A baseline survey of the energy needs of four of the major markets in Nigeria – Ariaria in Aba, Sabon Gari in Kano, Somolu printing community and Sura shopping complex, both in Lagos, which the Rural Electrification Agency (REA) conducted, has indicated that with 36.27 megawatts (MW) of stable electricity provided to them, economic productivity in the markets could expand and bring more prosperity to about 50,900 shop owners there.
The survey was according to the REA carried out to scientifically identify the actual energy requirements of the markets, and possibly help meet them within its ‘energizing economy’ programme.
Collectively, the total energy demand for all 50,900 shops was 36.27MW, with Somolu Printing Community having the highest demand of 32MW and Sura Shopping Complex having the lowest demand with 0.83MW, while Ariaria and Sabon Gari markets required 2.06MW and 1.36MW respectively.
The survey also suggested power generation and supply means that best suited the markets according to their locations to fuel sources.
For instance, it explained that a large scale decentralized solar power system would best serve Sabon Gari market considering the enormous solar irradiance of Kano state, while Ariaria will be best served by a Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) power system.
It pointed that from its research, monthly expenditures of the market occupants on energy supplies which are mostly unstable, suggested that investments in these systems were financially viable.
“This report presents the findings of the baseline survey and energy audits carried out across four Nigerian economic clusters, namely; Ariaria Market in Abia State, Sabon Gari Market in Kano State, Somolu Printing Community, and Sura Shopping Complex in Lagos State.
“The report highlights two key activities integral to the success and sustainability of the electrification projects; baseline surveys and energy audits. The baseline surveys are intended to establish reference points for the measurement of impact of the direct energy interventions on the relevant beneficiaries and stakeholders, while the energy audits are essential to determine the energy demand for each market in order to provide a feasible power solution for each economic cluster,” said the executive summary of the report.
It indicated that researchers for the survey worked with associations which managed the markets to get inputs, adding thus: “Ariaria is managed by Ariaria International Market Traders’ Association (AIMATA). Sabon Gari is managed by Amalgamated Traders’ Welfare Association (AMATA). Sura shopping complex is managed by the Association of Shop owners in Sura Complex Lagos (ASOSCL). Somolu printers are under the Association of Professional Printers of Nigeria (ASSPPON)”
On the appropriate energy generation sources for the markets, it suggested: “Ariaria Market Community: 5MW gas fired power plant running on Compressed Natural Gas (CNG). Somolu Printing Community in Lagos State: 5MW Natural Gas fired power plant. Sabon Gari Market in Kano State: 1MW decentralized solar solution using high capacity solar home systems. Sura Shopping Complex: connection to power supply from existing power plant located within Lagos Island.”
Picking on the potentials of the markets, it said on Ariaria for instance: “The city of Aba is noted within Nigeria and worldwide for its huge commercial activities. One of is most popular markets is the Ariaria Market that attracts customers from all over the southern part of the country and beyond. Yet some of the basic infrastructure required to drive and support the thousands of entrepreneurial Nigerians found in Ariaria Market are non-existent.
“The Federal Government Nigeria (FGN) is committed to improving the infrastructure of the Ariaria market and wants to ensure that the Ariaria International Market in Aba, Abia State, enjoys round the clock electricity.”