Despite being a country rich in oil, Nigeria's electricity supply situation is insufficient. “In most parts of the country, darkness pervades and generators have taken over as the source of power”, says Adebayo's blog. “When the power shuts down – which it does all the time – people sit in the dark or, if they’re lucky, fire up generators that cost the country $140 billion to fuel (add a chunk more for capital and maintenance costs)”, says David Steven at Global Dashboard. Adebayo adds:
But to explain or fathom the reasons why it is so complex. From the cartels who import generators, the contractors who fail to complete power projects, citizens who vandalize power lines and installations, languid attitude of government up to the manufacturers of the generators (in developed countries); all these have a vested interest in the continued failure of power
provision in Nigeria.
Now Nigerians have started a massive online demonstration against this frustrating situation on social media sites, especially on Twitter with the hashtag #lightupnigeria. There's also a Facebook group, with the following description:
Are you tired of the constant excuses being given for the incompetence of PHCN, we are forming this group as a voice for our generation. It is time for something to be done,the 7th oil producing nation is one of the world's worst electicity providers. The time has come, Nigeria belongs to all of us and if we do not speak out now,its the same burden we will all have to bear. So join,tell your friends, family andybody you can, enough is enough. Our voice may be small now but as the group grows and the word is spread, the government will hear our words and something will be done. LIGHT UP NIGERIA so progress in all the other sectors can advance also.
Energy is the engine that drives industrialization, which improves communication, helps innovation in science and Technology, provides sound healthcare delivery system and improves citizens’ standard of living. Since energy is the engine that drives industrialization, a sound energy policy would indirectly create jobs even in unexpected sectors.
Archiwiz at To fit or not to fit? commented on the campaign:
The hashtag itself will not do much if the responsible parties don't take notice and do the right thing, but this is a good first step. Awareness is always important when it comes to movements of change […]
So you ask, what is #lightupnigeria? The words that make up the tag are self explanatory to any Nigerian, or anyone that has spent a good two weeks in Nigeria and has experienced firsthand the impact of lack of electricity in Nigeria. I can give you a long laundry list of what we lose because of lack of electricity, but several things surface: money, time & productivity.
[…] This movement needs to get to get to the media and to the ears of our Nigerian leaders. We cannot continue to wink at our lack of electricity.
Here's a selection of some of the things people have been saying on Twitter as part of the #lightupnigeria campaign:
Nigeria's economy can't change until we #lightupnigeria
#lightupnigeria so that her 140million nigerians can say goodnight and really look forward to having one
the only thing to known to be stable in nigeria is darkness #lightupnigeria
the money we use to buy diesel for a year can pay 10 years light bills, so pls #lightupnigeria
#LightUpNigeria so that people don't go to work on weekends to iron!
#lightupNigeria Nigerians leaders love darkness, cos the works of their hands are so dark, it cant stand no light
#lightupnigeria cos wen there is no light at nite & i need to pee… aiming for that bowl has to be intuitive!! damn!
have not had power for 4days now… #lightupnigeria pls
i'm planning to relocate to nigeria soon but plans to visit london every week just to charge my phone #lightupnigeria
It's 11pm, which means it's another night without electricity. Hopefully we can #lightupNigeria so that ‘Goodnights’ can actually be good!
#lightupnigeria because that's my country & my country deserves light
As we fight 4 dis to work,i know u r all tired, but think about your kids, how much u want them 2 grow in a good environment/nation #lightupnigeria
i would be mighty ashamed if in future my kids called me d generator generation & i did nothing #lightupnigeria
it ain't right that at this time and age we dont’ have regular power supply #lightupnigeria
#lightupnigeria cos constant power supply should NOT be a luxury in 2009
The pollution from generators is stunting the brains of Nigeria's youth. Now many of us are no longer imaginative. Please #lightupnigeria!
Obama's campaign didn't stop until a day before elections. Our #lightupnigeria campaign won't stop until 24/7 electricity. Tell ‘em
#lightupnigeria because we have the resources – both natural & man-made..what are we waiting for??
Nobody will listen to #lightupnigeria by just twittering,u hve 2 kill somebody&tell d police u mistaken stabbed the fellow cz it was dark…
Our greatest challenge isn't in Abuja. It is in ourselves. It is that voice that says: “This will all amount to nothing” #lightupnigeria
The idea is to make a video in the dark expressing to the govt “we have had enuff”!! : http://bit.ly/XEDX9 #lightupnigeria
Thanks to Global Voices for highlighting this. I hope our leaders back home in Nigeria will heed the call and get to work. It’s frustrating living and working in Nigeria considering the power situation amongst other things.
My brother I hear you.
Can you imagine the costs incurred by small business owners. Owning a generator set is almost no longer an option. The level of pollution is just another issue. If the light problem were to be solved, so many things will open up for Nigerians! Only time will tell.
People always forget that companies who import and sell abellas (candles), atupas (lanterns), and all those rechargeable lighting devices all have vested interests in the lack of power. Otisumi kin ma sun okunkun nitori mosquito ti je mi pa.
Could somebody look into which of our politician is responsible for the importation of all the generators that has taken the place of national power supply. An investigation is needed because these people are responsible for the lack of power supply in Nigeria. They should be made to pay for their selfish interest.
We want privatization for the power sector. The govt should let the people determine their own destiny by handling this sector.
This light issue is a cankerworm that has eatendeep into our economy, social life and every other ting you can think of !! Before i used to say the power situation in nigeria is epileptic but now words cant even describe the situation. Its just terrible. Something must be done and FAST!!! Pleeeeeaassssseee LIGHTUP OUR DEAR COUNTRY NIGERIA!!!
i remember in the 80s growing up in new bussa where you have the famous kainji dam. at that time nepa officials were forbidden to use generating sets in their homes, like the GM couldn’t have a generating set- good thinking i would say, cos how will he ensure his generating station generated power. we need to prohibit the use of generators – but if we do how will people survive, besides the people in the house will never pass that bill. our option is a revolution. my point being these people in power don’t feel this pain the way the ordinary citizens do, they probably have generator allowance. see to be candid if i make an excess of 10million every month i wont remember nepa, cos on the average it will only cost me about 4million to fuel my diesel gen round the year. but how long shall we continue with this.i particularly hate the noise and fumes from the generator.
I see hope. There is a generation of Nigerians that is hungry of change. Creation began with the statement ‘let there be light’ . . . Our change will be begin by lighting up Nigeria.
Somehow I agree with this campaign. The Creator began by saying ‘let there be light’. The desired change in our country starts wt proactive steps taken to light ur Nigeria.
Our neighbouring country rep of benin as small as it is with not even half the resouces recently celebrated 365 days of uninterupted power supply.what a shame nigeria its time for a change and like my good friend Obama says “yes we can”…light up nigeria people.