The group Chairman of the United Bank for Africa UBA Plc and Founder, Tony Elumelu Foundation TEF, Mr. Tony Elumelu, has called the federal government to reforms the power sector to boost economic activities.
He stated this yesterday during an interview on ‘The Morning Show,’ on ARISE RV. Elumelu, who is also the Chairman of Transnational Corporation of Nigeria, also said the federal government should invest more in electricity supply in order to encourage innovation and economic development.
He emphasize that there is a need for the federal government to focus on diversifying the economy so as to increase the country’s forex inflow and reduce the dependence on oil revenue.
Speaking on the need for reforms in the power sector, he stated the three components of power supply as the generation, transmission, and distribution.
He said Nigerians would do better in business and creativity if there is a steady electricity supply, adding that the shortage of electricity supply is crippling innovation and the economy.
He said: “Transcorp through Transcorp Power and Afam Power today in Nigeria owns the highest generating capacity in Nigeria that can generate 2,000 MW of electricity per day. But unfortunately, we do less than 500MW at this point in time and the major constraint in this area is gas; then there is the issue of payment.
“For this to work well and for us to generate more, we need to have gas and our group has invested in oil and gas. And so, for us as a group, it is not necessarily for oil, it is because of gas because we want to be able to ensure that we have gas from our oil and gas production to convert to electricity.
“The acquisition we did recently, I’m happy to say, it is already supplying gas to our power plant. But going back to the subsidiary element, the issue of transmission, we need to make sure we stabilise our transmission for take-up.”
Elumelu said Transcorp invested in the power sector to help Nigerians have access to electricity because businesses across all sectors of the economy like health, e-commerce, manufacturing, SMEs, among others, need power.
“They cannot grow their businesses without adequate electricity.
“Nigerian and African youths are multi-talented, but they need a steady electricity supply to be creative and innovative,” he said.
“Nigeria needs at least 100,000 MW of electricity a day to power the economy but today we operate less than 5,000 MW and we need to do more,” he said, adding: “Government, therefore, needs to create the enabling environment for businesses to thrive.”
“Power is still a critical sector; we need to invest and the stakeholders need to make sure that it works. And when it works, the country’s economic development becomes more real.
“Every sector of our economy needs the power sector and I think we need to prioritise it more. But I commend efforts going on and also by making sure we privatise the remaining ones. The transmission lines need to be fixed and we need to make sure we improve the payment system.”