Generation of electric power for distribution dates from 1898 when the Lagos Undertaking was commissioned by government. It was operated by the Public Works Department, which continued to operate this and other government installations until 1946, when a separate department, the Nigerian Government Electricity Undertakings, was established.
In 1951 the installations were transferred to the Electricity Corporation of Nigeria (ECN), a statutory corporation. By 1952 ECN had taken over the running of four undertakings formerly operated by native authorities, pending settlement of purchase terms.
Private capital is represented by the Nigerian Electricity Supply Corporation, Ltd. (Nesco), a British company which supplies power to the mining enterprises in the Plateau area. Nesco also sells power in bulk to ECN for distribution in that area.
Finally, there are a number of industrial concerns which generate power for their own needs. The largest of these, the African Timber and Plywood Company, also sells power in bulk to ECN for distribution in Sapele. The hydroelectric generating facilities of the Cameroons Development Corporation, a statutory corporation which until recently sold bulk power to ECN for distribution in the Cameroons, have been leased to ECN.
Table 1 shows the amount of power generated by ECN, Nesco and industrial undertakings, and the exchanges among them for the year ended March 31, 1953.
Although generation of power has doubled since 1948 and quadrupled since 1941, it is at a very low level even for a country in an early stage of development. Per capita generation of five kWh com