Towards Systems Management in the Electric Power Sector

for Physical Facilities in Nigeria: Issues, Challenges and New Directions



By Dr. Felix Osita Ikekpeazu

Nnamdi Azikiwe University

Anambra State, Nigeria



This paper is an investigation into the application of systems management in the operation of public utilities in Nigeria, specifically, in the electric power sector; towards the effective utilization of electric energy for physical facilities, namely, residential, commercial and institutional buildings, etc.  The paper commences with a definition of terms, especially, systems management, system failure and system collapse, in connection with regulation, management and ownership in the electric power sector. It then proceeds to an elaboration of the phases or steps in the historical evolution of the electric power industry in Nigeria and the associated factors which can be isolated in each stage of the historical development of utilities. It then progresses to an examination of the problems of electric power generation, transmission and distribution within the organizational framework of the new Power Holding Company of Nigeria PLC (PHCN), in terms of the Power Sector Reform Act 2005. The paper provides an elucidation of the existing and proposed strategies for policy implementation in the Power Holding Company of Nigeria PLC (PHCN). In this regard, it highlights the operational link between PHCN, management on the one hand and its supervisory board, supervisory ministry (the Federal Ministry of Energy) and the Presidency on the other hand. These strategies set the stage for new directions and management. This paper then reaches the conclusion of the centrality of adequate power supply to family life and business life in the country; that a stable power supply creates a positive multiplier effect in the whole economy. Indeed, that low service delivery in the Nigerian electricity sector is, perhaps the greatest developmental drawback facing the country in the areas of residential development and industrialization.

Key words: Power disruption, Deregulation, System Collapse/System Failure, National Grid, Power Generation, Transmission and Distribution, Power Sector Reform Act, Organizational Change, Privatization and Stable Power Supply.


The frequency of power disruption and instances of system collapse has created the imperative for organizational change in the operation of electric power utilities in Nigeria. The new appellation, Power Holding Company of Nigeria PLC (PHCN), is a reflection to some extent, of this new organizational change. The impending deregulation of the electric power sector will engender competitiveness in the electric power sector with its attendant economic revitalization.

Indeed, the envisaged role of systems management in the electric power sector in Nigeria, will focus on the general dynamics of system integration, in time as well as in space, of system dysfunction or system collapse/system failure and the dynamics involved in system change and revitalization.



According to Klein (1977), in addition to the surveys of the basic social and behavioural sciences, the past thirty years have seen the development and blossoming of several fields of inquiry which, together, may be termed ‘system sciences’. They may be characterized, in general, as being more interdisciplinary and holistic in their approach to problems than are the more traditional disciplines. They may also be said to be somewhat more problem-oriented or applied, although this may not characterize every scholar or practitioner. As the interests here relate to the role of management, it seems appropriate to label this last discipline to be reviewed, ‘systems management’.


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About the Author

Dr. Felix Ikekpeazu

Nnamdi Azikiwe University
Anambra State, Nigeria



Dr. Felix Ikekpeazu holds a Bachelor of Architecture (B. Arc) and a Doctor of Philosophy Degree in Architecture, specializing in Housing delivery systems. He joined Nnamdi Azikiwe University in Anambra State after serving as Chief Architect at the Enugu State Housing Development Corporation. He is currently a senior Lecturer in the Department of Architecture. His research interests are in Housing delivery systems, Green buildings and energy efficiency in buildings. Dr. Ikekpeazu is a registered Architect and has published in many local and international journals. He can be contacted at [email protected]