‘Nigeria needs national will to drive power sector’
The Council on African Security and Development (CASADE), has attributed the major problem affecting the power supply in Nigeria to the lack of national will to drive the sector.
The Council Director, Prof John Ifediora, said without a national will driven by the policymakers to classify the sector as the number one priority of the government, it may be difficult to fully address the challenges in the power industry.
The Council Director, who spoke during a press conference on the upcoming US-Africa Energy Summit, scheduled to hold in the United States, noted that the aim of the summit is to create a forum for African energy companies to meet with developed country.
He disclosed that African firms at the forum would be provided with the opportunity to access the U.S. Aid for International Development (USAID), which has provided funds for African power projects worth about $42billion aimed at providing steady power supply in 30 million homes.
He said: “There is a need for national will to solve the problem, we have done that in the telecommunication sector, we are doing it in the financial sector, and there is no reason why we cannot do it in the energy sector. Without that national will driven by our policymakers that this is our number one priority, it may be difficult to tackle this problem.”
Ifediora noted that if private investors who have heavily invested in the privatised entities are given hope, supported and provided with subsidies, they can confidently partner with their counterparts in developed countries to see ways of improving power supply in the country.
He said: “With good leadership, then private investors who have heavily invested in the privatized entities we have now, but don’t have the expertise or financial resources, ones they are given that hope and support, subsidies then they can confidently meet their counterpart in the developed countries who are established see companies that are into renewable, solar power, wind among others.”
The CASADE boss further stressed the need for the government to provide infrastructure to support steady supply of electricity, adding that there was a need to support the generation and distribution companies and improve the country’s grid technologies.
He said: “Currently, because it’s rainy season and we are able to use water in the dams to sustain our hydroelectric to sustain our requirement for energy, if we have to depend on climatic changes for power supply it’s a problem. There is a need for concerted effort to address energy scarcity. Energy poverty is a major problem not only in Nigeria but in Africa.
“When African firms come up with collaborative ventures with American firms and it’s a viable one, then Power Africa funded by USAID would finance it.
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