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Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Are we the next Nigeria?

Read this article in a Fortune mag - some of the quotes are scary and should be an awakening for us;

"Nigeria has more oil than any other African country. But it can't keep the lights on."

"So it goes in Africa's largest city, in a country with more oil than any other on the continent. For large parts of the day, Lagos is without power. After 8 P.M., darkness reigns. At best Nigeria generates 4,000 megawatts of electricity for its 140 million people, one-tenth of what South Africa produces for a population one-third as large."

"When MTN, a South African mobile-phone company, set up shop in Nigeria, it had to install 6,000 generators to supply its base stations for up to 19 hours a day. The company, now the largest mobile-phone provider in Nigeria, spends $5.5 million a month just on diesel fuel to run its generators."

"The World Bank estimates that the country is losing about $600 million a year because of inadequate supplies of electricity."

This made me laugh; "(Prepaid cards are increasingly being used, but in a country where everyone is an electrician, many have figured out how to bypass the meters.)"

What we should also do; "The government wants to privatize the company and is taking bids for power-generating plants from 400 local and foreign investors. Ultimately, only the transmission platform will be held in trust by the government."

I find it absolutely AMAZING that our government, Eskom and Nigeria don't even mention renewable energy as an alternative! Why don't we have a sustainable renewable energy implementation strategy from any African country? ARGH!

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