1.1 BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY
Electricity is the most useful form of energy and constitutes one of the critical resources for modern life, poverty reduction and economic growth of any nation. Yet, for the past three decades, inadequate of electricity has been a regular feature in Nigeria, a country with about 150 million people. The electricity industry, dominated by National Electric Power Authority (NEPA) and later succeeded by the Power Holding Company of Nigeria (PHCN) with complementation form the states-owned electricity utility, has been unable to provide and maintain acceptable minimum standard of service availability, accessibility and reliability. (Enebeli, 2010)
The incapacity of the electrical power sub-sector to efficiently meet demand for electricity has been caused by a number of problems which have been detrimental to economic growth. The Central Bank of Nigeria (2009) identified nine (9) problems associated with PHCN (Olukoju, 2007) and they are as follows: i. Lack of preventive and routine maintenance of Power Holding Company of Nigeria facilities which result in large energy losses. ii. Frequent major breakdowns, arising from the use of substandard and outdated equipments on the network. iii. Lack of co-ordination between Town Planning Authority and PHCN, resulting in poor overall power system planning and overloading of PHCN equipment. iv. PHCN’s inefficient billing and collection system. v. High indebtedness to PHCN by both public and private consumers who are reluctant to pay for electricity consumed as and when due vi. Vandalization of PHCN equipment. vii. Poor funding of the organization. viii. Inadequate generation of electrical power operational/technical problems arising from machine breakdown, low gas pressure and low water level and ix. Inadequate budgetary provision and undue delay in release of funds to PHCN.
Nigeria’s economic expansion is held back by the
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