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See how Nigeria has fared in electricity access between 2000 and 2020 

World Bank data provides valuable insights into Nigeria’s electricity access over the past 20 years, spanning from 2000 to 2020.

The data reflect the percentage of the population with access to electricity, measured every two years within the highlighted period.  

This analysis holds significant importance as it allows us to gauge Nigeria’s progress in electrification and identify potential challenges that may have hindered access to electricity.

According to the data, there has been a gradual improvement in electricity access percentage over the years, but there were also periods of stagnation and decline.  

Further investigation is needed to understand the underlying reasons behind these trends, such as infrastructural development, policy changes, or economic factors affecting the energy sector. 

From 2000 to 2020, the electricity access levels in Nigeria, show a steady, albeit fluctuating, upward trend: 

  • In 2000, electricity access in the country was reported at 43.1%. 
  • By 2002, it had increased marginally to 44.6%. 
  • In 2004, the country’s electricity access rose further to reach 46.1%. 
  • Two years later, in 2006, Nigeria’s electricity access climbed to 47.6%. 
  • Continuing this trend, electricity access reached 50.3% in 2008. 
  • However, in 2010, there was a slight dip, with electricity access measuring 48%. 
  • The upward trend resumed in 2012, as the country’s electricity access increased to 53.2%. 
  • Subsequently, in 2014, the figure saw a minor increase to 54%. 
  • In 2016, electricity access experienced significant growth, reaching 59.3%. 
  • Despite this progress, there was a slight decline in 2018, with electricity access reported at 56.5%. 
  • Finally, in 2020, electricity access stood at 55.4%. 

Recent trends 

A June 2023 energy access report by the International Energy Agency (IEA), International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA), United Nations, and the World Health Organization (WHO), highlighted the fact that as of 2021, the countries with the largest number of people without access were Nigeria (86 million), the Democratic Republic of the Congo (76 million), and Ethiopia (55 million). 

The report also noted that many developing economies in sub-Saharan Africa, are hobbled by scarce financing, inadequate risk mitigation resources, financially nonviable utilities, low capacity in critical agencies, and the absence of local financial institutions with access-related expertise.

All these factors compromise the bankability of electricity access projects. 

A possible solution 

In its April 2023 Africa’s Pulse report, the World Bank suggested private energy generation as a viable solution to address electricity access challenges in sub-Saharan African countries.

This will increase the availability of electricity in these regions, where traditional grid infrastructure is often inadequate or absent.  

According to the World Bank, this solution will need policies and regulations that encourage private investment in the energy sector, promote competition, and protect consumer rights. 


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