Experts seek creation of energy council to tackle outage
The National President of NAEE, Prof. Wumi Iledare, who stated this in Abuja at the weekend at a symposium to mark the World Energy Day, said the absence of the council was a major missing link.
Iledare, who stressed that only an intellectual solution would solve the energy crisis, called on government to move away from seeking political answer to solve the perennial power outages.
He added: “We need a working energy council to address the problems we have in Nigeria. It is not a political solution but an intellectual solution to a complex problem and energy is key to economic emancipation and we are toying with it.
“The United States (U.S.) with a population of about 300 million consumes 16 to 18 million barrels of crude oil per day. By implication, that shows that Nigeria has the capacity to consume more than the 2.4 million barrels it currently produces if the economic activities are functioning at near optimal level.”
The NAEE president, who advised that Nigeria should not be exporting crude oil but use it as a source of energy, said: “Currently, Nigeria treats its hydrocarbons as a source of income instead of a source of energy that should be driving economic development and growth. The scenario is this: if the Nigerian economy is actually growing the way it is supposed to grow, the 2.5mbpd will be used by our economy and there won’t be any to export.
“I foresee a situation where if we are going to have any oil export at all, we should be targeting at least 4 mbpd. If we are going to grow our GDP at 12 per cent yearly to be able to catch up with the world, we cannot use our oil for money; we should use our oil for power and 2.5 mbpd cannot generate the electricity that we need to grow our economy. Oil is an input of production and that is what it should be. If this economy expands, 2.5mbpd will not sustain it.”
Iledare maintained that at 4,000 megawatts, Nigeria was still not producing enough for its 170 million population.The professor of energy economics submitted that government could not be the sole supplier of energy hence the need to create investment environment for investors to bring money. Government must also not regulate the price of energy without meeting the threshold for investment performance, he added.He, therefore, called for policy consistency that should be co-ordinated by the office of the Chief Economic Adviser to the President.