Lagos, Nigeria’s commercial capital, has disclosed plans to increase energy output to 15,000 megawatts (MW), from a current 1000MW, by 2020.

According to Ben Akabueze, the state’s Commissioner for Economic Planning and Budgeting, who addressed reporters during the inauguration of the 7th Lagos Economic Summit, the targeted increase was hinged on investment it expected to attract in the next six years.

‘‘We project that by 2020, the minimum in terms of our power requirement will be 15,000MW, which means over the next six years, we expect about 50 per cent growth in the base demand that we see today,” Mr Akabueze added.

Over the years, the West African giant has continually battled with the challenge of providing sustainable power for over 160 million people. Nigeria needs 20,000MW to meet current power consumption needs, according to Prof Chinedu Nebo, Minister of Power. The country however possesses an installed capacity of 4,000MW, half of which is the current output.

This has made homes acquainted with frequent blackouts and increased cost of doing business, with organisations resorting to alternative means of generating power independently.

In a bid to drive sustainable private sector-led investment, the government last year concluded a privatization process that seeded ownership of power assets to private companies, which came out top during the bidding stages.

Inadequate or dilapidated power infrastructure was a major factor responsible for the slow development seen in the country’s economic space, according to Akabueze.

Lagos, with its over 20 million population, is however keen to close the infrastructure deficit by leveraging the summit to attract investors and educate the public on the enormous opportunities available in the energy sector.

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