Wednesday, August 29, 2007

FG to find lasting solution to energy crisis

The Federal Government (FG) has said its determined to find a lasting solution to energy and power crisis in the country anchored on the premise of Public-Private Partnership (PPP).

Minister of Information and Communications, Mr. John Odey gave this assurance at the stakeholders’ summit on power and energy, organised by the Association of Telecommunications Companies of Nigeria (ATCON) in Lagos.

Mr. Odey who was represented by Mr. Samuel Osahon, noted that the government is not unaware of the immense challenges businesses have to face due to erratic power supply especially in the Information and Communications Technologies (ICT) sector and is determined to find a lasting solution.

He expressed dismay that in spite of abundant primary electricity resources in the country, including coal, natural gas, geothermal, tide, solar, biogas, biomass to name a few, the inadequate power supply and outages have persisted.

He pointed out that the effect of this on the economic growth and developments have been quite profound.

“The capacity to create wealth at individual and corporate levels has consequently been constrained leading to low output,” he noted.

As said by the minister, President Umaru Musa Yar’Adu’s administration is determined to find a lasting solution on energy and power thus considering it the top priority of his government.

“This administration is determined to actively engage Nigerians on every aspect of governance in order to deepen the gains of democracy … With this approach, Nigerians both home and abroad would be able to think positively and give necessary encouragement to government efforts in developing the country.

Also speaking, chairman, Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC), Dr. Ransome Owan corroborated Mr. Odey, saying that government alone cannot provide adequate energy and power supply to the populace.

“Power is made in Nigeria and its problem requires made in Nigeria solution. Government cannot do it alone but needs Public-Private Partnership (PPP),” he said.

He pointed out that in the energy and power sector, it has been discovered that power is grossly inadequate in demand and there must be constant planning for the future which takes upto 12 years to mature or yield any good result.

He emphasised that out of the estimated 140 million Nigerian, only 4.5 million are recognised by PHCN as consumers, noting that for instance, in South Africa, $7.5 billion was voted for spare capacity while in Nigeria the case is the reverse.

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