ABSTRACT: The Nigeria’s electric power sector has undergone several policy reforms to address the myriads of issues and challenges confronting the sector for several years. The reforms were implemented in order to establish a highly competitive market to improve management performance and efficiency, increase generation, and attract private investors and enhancing reliable and cost-reflective power supply system. It is noticeable however, that there seems to be no significant improvement in the sector, even after the privatization process. This work assessed and compared the performance of the electric power sector in the pre and post-reforms eras, reviewed its implications and impacts on the living standard of the people. It also identified and discussed some critical issues and challenges confronting the sector, and made useful recommendations in ensuring, a reliable and effective electric power supply system. The study used both quantitative and qualitative descriptive, survey design approach. Relevant data were collected from both primary and secondary sources and field survey mechanism. The research instrument used was a self-designed questionnaire titled “Questionnaire on Appraisal and Comparative Analysis of the Privatized Nigerian Electricity Sector (QACAPNES)” to elicit information from the sample that served as data for the study). Three experts validated the instrument. The four research questions raised were descriptively answered. The data were collected and analyzed descriptively (using weighted mean and standard deviation. The internal consistency of the questionnaire items was ascertained through the split-half method, and the responses were subjected to correlation analysis at a 0.05 significance level, yielding a coefficient of 0.81, a value high enough for the instrument to be considered reliable. For the research questions, a mean mark of 3.5 and above was recorded as "True", and a mean mark below 3.5 was assumed as "False". The result of the analysis showed that no significant improvement has been made that is totally different from the pre-privatization era except the successful unbundling of defunct Power Holding Company of Nigeria (PHCN) into generation, transmission and distribution companies. The study recommended full implementation of a cost-reflective tariff system, diversification of energy generation sources and a holistic review of the privatization policies for optimum performance.
Keywords: Cost-reflective tariffs, electric power, generation, privatization, reforms.