below is our humble suggestions for radically changing our energy strategy.
Nigerians for Super Energy calls for a strategic change in our energy policy. We recommend:
1. 24 Refineries in a National/Publicly traded oil company with global reach.
2. 50,000 megawatts in a well planned power grid or 65 megawatts per local government.
For the Fuel Sector we need a National company with global reach that is modeled after the likes of Venezuelan oil company, PDVSA, Petronas Malaysian Oil company and Brazilian Oil company, Petrobras. NNPC should become a government/public firm with part of its shares allocated for Nigerians. The company must focus on added-value locally and globally.
Update: We thank Mr. President for listening and proposing to change the fuel policy in line with our strategic plans and for getting the two refineries up and running.
For the Power Sector we need Nigerian Electricity Supply Corporation Ltd. (NESCO, a private firm in Jos) type projects which were completed between 1923 and 1964 and have continued to provide virtually uninterrupted power to the communities it serves. The government's (Fed., state and local) main role should be facilitation and part funding or guarantors of these projects. Each tier of government must invest its Excess Revenues for the good of its community. The government should provide incentives to encourage investments. These incentives should include (but nto be limited to) 1. Low cost loan, bonds and or guarantees. 2. Free Land. 3. 10 – 20 years tax breaks. 4. Raw materials (royalty free or at a token). The Financial sector “Fifth Arm of Government” must invest part of its net worth in power generation just like the TINAPA project. The investors, bankers and technocrats should lead and own these projects. Civil society and the media should be the cheerleaders and monitors. All 811 executive officers (774 local governments, 36 states and FCT) must facilitate and fund project(s) alone or as a group in the case where the executives region and purse are too small to fulfill their “dream” project(s). Generation and distribution must be localized with excess generation going into the national grid as in the NESCO model. All forms of energy generation and conservation, from solar dyers and solar water heaters to coal, wind and biomass, must be considered.
We call for all 811 executive officers (774 local governments, 36 states and FCT) to join the Federal Government in declaring a state of emergency on energy. We also call on all political parties, traditional and spiritual leaders to declare a state of emergency on energy. This will increase our chances of success form 1 to 812 and also reduce rural migration.
We call for 50,000 megawatts in a well planned power grid or 65 megawatts per local government. Yes a local government in Plateau will use less than Lagos or Kano. The beauty of this decentralized approach is strength in number of owners. Truly when you look at the example of 50,000MW it looks large if only the federal government is going to lead, own and support this effort. But when you divide 50,000MW by 25 (Number of Banks) you get 2,000MW and when you divide 50,000MW by 37 (Number of States), you get 1,375MW. When you divide it by 774 (number of Local governments), you get 64.6MW and finally when you divide by 120,000 (number of shareholder in a a large Nigerian firm) you get 0.42MW. In short those are the numbers we are looking at when it comes to investing in this effort. In other words each bank on the average can look to participate in financing a 2,000MW project ( whole or part investment).
Below is a goal for each state based on the 2006 census. As you can see it calls for Kano and Lagos to produce over 3,000 megawatts and FCT (Federal Capital Territory) to produce about 500 megawatts. These numbers are what each Executive Governor and Chairman of Local government, Political, Traditional, Spiritual, Civic and Business leaders should help in facilitating for his/her people in their states. We no longer can just depend on ONLY the Federal government to deliver electricity. We have done that for the last 40 + years with disastrous results.
Update: We thank Mr. President for a new mining policy focusing on coal as an input for power generation and a gas policy focused on delivering the needed gas to the power sector.
Just in case you might be thinking “So far so good, I will wait and see what the Federal government will do or I have no power to change anything”, THINK AGAIN. This challenge is for all 140m Nigerians to overcome. Take a look at the “Nigeria’s Energy Opportunity” chart and start with the low hanging fruits (like efficient light bulbs, rocket stoves and solar dryers), buy them, acquire and/or transfer skills to build them or support or fund efforts to build them. For high hanging fruits (like coal, gas and hydro generation and transmission) please use this information to influence decision makers who may be your relatives, friends, associations, bankers, business people, media, political parties, governments, traditional and spiritual leaders to deliver the “NET to Fish”; Energy that Nigeria badly needs. Ask them to bind together to first support “ROOTS”; Laws that will make it easy for generation and distribution of power in each state. Laws that would have made it possible for the former governments of Lagos and Rivers States to provide power for their people and NESCO to have expanded and supplied the whole of Plateau State with power. Secondly they should bind together to create, execute, fund or support local energy project(s) in their local communities.
Brothers and sisters, democracy has never been government of the people by the people and for the people, that is a text book definition, on the contrary, "DEMOCRACY is for the most proactively vocal and organized people." So, we call on all Nigerians to join this noble effort for the good of our country, children and grand children. Albert Einstein said “The world is a more dangerous place, not because of those who do evil, but because of those who look on and do nothing”. Today we have 100m plus people prophesying that it cannot be done “The Nigerian Factor.” We ask you to start prophesying “we can do it God willing”. Finally we call on everyone to pray and fast for the success of our goals.
God Bless Nigeria!!!!
Nigerians for Super Energy (NFSE) is a grassroots campaign formed in June 2007 in the United States of America aimed at supporting the need for energy in Nigeria and the sub region. We are duly registered in the State of Texas, United States of America as a non-profit organization File Number 800876385 on 28th September 2007. We are also duly registered at the Corporate Affairs Commission of Nigeria as Nigerians for Super Energy Initiative. IT No.28601 as an Incorporated Trustee on 9th July 2008. We currently have formed strategic alliances with Nigeria Labour Congress, Trade Union Congress, Nigerian Medical Association, Nigerian Supreme Council of Islamic Affairs and Christian Association of Nigeria, National Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas (NUPENG), Association of Solar Practitioners of Nigeria, Petroleum and Natural Gas Senior Staff Association of Nigeria (PENGASSAN), and Independent Shareholders’ Association of Nigeria to name a few.
Joseph Bassey Inyang, President Nigerians for Super Energy, email@example.com
© 2008 Nigerians for Super Energy