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'Nigeria Loses N66bn Yearly Through Power Failure'

Posted by By Agha Ibiam on 2004/11/26 | Views: 2031 |

'Nigeria Loses N66bn Yearly Through Power Failure'


The World Bank and the United Nations Deve-lopment Programme have put Nigeria's economic losses as a result of absence of constant electricity supply at about N66 billion per year.

The World Bank and the United Nations Deve-lopment Programme have put Nigeria's economic losses as a result of absence of constant electricity supply at about N66 billion per year.

The disclosure was contained in a paper titled, "Electricity Provision Sup-port By Oil Companies As Social Responsibility" presented by Dr. Ausbeth Ajagu, Alternate Chairman of Small and Medium Scale Industries Committee of Manufacturers Association of Nigeria in Lagos recently.

He noted that the energy sector of any nation occupies a place of central importance in terms of its relative contribution to the national socio-economic goals of raising the productive sector. He said a nation's industrialisation and development are predicated on her ability to provide, amongst others, quality infrastructure for her teeming population which include good road network, telecommunication, water supply and electricity delivery.

Ajagu pointed out that the country from time immemorial had suffered a lot of setbacks due to mal-administration and corruption. He remarked that past governments did very little towards improving power supply which unfortunately has affected the economy negatively.

He said over the years, Nigerians have had to contend with about 10 to 30 per cent electricity supply in their homes, factories and business premises. These he said has not only brought untold hardship to the people but has continuously dealt a big blow on their businesses as companies are forced to include huge cost of generating set purchase on their capital budget and high cost of diesel.

"The ever increasing cost of fuel due to unstable exchange rate and collapsed Nigerian refineries compound the already battered situation. Families and businesses that are unable to afford generating sets are left to their fate, also leading to a lot of businesses to fold-up, creating more complex situations for the unemployment market", Ajagu said.

He stated that regular electricity supply would amongst others make industries more competitive in terms of cost of production, encourage employment, thereby reducing social misbehaviour and crime.

"With quality and constant power supply and with good security of lives and property, Nigeria would have solved about 60 per cent of her problems. This is because economic activities would strive and there will be increased of Direct Foreign Investment (DFI)", he said.

He observed that most of the oil and multi-national companies are very complacent on helping the government towards the realisation of power supply which suppose to be their social responsibility.

"I am aware that Mobil Producing is providing electricity for some communities in Eket, NLNG is providing electricity for some communities in Bonny town, Shell Petroleum provides electricity for host communities like Elem Sangama, Ekulama and Olu Asiri", all these Ajagu said are pockets of what is actually expected from them.

However, he urged government to grant incentives to any oil company willing to help build infrastructure tax relief. He said government alone can not provide the electricity needed in the country.

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