Ibadan Journal of the Social Sciences
Volume 12, No. 1, 2014
DOI: 10.36108/ijss/4102.21.0140

Reforms in the Power Sector and Implications for Industrial Development in Nigeria: The Case of Difference between Six and Half a Dozen?

Emeka E. Okafor

Department of Sociology, University of Ibadan, Ibadan, Nigeria


Constant power supply is one of the main catalysts stimulating industrial development to create jobs, fight poverty and improve the living conditions of the people. With over a population of 160 million people, Nigeria grapples with the crisis of electricity supply generating less than 4000MW Government in 2005 started the reforms in the power sector, which got a major boost in 2010 with the Power Sector Reform Roadmap that spurred huge investment in the sector. This paper critically examines the reforms in the power sector; the post privatisation performance and challenges, as well as implications for industrial development in Nigeria. The paper is premised on neoliberalism and modernisation theory. The paper argues that with the reform, several structural and institutional changes have occurred in the power sector. The performance of the sector in the post privatisation era in terms of service de livery to the private citizens and corporate bodies is still fraught ‘with inefficiency due largely to the problems of funding, transmission, gas supply among others. The paper concludes that the reform that occurred in the power sector in relation to industrial development in Nigeria is nothing but a mere replacement of public monopoly by private monopoly and can best be likened to the difference between six and half a dozen.

Keywords: Power sector, reforms, industrial development, privatisation, neoliberalism.


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