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‘Buhari should woo Chinese investors to fix power sector during Beijing visit’

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One of Nigeria’s leading industrialists and chairman, Blue Diamond Logistics, Mr. Festus Mbisiogu, has urged President Muhammadu Buhari to make good use of his scheduled visit to China to fully engage investors in the Asian nation to become active in Nigeria’s power sector.

The president is one of the African leaders gracing the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC) Summit holding from September 3 to 5, 2018 in Beijing.

The gathering provides a platform for Chinese and African leaders to concretise ties and explore new ways of implementing the cooperation blueprint between both parties.

In a statement, Mbisiogu said the recent complaints by the nation’s distribution companies (DISCOs) of running at a huge loss and the revelation of the Bureau of Public Enterprises (BPE) that most of the utilities were technically insolvent confirmed that something drastic needs to be done in the sector.

His words: “It is obvious that these firms are operating below optimal level. They are overwhelmed by the challenges in the sector and they have no solution to these problems.

“That have fallen shot both in price structure and liquidity and that is why we are still yet to obtain a reasonable level in power distribution. Typical of everything Nigeria, the Federal Government has allowed the DISCOs to take advantage of everyone and many Nigerians are paying for the services they do not enjoy.

“Besides, epileptic services, outrageous billings and lack of commitment to the provision of metres for electricity consumers to ensure fair billing have been the hallmark of these DISCOs.

“How long are we going to continue to spoon-feed these firms from our national treasury without any corresponding positive effects?”

Mbisiogu, therefore, called on the Federal Government to review its contract with the local investors as well as declare a state of emergency on power.

He added: “At no other time is it more appropriate for the government of President Buhari to declare a state of emergency on power. Recent statistics from the National Bureau of Statistics say 7.6 million Nigerians lost their jobs between January and June this year. This is traceable to the daily closure of industries owing to unstable power supply.

“ How long will this continue? If this trend is not halted now, Nigeria should forget whatever claims we are making about industrialisation.”


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