The President of the African Development Bank (AfDB), Mr. Akinwumi Adesina has reasoned that it is abnormal for all businesses to depend on generators for power supply in Nigeria.
This is as he revealed that annually, Nigerians spend a whopping $14 billion that could have been used for more productive ventures on generators and fuel.
He lamented that a situation where manufacturers have to constantly source for alternative power supply at exorbitant rates has made it more difficult for businesses to survive in Nigeria.
In his view, the epileptic power supply and its attendant challenges have now made something abnormal to become normal in Nigeria.
Adesina spoke on Tuesday in Abuja at the 49th annual general meeting of the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN) where he further revealed based on a report by the International Monetary Fund (IMF), that Nigeria loses $29 billion annually, which is about 5.8 percent of its gross domestic product (GDP) due to a lack of reliable power supply.
He said: “Today, no business can survive in Nigeria without generators. Consequently, the abnormal has become normal,” Adesina said.
“Traveling on a road one day in Lagos, I saw an advertisement on a billboard which caught my attention. It was advertising generators, with the bold statement “we are the nation’s number one reliable power supplier!”
“To be a manufacturer in Nigeria is not an easy business. You succeed not because of the ease of doing business, but by surmounting several constraints that limit industrial manufacturing,” he said.
“Today, the major challenge facing Nigeria’s manufacturing is the very high cost and unreliability of electricity supplies. Load shedding and the inconsistent availability of electrical power have resulted in high and uncompetitive manufacturing costs.”
To remedy the situation, the AfDB President urged the government to massively invest in the power sector including renewable energy.
He stressed that Nigeria has huge potential but serious work and government willingness is crucial for the potential to be realized.
“There should be massive investments in variable energy mixes, including gas, hydropower resources and large scale solar systems to ensure stable baseload power for industries, to direct power preferentially to industries, and to support industrial mini-grids to concentrate power in industrial zones,” he said.
“In addition, we should develop more efficient utilities, reducing technical and non-technical losses in power generation, transmission and distribution systems,” Adesina added.