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Electricity: Telecom Companies Spend N8.8bn on Fuel Monthly



  • Electricity: Telecom Companies Spend N8.8bn on Fuel Monthly

Lack of constant power supply is costing Nigeria’s telecommunication companies around N8.8 billion per month, according to industrial analysis.

According to stakeholders, who attended the Nigeria Com conference in Lagos on Wednesday, mobile network operators buy an average of 40 million litres of diesel per month. Representing N8.8 billion per month going by N220 per litre for diesel.

Dr Adedoyin Adeola, the Vice President, Network Operations, Airtel Africa, said: “In Nigerian telecoms, we consume almost 40 million litres per month to power telecoms towers. In the telecoms industry today, it is only in Nigeria and a few other countries that will factor in two power generators in their business case.

“One will work for 12 hours and the other for another 12 hours. The reverse is the case in other countries where the cost of generator is zero while public electricity supply is fixed at 100 per cent.”

He further stated that lack of stable power supply from the grid has forced telecom companies to devised various means at ensuring constant power supply to masts and towers across the country.

Adeola said, “Power is that baseline for every telecom industry and every economy. It has been proven that there is a strong correlation between the availability of power and the Gross Domestic Product growth of any country.

“Innovative approaches have been used to tackle power challenges by successive governments but there is no motivation for some set of people who are key stakeholders to allow power to work in Nigeria.”

However, Gbenga Adebayo, the Chairman, Association of Licensed Telecom Operators of Nigeria, said while network operators have introduced various measures to ensure stable power supply, theft of batteries and solar panels remained an issue.

Adebayo said, “We have considered other sources of energy. We installed solar power panels in some locations.

“Those sites have been vandalised and the cells are taken to the local community and used to play table tennis.

“Local government and state authorities are asking us to pay for generator emission test.

“So, we ask them if the ones we use on our sites are not also used in homes and offices.”

CEO/Founder Investors King Ltd, a foreign exchange research analyst, contributing author on New York-based Talk Markets and, with over a decade experience in the global financial markets.