Electric power production in Nigeria started as far back as1896 when electricity generation began in Lagos.
This was about 15 years afterit was first produced worldwide. The total production capacity of thegenerators then was 60KW. The first electric company for the public was howeverestablished in 1929 (Nigerian Electricity Regulation Commission NERC).
It wasknown as the Nigerian Electricity Supply Company (NESCO). From that point untilthe 1950s, the pattern of electric power development in Nigeria as a whole, wasunorganized with various independent power plants in different towns and citiesacross the country. These power plants were built by the Public Works Department(PWD), a prominent example being the construction of a hydroelectric power stationat Kuru near Jos, among others. Electricity supply at this time was mainly forgovernment offices and quarters as well as for the very influential.In 1950 in order to integrate electricity power developmentand make it effective, the then-colonial government passed the ECN ordinanceNo. 15 of 1950. This act led to the establishment of the Electricity Company ofNigeria (ECN) in 1951.
The ECN was established to make electricity available tomembers of the public who were willing and able to pay for it. The first 132KVtransmission line was then constructed in 1962, it linked Ijora Power Stationin Lagos to Ibadan Power Station (nigeriaelectricityhub.com).In 1962, another body the Niger Dam Authority (NDA) wascreated. The NDA was charged with the construction and maintenance of damsacross Nigeria especially in the River Niger region. The NDA back then was seenas the spear head of hydroelectricity in Nigeria. This was due to the fact thatthe then Nigerian government saw hydropower as the main source of electricityin Nigeria. The electricity produced by the NDA was sold to ECN fortransmission, distribution and sales at various consumer levels.
In 1972, this dynamic between the NDA and the ECN came to anend as they were merged to become the National Electric Power Authority (NEPA)with effect from 1st April 1972 (wikipedia.org).The merger howeverwas delayed until 6th January 1973 when the first general managerwas appointed.
The reason for the merger was more efficient and effectivesystem where one body was vested with the responsibility of producing anddistributing power across the entire country. In effect, NEPA enjoyed themonopoly of the entire Nigeria power sector. At that time all otherorganisations were excluded from the commercial production of power.
Following the merger of the NDA and the ECN to form NEPA,the new body (NEPA) started diversifying beyond hydroelectricity to other formssuch as diesel powered plants, gas powered plants and coal. In the 1970s and earlyto mid-1980s NEPA provided a relatively stable supply as most of its plantswere relatively new and working. This was also because many rural communitieswere not connected to the National Grid hence the demand for power wasrelatively low. In addition, during the third national plan NEPA increased itsgenerating capacity leading to what many would call the golden age of NEPA.These positives were short lived however as towards the end of the 1980s theauthority (NEPA) would be going through technical under-performance.The first decline of NEPA was