The lack of access to adequate supply of electricity, which has proven to be detrimental to business owners and households in Nigeria, will hinder the country’s aspirations to be among the top 20 economies in the world by 2020; a civil society group, Policy Assessment Movement, has said.
Inadequate power supply is still impacting negatively on business activities in the country resulting in the closure of more businesses, the group said in a recent statement signed by its leader, Mr. Tony Ashamu.
He stated that electricity was undoubtedly the most important catalyst for Nigeria’s economy to boom, noting that currently, a lot of Nigerian households live in abject poverty.
According to Ashamu, constant power could help alleviate this poverty that is afflicting many Nigerians. He said now was the time to act on ending the country’s energy challenges and lay the foundation that would put the country on the path to economic growth.
“As Nigeria aims to obtain her rightful position as one of the top 20 economies of the world, we must clearly appreciate the strong parallel between energy consumption and economic growth. This direct link between the energy consumption and the economic output of our country makes it critical that we fix our power issues,” he said.
He said currently, South Africa’s per capital electricity consumption was 4560 Kilowatt/hour, compared to Nigeria’s 140 Kilowatt/hour.
“It is not surprising why with less than one third of Nigeria’s population, South Africa’s economic output is drastically more than our output. South Africa delineates the importance of having a stable energy infrastructure to boost economy,” he said.
Ashamu said it was important the country implemented its energy privatisation policy, as this was a major step in the right direction for the economy.
“Each day we ignore this energy crisis, we elongate our ability to catch up with the rest of the world. Tasks like growing a business, healthy lifestyles, and day to day societal activities become painstaking when access to electricity is a concern. Africa currently represents almost 15 per cent of the world’s population and unfortunately produces less than 3.6 per cent of the world’s economic output.
“Nigeria can become that beacon of hope for Africa. To turn the tides, we need our entrepreneurs to fuel the growth in the real sector of the economy and for us to do that we need energy to power the creation and execution of their ideas,” he explained.
Ashamu stated that time had come to put the country on the path to sustainable growth powered by the masses, adding that as the country’s population increases, the demand for power would only intensify.
“We cannot depend on generators and inverters as our primary energy source or the energy source of our future. For every year that we wait, for every hour that we stall fixing our energy crisis, we set the country on a course that will be irreversible. Life as we know it will be harder for our unborn children, running a business for tomorrow’s entrepreneurs will be much harder and our economic situation in Nigeria will get worse unless we take the steps to end this now,” he added.