Nigeria didn’t begin to generate electricity on their own. It was a development wrought at the hands of the British colonial rulers in 1896. The first power plant, was at their behest, set up in Lagos. But then, we weren’t at all ready to have them run the show just they were not ready to as well. So in 1929, electricity generation activities kicked off in full with the creation of the Nigeria Electricity Supply Company (NESCO). Alongside the Public Works Department, they had a mandate to build power plants across. This led to the construction of a hydroelectric power station at Kuru, Jos.
But then, only government officials and houses had access to electricity. However, this was to change when the newly formed Electricity Corporation of Nigeria (ECN) gave the instruction that electricity should be provided for any and all Nigerians who could afford it. This was in 1952. This led to the construction of a 132KV line linking Ijora Power Station and Ibadan Power station. Furthermore, the Niger Dams Authority, established in 1962, went on to open our eyes to the possibility of deriving power from water (hydropower transmission). And this was the beginning of a golden period in Nigeria. But this golden era was not without the amalgamation of NDA and ECN to form the National Electric Power Authority (NEPA).
So, this golden period lasted all through the 1970s to the 1980s. We can say this was due to the fact that the rural areas saw no need for electricity and did not press for it. So, there were enough watts to go round. But this was set to change when the power sector started experiencing a decline in maintenance. And coupled with the fact that more people demanded electricity, the good days of good electricity faded. By 2000, power supply dropped to as low as 1,500 megawatts.
Olusegun Obasanjo, in his time, put in quite some effort to change this trend when he came up with the National Electric Power Policy in 2001. This was led to the creation of the Power Holding Company of Nigeria (PHCN). This administration also came up with the Presidential Action Committee on Power. On and on, other administrations like the GEJ administration, have come up with several other corporations.