Power poll results released by NOIPolls Limited for the second quarter of 2015 revealed that Nigerians are spending almost three times the cost of direct power supply from Power Distribution Companies (DISCOs) on alternative sources of power. Findings revealed that in a 15-month period (April 2014 to June 2015), Nigerian households typically spent between ₦3,023 to ₦3,726 on direct power supply, while spending between ₦7,866 and ₦12,351 on alternative sources of power monthly. This brings the average monthly expenditure of Nigerian households on direct electricity supply to about ₦3,397, while average expenditure on alternative sources stands at ₦9529 monthly. Moreover, in the use of alternative sources, other minor costs such as cost of repair, maintenance and replacement of parts may be considered.
More findings revealed that there has been a steady increase in the average monthly expenditure of households on alternative sources of power from Q4, 2014 to Q2, 2015. This steady increase could be a direct effect of severe power shortage experienced within this period, especially in Q2, 2015. Moreover, findings from previous NOIPolls power tracking report revealed that Q2, 2015 witnessed the worst power supply, as only an average of 27% of Nigerians saw an improvement in power supply in their area.
In view of these findings, the dependence of Nigerian households on alternative sources of electricity (such as generators) adds to the financial burden of running household activities or remaining functional as a business. This in turn creates a ripple effect, bringing about skyrocketing prices of goods and services, and general high cost of living, thereby causing untold hardship for more than half of the entire population of Nigeria. Sadly this situation will continue to linger for as long as power supply shortage exists in Nigeria.